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  1. #1
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    Pleating challenges #4: simple look, complicated "insides"

    Thought I'd share a recent pleating challenge because it illustrates a bunch of points about kiltmaking, not the least of which is that what really matters is how the pleats look from the outside. The tartan is the Ancient MacNab, which is a Black Watch-based tartan with the typical ABAC blocks. The sett, as you can see below, is huge (over 12").



    One of the more common solutions for a tartan like this is to pleat to the block that occurs twice per sett, which in this case would be the narrow maroon stripe in the red. But, my customer wanted the kilt pleated to the maroon color stripe (as many of you call it, the "no stripe" - see below). On the face of it, this is a dandy solution, because the maroon stripe occurs four times/sett, so my first thought was to pleat to every other maroon stripe, e.g., pick up stripe 1 (picture above) in the first pleat, stripe 3 in the second, back to stripe 1 in the third, and so on.



    But, my client is an average-sized guy, and picking up every other maroon stripe didn't come close to putting all the tartan I had into the kilt. So, I tried laying it out by picking up every 3rd maroon stripe, and the measurements intervened. The maroon stripe is quite small across (barely 3/4"), and picking up every 3rd maroon stripe would have made for fewer, and therefore larger, pleats, and each pleat would have had to include some of the adjacent color blocks rather than being solid maroon. I could have made the kilt the first way (picking up every other maroon stripe) and simply had a bunch of tartan left over, but I decided to put all of the tartan I had into the kilt. So I picked up every third stripe for two pleats and then picked up one that was just two stripes over. Then two more at 3 stripes, and one at two stripes. This makes two deep pleats followed by one shallower pleat, repeated all the way across the kilt. In the photo below, which shows in the inside of the kilt, you can see that the fold for one of the shallower pleats is actually hidden behind the fold of the adjacent deep pleat.



    The results in terms of how the kilt looks and feels from the outside is perfectly normal, and the kilt swings just fine. Actually it swings better than it would have if I hadn't used all the tartan, because kilt swing is a function of mass (and proportion of fell, too). Because I picked up stripes in different parts of the tartan, the hidden part that shows when the pleats open is different from pleat to pleat (as it is in pleating to the sett), but, because of the repetition of 3-3-2, the colors in the hidden part also repeat:



    Anyway, thought this might be interesting.
    Last edited by Barb T; 29th June 17 at 01:28 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
    Join Date
    3rd January 06
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    After working on just my own kilts I sometimes get the feeling that the fabric holds a way to make the kilt it wants to be - like the sculptor's belief that the statue is already within the stone.

    That's a nice kilt.

    Anne the Pleater :ootd:

  3. #3
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    Barb: I'm not a seamster, let alone a kilt maker, but I understand some of the basic ideas. It appears you devised a clever solution that optimized the constraints, and resulted in a more elegant and interesting pleating pattern. Good for you. Some kilt wearer is going to be very happy. Maybe you should label the technique the "Tewksbury 3-3-2".

    John
    I changed my signature. The old one was too ridiculous.

  4. #4
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    18th October 09
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    The result is lovely!

    Seems that it might also have been possible to pleat to the green block, which would mean alternate pleats offset a tad. Seems that the green blocks are a tad wider than the fuschia blocks too.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  5. #5
    Join Date
    30th November 04
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    I tried the green block, but it's doesn't produce as appealing a kilt back (at least to my eyes!).
    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

  6. #6
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    I'm so new to the art and mechanics of "building" a kilt. I appreciate all your posts and even more, I appreciate the eye you have. It's wonderful. Thank you.

  7. #7
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    Wow. Just wow. As soon as I stop losing weight and get the last kid out of college I'll be sending you a deposit.

    Neat stuff. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Wow. Just wow. As soon as I stop losing weight and get the last kid out of college I'll be sending you a deposit.

    Neat stuff. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Pure genius. Thank you for sharing this insight, Barb.

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