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  1. #1
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    Pleating challenge #2: difficult tartans to pleat to the stripe

    Hi folks

    I just ran across another pleating challenge that I thought would make an interesting post.

    I just finished a kilt for a client who really wanted it pleated to the stripe. The tartan is the US Special Forces (Green Beret) tartan, and the tartan design is another head banger. You'd think that the tartan designer would have realized that most guys would want it military pleated and would have designed it to pleat well to the stripe. But, nooooo.....Here's the tartan:



    So what are the problems with this tartan? The four choices for pleating to the stripe would be the yellow stripe, the blue stripe on the edge of the green block, the "no stripe" (green) option, or the central blue stripe flanked by white and red. Here are the problems:

    -Yellow stripe: the black-blue-yellow-blue-black is too narrow for one pleat, but the white stripes are just far enough apart that they are lost if there is any taper in the pleats (see last pic in this post).
    -Blue stripe (the one on the edge of the green block): not enough black to center the blue stripe (the prominent element should be centered in the pleat).
    -Green "no stripe": this kilt would _really_ have the dreaded lawn chair effect. In fact, I think we had a lawn chair that looked like that once.
    -Central blue stripe flanked by white and red: just barely wide enough to include most of the red; this is really the only option for pleating this kilt to the stripe, although it will look best if the pleats don't taper much.

    So, I chose the latter option, pics below. What's really interesting is that, from a distance, the prominent vertical element in the pleated kilt comes from adjacent pleat edges (where two red stripes meet and are flanked by white stripes), rather than from the element that's centered in each pleat. The blue stripe centered in the pleats almost vanishes.





    The real challenge in doing the pleating above is that you have to be absolutely meticulous at the edges of the pleats. In a normal pleating to the stripe, where there's lots of plain color next to the prominent central stripe, a little weebling at the edge of the pleat isn't noticeable. Where the prominent visual element lies between two pleats, however, there is no room for even a hair of wobble. So, this particular pleating is not for the faint of heart.

    The bottom line advice in this post:
    -Some tartans just don't pleat well to the stripe. It's always a good idea to try a test pleating _with the pleat taper_ to make sure that you like the look. This goes for pleating to the sett as well as pleating to the stripe. Below, I've posted a pic of a test pleating for option 2 described above, and you'll see how the white stripes vanish (which is not good). And also, stand back from your test pleating about 15-20' to see what it looks like at a distance. What looks obvious up close sometimes doesn't dominate at a distance!



    -If you're having a go at pleating to the stripe for the first time, select a nice central element (or a "no stripe" element) flanked by lots of plain color. That will give you some forgiving leeway along the pleat edges.

    Happy New Year!

    Barb
    Last edited by Barb T; 30th June 17 at 02:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    10th May 06
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    Wow
    Now I have to print this out and add it to my copy of TAofKM. Thank you so much for this!!
    Sara
    (Who would like to suggest for the 3rd printing that you place a little envelope on the inside back cover for me to keep these notes!)
    "There is one success- to be able to spend your life your own way."
    ~Christopher Morley

  3. #3
    Join Date
    15th April 07
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    I like the fact that you have an undetectable taper from hips to waist!
    Wallace Catanach, Kiltmaker

    A day without killting is like a day without sunshine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    30th November 04
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChattanCat View Post
    I like the fact that you have an undetectable taper from hips to waist!
    That's because the hips and waist are almost identical. It's one of the reasons why this pleating works well on this kilt.

    B

  5. #5
    Join Date
    25th May 06
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    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
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    Even though I don't particularly like the tartan, it looks very well done, Barb! Sometimes even the ugliest tartans look better once they're pleated and made into a kilt.
    [B][COLOR="DarkGreen"]John Hart[/COLOR]
    Owner/Kiltmaker - Keltoi

  6. #6
    James MacMillan is offline Membership Revoked for repeated rule violations.
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    Barb - you are amazing.

    Thanks for sharing.

    PM sent.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T. View Post
    The real challenge in doing the pleating above is that you have to be absolutely meticulous at the edges of the pleats.
    Somehow I don't think that meticulous is quite sufficient for the results you achieved here. Is there a superlative greater than perfection? That would be it if there were.

    Best regards,
    Rex.
    At any moment you must be prepared to give up who you are today for who you could become tomorrow.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    7th April 06
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    Barb, thanks for this instruction. I have made three kilts (per your book) all to stripe and find your advice invaluable. This post is very helpful. I like the idea of trial pleating and looking at the pleats from a distance, watching the stripes on the taper.
    Andy in Ithaca, NY
    Exile from Northumberland

  9. #9
    Join Date
    30th October 07
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    That looks great! I feel like I would have simply gone blind staring at all those little lines...

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