How to Make Fabric Hold a Pleat

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to Make Fabric Hold a Pleat
Keep pleats in fabric with a setting technique. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Pleats in fabric add soft sophistication. Whether you pleat a skirt, trousers or even window coverings, incorporating pleats adds instant fullness and draping. If the pleats do not have stitching that keeps them set in the fabric, pressing is the other option to create and maintain pleats. Make fabric hold a pleat by applying heat and steam as you construct the item.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Heavy brown paper
  • Scissors
  • Press cloth
  • Steam iron

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  1. 1

    Construct the pleats according to your pattern instructions. Assemble the pleated fabric onto a firm pressing surface, with the pleats looking exactly the way you wish them to look permanently.

  2. 2

    Cut strips of brown paper with widths wide enough to insert between each pleat. Make the strips of paper wide enough to tuck into the folds of the pleats, extending out to the outside edge of each pleat. Tuck the strips into the pleats.

  3. 3

    Preheat the iron to the highest temperature setting safe for the fabric, with the highest steam setting.

  4. 4

    Saturate the press cloth with water and squeeze out the excess moisture to leave it damp.

  5. 5

    Place the wet press cloth over the pleats and apply the hot iron. Use an up-and-down pressing motion rather than a side-to-side pressing motion to ensure that you press the pleats precisely.

  6. 6

    Continue pressing the pleats with the steam iron until you dampen the fabric. Get the press cloth wet again if it dries out.

  7. 7

    Remove the press cloth and allow the damp fabric to dry completely before you move it.

Tips and warnings

  • Pressing the pleats with the paper strips eliminates indentations on the other pleats from the iron.

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