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  1. #1
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    Pleating challenge #5: getting a precise pleating to the stripe

    Hi all,

    The kilt I'm working on right now is a good one to show a strategy for making precise, repeatable pleats when you're pleating to the stripe and the stripe(s) nearly fills the entire pleat.

    In the kilt below, you can see that the double blue stripes nearly fill the entire pleat, with only a little red color sliver on each side. And the pleats have quite a bit of taper, so the red nearly vanishes at the waist. If the pleats had a single narrow central stripe in a pleat with lots of plain color on each side, a little weeble or wobble wouldn't be obvious. But in this kilt, the red has to be really consistent from pleat to pleat, and that includes not only width of red but also taper on both sides of the pleat. A little weeble or wobble would be pretty obvious.

    If you're faced with making pleats like this, here's a technique that I've found makes it pretty easy to do a consistent job. So far on this kilt, I've done 19 pleats, and I've only had to take out half of one pleat.

    Start by doing the usual, and pin the pleat at and above the waist and then start the pleat at the hips, anchoring it with your needle. Before doing anything else, stretch the folded edge of the new pleat and pin the fold along the edge, checking to make sure that the color sliver on the edge matches the previous pleat. Pinning prevents the new pleat from rolling either toward or away from you as you're stitching - any roll will change the amount in the color sliver on the edge. It can look perfect when you start to stitch, but, at least the way I stitch, if it's not pinned, it can creep as you go along and looked crappy at the end.



    Once the folded edge is held in place with a couple of pins, go back and pin the edge you're going to stitch. Match the width of the color sliver with the sliver in the previous pleat, and make sure it's a mirror image of the other edge of the pleat you've just folded.



    Yeh, yeh, I know....pins. I use 'em. Saves me bundles of time in the long run! Let's not get into that argument again!!! ;-)
    Last edited by Barb T; 29th June 17 at 01:15 PM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  2. #2
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    Barb, thank you for sharing this.

  3. #3
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    This certainly demonstrates the complexities and precision you add to your work. Pretty impressive. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Very helpful!
    Member of Clan MacPherson Association

  5. #5
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    Barb,

    Was this a similar issue with my kilt in the Macpherson Reproduction colours? As you are well aware, my initial choice of pleating was to the (double white) stripe; however, after pinning you had recommended (and I agreed) that I pleat to the sett due to the fact that by pleating to the double white stripes with this particular sett woven by D.C. Dalgliesh, would cause the stripes to have a highly condensed, or "jammed" appearance - especially near the waist area of the kilt where most of the red colour would virtually disappear.

  6. #6
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    Yes - exactly!
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by creagdhubh View Post
    Barb,

    Was this a similar issue with my kilt in the Macpherson Reproduction colours? As you are well aware, my initial choice of pleating was to the (double white) stripe; however, after pinning you had recommended (and I agreed) that I pleat to the sett due to the fact that by pleating to the double white stripes with this particular sett woven by D.C. Dalgliesh, would cause the stripes to have a highly condensed, or "jammed" appearance - especially near the waist area of the kilt where most of the red colour would virtually disappear.
    Could you please post a photo of the pleating to the sett on this kilt? I'm going to be working with a similar Macpherson and would like to start getting a feel for the pleating.
    Member of Clan MacPherson Association

  8. #8
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    Well, in pleating to the sett, the kilt will look just like the tartan, so, I'm not sure what a picture would actually show that would help in making a kilt. When you pleat to the sett, you try to pick up each of the tartan elements so that the back looks as much like the tartan as possible. What elements you pick up depends on the size of the pleats, and that varies with the size of the person and the amount of tartan you have. If I were making 3 kilts in the same tartan for 3 different-size people, it's very likely that the pleats in each of the kilts would pick up different elements. But the overall result would look the same - the kilt will look pretty much the same in the pleats and in the apron.

    But in any event, I didn't take a picture of the MacPherson kilt that I made for Kyle before I shipped it to him (added later - actually not true - see post below after Kyle's). If he were willing, he might post a picture so that you can see what it looks like. But the pleats will look pretty much like the front of the kilt!
    Last edited by Barb T; 26th March 13 at 05:55 AM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb T View Post
    Well, in pleating to the sett, the kilt will look just like the tartan, so, I'm not sure what a picture would actually show that would help in making a kilt. When you pleat to the sett, you try to pick up each of the tartan elements so that the back looks as much like the tartan as possible. What elements you pick up depends on the size of the pleats, and that varies with the size of the person and the amount of tartan you have. If I were making 3 kilts in the same tartan for 3 different-size people, it's very likely that the pleats in each of the kilts would pick up different elements. But the overall result would look the same - the kilt will look pretty much the same in the pleats and in the apron.

    But in any event, I didn't take a picture of the MacPherson kilt that I made for Kyle before I shipped it to him. If he were willing, he might post a picture so that you can see what it looks like. But the pleats will look pretty much like the front of the kilt!
    Quite right, Barb. I have yet to take any photos, as my intial fitting was last night (and the kilt is absolutely gorgeous and fits perfectly, Barb! Thank you again!), but I will in the next day or two and shall get them uploaded onto the forum in due course. Dani Mac: Meantime, take a look at a swatch of the said tartan below. It's the Macpherson Reproduction colours (heavyweight range) woven by D.C. Dalgliesh.



    Na bean don chat,

  10. #10
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    Kyle had originally asked to have it pleated to the double white stripe. Because the double white has an interior double dark brown and a central red, the outside edges of the white stripes are far apart - farther apart than the outside edges of the double blue in the Grant in the original post above. When I did a test pinning (below), I thought that the white stripes looked kind of crowded together without enough red on each side, so I suggested to Kyle that he consider pleating to the sett. This is always a matter of personal preference, of course!



    And it turns out that I _did_ take a pic of Kyle's kilt with my iPad before I sent it (it was such a terrible pic that I thought I'd deleted it). The pic below is low res, and the colors aren't very good, but it does clearly show that, because the kilt is pleated to the sett, the front and back look essentially the same. Kyle will post some better pics!

    Last edited by Barb T; 29th June 17 at 01:18 PM.
    Kiltmaker, piper, and geologist (one of the few, the proud, with brains for rocks....
    Member, Scottish Tartans Authority
    Geology stuff (mostly) at http://people.hamilton.edu/btewksbu
    The Art of Kiltmaking at http://theartofkiltmaking.com

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