Pleat N Go Faqs
If you've ever had to make pleats in your fabric, lace or ribbon this is probably how you did it:
- You stood over an ironing board with a very hot steam iron
- Had lots of steel sewing pins ready
- Collected several measuring tapes or rulers
- Grabbed your fabric markers and...
- Had some vinegar and water mixed up in a spray bottle
You measured your fabric and then carefully marked it; you did this for as big an area as you wanted to pleat. After marking all of it, you started to 'fold' the pleats into your fabric based on those marks you made, remembering to use lots of steel pins to hold all the pleats in place. Then grab your iron and carefully press/steam the pleats into place, watching out for the pins and burned fingertips. Spray lightly with the vinegar-water mixture and press again. Remove all the pins and check to see how even (oh please) your pleats are. Don't look at the clock!
A pleater board is one of the most wonderful inventions! It saves those of us that sew, quilt and do crafting many hours of time, burnt finger tips, and aggravation.
One of the first boards we found was The New Victoria Pleater from Eaton & Eaton, Monroe, Wisconsin - patented in 1904! It was metal with scored slats that you pushed your fabric though then ironed. Can you imagine how hot that metal got? Ouch.
But what is it? A pleater board is a device that allows you to evenly pleat your fabric, lace, ribbon, paper etc, by using the slats attached to the pleater board. You then iron the pleats while in the board to set.
The smallest pleats you can make using the Pleat 'N Go, are 1/2" deep with a 1/4" return (that's the underside of the pleat). The return will always be 1/4".
If you 'skip' slats you can make bigger pleats: 1/2", 3/4", 1" etc. You can also alternate the size of your pleats make them steadily larger then smaller to create an interesting design element; how about 3 that are 1/2" then a 1" pleat, now do 3 more 1/2" ones. The end result is completely up to you.
Again this is your choice. You can press the pleats while in the pleater board but let them hang loose except at the point where you sew them into place. You can stitch them partway's down, you can use a lightweight fusible interfacing (we're big fans of fusible tricot) to permanently 'set' the pleats into place. Please remember a natural fabric (cotton etc) will have pleats 'fall out' when washed unless you sew them.
If you make the piece of pleated fabric a permanent pleat, you can then cut out a pattern piece from this pleated fabric - say a collar, cuff, yoke, pocket or any other pattern piece you like.
No, you can't. To make a smocking style pleat you have various options: Red-dot paper to mark your fabric evenly and hand gather, the old ruler-and-washout-marker method, and of course a smocking machine.
No we don't and for a really good reason. We originally tested different sizes of boards (some much larger) and besides being quite expensive, they were also very difficult to work with. The larger the board, the harder it is to keep your fabric in the slats while you pleat more fabric! Plus if you're using a silky fabric it's doubly difficult.
This size board 10"x15" proved to be the
Let me put it this way, I'm still using the original one I put together back in 1993! It's a bit beaten up from all the handling and taking to sewing and quilting shows, but still works perfectly.
If you're looking to only use a pleater board one time for a specific project, there are many sources on the 'net that will give you instructions on making a paper/cardboard pleater board.
Well actually you do. Remember you're ordering a kit, so you'll have to put it together. But fear not, it should only take about one-hour to assemble using just your ironing board, iron, regular sewing machine and thread.
The New Victorian Pleater
From Easton and Easton, 1914.