Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Technique: Pleating Technique used in Tirol Tracht (Folk Costume of Tirol, Austria)

Thanks to Sabine Lintner and Christine Miller of Trachtenwerkstatt for showing me this.

This pleating technique utilizes a special fabric called “gabeln”, which is a fabric printed with a grid. The marking lines were approximately 1/2 cm. wide by 1 cm. tall. Note: that gingham could be substituted, but gingham is generally square.

1. Stitch or overlock your fabric onto the base fabric.

2. Using a needle and thread, baste a line of stitches on the wrong side of the fabric, using the gridded gabeln as your guide. Leave a long tail.

3. Repeat this for as many lines of basting as you deem necessary for your task.

4. To create the gathers, on one end of fabric, grab the tails of allyour threads, and jointly pull them. Do not cut the tails. You can leave these for later, as an adjusting device. (Note: that in Tirol costume, these tails are neatly knotted and tucked inside, so that they can be used to alter a garment later, to make it smaller or larger, as the need arises).

5. Smooth out the pleats that form, so that they are parallel.

6. Stitch to a band or other stabilizing structure.

If you like, you can embroider on the right side of the garment (as in smocking techniques) to embellish the surface and hold the pleats in place.

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