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Is Silk Pleating Permanent?

Yes yes yes yes yes…did I mention yes!

This question makes my father’s blood boil! Every time I say “Dad, someone is asking if silk pleating is permanent?” His response is an emphatic “You must be kidding me. Yes! Look at the silk dresses made by Mariano Fortuny, pleated over 100 years ago. You have to know how to pleat silk.”

Allow me to expand my father’s viewpoint.  First off, let’s look at the meaning of permanent. The word implies ‘a state that remains unchanged forever’ but as we all know, nothing in this world maintains the same condition forever. When we use the word permanent it usually has a relative meaning.

Let’s compare the state of permanent to a domicile.  Imagine a beautiful ocean front home and a fall out shelter. They are both permanent structures but a home on the ocean is more fragile, susceptible to a tremendous amount of erosion and even eradication under severe circumstances. Yet a beach home will always be rebuild and maintained regardless of the cost. Why? Because it is beautiful . A bunker compared to a beach house, will last forever: but who wants to live in a bunker?

Similarly, when comparing a silk to polyester, regardless if it’s an evening gown, home furnishings or baby bedding, you need to ask yourself what kind of a person are you: Are you a practical bunker loving type… or a romantic that prefers to live on the beach wearing a silk pleated dress blowing in the ocean breeze?

silk organza side pleating, ivory and pink silk plisse, plisse contractor

Above: Silk organza side pleat.

 

Silk pleating has gotten a bad reputation because of silk’s delicate nature and because silk pleating requires a different handling. Unfortunately, most of the factories that pleat have “labor” that do not really know anything other than the mechanical operation of pleating. They don’t understand how textiles are woven or how they are finished. My father started weaving and dyeing silks as a young boy and has developed his own techniques to “fix” fabrics.

old textile machinery, international pleating, weaving fabric

Above: My father Leon (Front) as a teenager. Preparing yarn for weaving machines.

 

Does silk last as long as polyester under duress? No. Is silk permanently pleatable? Yes. I have silk fabric that has been pleated 25 years ago. I would say that 25 years is permanent. Will that pleating last in a hurricane? No, but neither does a beach home and that doesn’t stop people from replacing the house. Nor will people stop making pleated gowns. Silk looks beautiful, feels incredible on the body and moves as fluid as the water.

So what type of person are you? Romantic or practical…we don’t mind either way.  Silk or polyester, we will pleat your fabric for you :-)

 

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6 Responses to Is Silk Pleating Permanent?

  1. La La May 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Hi!!!!!! Awesome article! :D
    - LARA!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Luwa May 29, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    Thank you for writing this article, very helpful! Could you share a very tips that help fix silk and what chemical processes are required? I’m really having a tough time convincing the factory. Appreciate!

    • admin May 31, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      Sorry Luwa…Our process with silk is our family secret. I can’t share that :-)

  3. Nou Yang March 18, 2013 at 3:34 am #

    Hello,

    I am interested in making my own pleated silk wedding skirt, integrated with multi-colored ribbons like this skirt shown here: http://www.wantchinatimes.com/photo-album-cnt.aspx?id=20101110000057&aid=20101117000061&cid=1401. However, I don’t want to have to stitch and pleat the silk by myself. Would you happen to know a local pleating factories in Minnesota or can your family company accommodate my request?

    Thank you for reading my request.

    Nou Ka Yang

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