5 Types of Pleats Widely Used in Fashion and Décor

In this post, we'll guide you through the world of pleats and explain how they differ from each other.
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Last updatedLast updated: August 05, 2021

Pleats are the way to arrange fabrics to add volume to it, held in place using a sewing pin before getting stitched into the fabric. To most people, all pleats are the same. Meanwhile, if you take a closer look, you will discover that they come in different shapes and forms.

There are pleats best suited for décor items such as curtains, while others appear better on fashion items such as skirts, gowns, and coats. In this guide, we will be outlining the various available as well as the clothing they are perfect for.

5 Common Types of Pleats

You need to determine the effect you want to create in a piece of fabric before deciding on which type of pleats to use. Some pleats add volume to clothes while others alter the shape of fabric for added comfort. In the case of skirts, the option is numerous no matter the type of skirt or dress sewn.

We’ve outlined the different types of pleats commonly used below and the type of fabrics they’re used on.

1. Box Pleats

5 Types of Pleats Widely Used in Fashion and DécorBox pleats are not the most common type of pleats you will find on fabrics. They can come in single or double layers. Usually, they contain dual creases facing a different direction to form a raised section at the middle of both creases.

This type of pleats is hardly found in clothing outfits. Rather, they’re used on home décor items such as curtains, and table skirting.

2. Knife Pleats

5 Types of Pleats Widely Used in Fashion and DécorKnife Pleats are handmade pleats pressed firmly to face one direction. These types of pleats are usually found in skirts and are made to lie flat. For knife pleats to look stunning on any fabric, they have to be pressed with a hot iron to remove wrinkles. One of the best pressing irons for making pleats is the 360 Degrees Cordless Steam and Dry Iron from Panasonic. Ideal for freestyling, this gives fabrics a smooth and silky appearance.

Knife pleats usually give fabrics a slim look. They create an effect that ensures the fabric doesn’t stay glued to the wearer’s body. This makes the fabric comfortable and flexible when worn.

3. Inverted Pleats

5 Types of Pleats Widely Used in Fashion and DécorInverted pleats are similar to knife pleats. They are double knife pleats facing opposite directions. It’s formed by stitching large folds of fabric together in the middle. An inverted pleat is also what you get when you turn a box pleat inside out

Unlike most pleats that run down, inverted pleats are only held at the top with headpins before they are stitched together.

Made by Singer, a popular sewing equipment manufacturer, the best straight pin kit is the SINGER 07051. It is recognized by seamstresses and ranked # 1 as Amazon’s best singer straight pins. By using these, the pleating becomes less visible as you move towards the bottom of the dress.

This type of pleats doesn’t look good on full-length gowns. Rather, they’re formed on mini gowns especially those that are at knee or thigh length.

4. Kick Pleats

5 Types of Pleats Widely Used in Fashion and DécorKick pleats are usually small pleats appended to the bottom of the fabric to give the wearer more freedom of movement. They are mostly attached to the back of a skirt or coat. In the case of a tight skirt, it’s done to allow the wearer to walk freely. Hence, kick pleats are the right fit for skirts that run beyond the knee if the wearer wants to extend his leg over some inches.

5. Accordion Pleats

Unlike handmade Knife pleats, accordion pleats are sewn with a machine. This ensures they’re permanently affixed to the fabric, hence, their shape can’t be altered by a simple sewing iron or after washing.

The shape of an accordion pleat is zigzag, but it widens out as you approach the bottom to form a burst. This makes them slim at the top but full at the bottom. Making them a perfect fit for all body types.

Below is a quick video demonstrating the types of pleats and how to sew each.

How Pleats Are Used in Fashion

Pleats are used to add extra volume to a fabric. This is because a part of the cloth will be folded and joined together at a point. Most pleats are used to beautify skirts, gowns, and sparingly on coats. When used on gowns, they usually run from the middle of the dress towards the bottom. However, there are a few that run from the bottom, like in the case of kick pleats.

5 Types of Pleats Widely Used in Fashion and Décor

When pleats are used in clothes, they must appear straightened and smooth but never wrinkled. Some pleats vanish after they’re washed or ironed while others, such as the accordion pleat, remain even after these actions have been performed.

Other Uses of Pleats

Aside from outfits worn, pleats can be added to sewn fabrics used for decoration. For instance, pleats can be added to curtains or table cloths for beautification.

Drapery Pleats

5 Types of Pleats Widely Used in Fashion and DécorThere are different types of drapery pleats. The addition of pleats to drapes gives them a well-defined shape that brings them back to life. The most common type of drape pleats Trusted Source Drapery Pleat Styles We offer 9 Custom Curtain & Drapery Pleat Styles including French Pleat, Parisian Pleat, Inverted Pleat, Pinch Pleat, Rod-Pockets and Grommets. www.drapestyle.com is the French pinch pleat which allows a small piece of fabric to be pinched together at the middle to form a fan. This type of pleat allows curtains to sit comfortably on a rod using hooks.

The inverted box pleats are another popular type of curtain pleats. The pleat is used to add volume to a curtain and is mostly suitable for rooms with high ceilings.

Table Skirting Pleats

5 Types of Pleats Widely Used in Fashion and DécorThere are different types of table skirting pleats. You can either use an accordion, box, shirred, or simple flat panels. Pleats are called upon when you have to decorate tabletops for weddings Trusted Source 48 Centerpiece Ideas for Any Wedding Style Planning your reception? These centerpiece ideas are sure to inspire your décor, no matter your wedding style. www.brides.com and other important events. The pleats usually run on the edge of the table to hide its leg and at the same time, to give an elegant look to most restaurant tables.

Ordinary table clothes can be utilized for day-to-day activities but when events such as weddings, birthdays, and event launches are around the corner, pleated table skirts are favored for their elegant look.

Final Thoughts

Pleats give fabrics a touch of elegance, but they also make them appear full. Ironically, most pleats are made from large folds of clothes that appear narrow on the outside. Pleats are used more on skirts and gowns but sparingly on pants.

Before deciding on which type of pleats to use, you need to be clear on the purpose you want them to serve. Some pleats are added to ease movement while others give the wearer a slim frame that subdues their curves.

However, pleats should be continuously pressed with a steam iron for them to retain their shape. It’s common to see them disappearing each time the fabric is washed.

References

1.
Drapery Pleat Styles
We offer 9 Custom Curtain & Drapery Pleat Styles including French Pleat, Parisian Pleat, Inverted Pleat, Pinch Pleat, Rod-Pockets and Grommets.
2.
48 Centerpiece Ideas for Any Wedding Style
Planning your reception? These centerpiece ideas are sure to inspire your décor, no matter your wedding style.
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