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Fixing accordion pleats?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Theda_Bara, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Theda_Bara

    Theda_Bara Registered Guest

    I have a few chiffon pieces where parts of the accordion pleating is starting to "fall out." I'm not sure how to fix this? Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Thanks!
  2. Theda, it all depends on the type of chiffon - is it rayon, nylon polyester or silk?

    Most of the accordian pleats that I have are nylon petticoats from the '50s. The "memory" of pleats is applied to the fabric through a heat process and I've found that only synthetic fabrics like polyester will efffectively retain the pleats over time - if your pleats are falling out, it's likely that it's not polyester and so you've probably lost them, unless the fabric is repleated (you'll need a pleating factory for this).

    If it's a skirt or something larger than the tiny lingerie pleats, you can probably iron the pleats in but they will fall out.

  3. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member


    There is an old fashioned way to set pleats, using vinegar and water solution. It does not leave a vinegar smell and really works! This also takes out impossible wrinkles on fabrics, including silk. I will see if I can find the exact formula.

  4. bycin

    bycin Guest

    VERY helpful! Looking forward to Rue's formula too!

    I found an old guy in this dry cleaners here in town who presses all pleats like he made 'em himself. It's a gift.
  5. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member


    Here is the formula...I have not personally tried this but I know several ladies who have had great success. Try a tiny area for a test first. Good luck!

    Did you know? You can put creases into fabric with vinegar, and you take them out with vinegar, too.

    1) Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar to 9 parts water . . . in other words, in a good-sized spray bottle pour 1/4 cup white vinegar, then add 2-1/4 cups tap water.
    2) Make a pressing cloth from white or off-white, medium-weight, plain-weave fabric (such as poplin). Because you are dealing with a long cut of (probably) wide fabric, cut your pressing cloth so that it is the width of your fabric (folded in half) and the depth of your ironing board.
    3) Lay your folded fabric on the board. On a separate surface, spray the entire pressing cloth with vinegar solution -- don't soak it, but make sure that dampness is uniform over the entire surface. Now lay the pressing cloth over the fabric (but not on the fold because you don't want to press a crease into the fold!), and press over the whole until all dampness has been steamed out of the pressing cloth. You can use as high a heat as you like because the iron is in contact with the cotton pressing cloth only.
    4) Allow a minute for the steam to dissipate and the fabric to cool a bit, then peel off the pressing cloth, and voila! -- dress fabric that is smooth as a baby's bottom (though you may have to repeat the process on the folded-under half of the fabric).
    5) Continue laying, spraying, and ironing the entire length of the cut (and on the reverse side if necessary). Finally, lay the center, un-ironed portion of the fabric along the length of the board and de-wrinkle it as well.
    This probably won't restore the original luster of your fabric, but it will remove all of those undesirable crinkles. And no, your fabric will NOT smell like a tossed salad.
    And yes, you CAN iron water & vinegar onto silk and it will not spot -- test a small sample first to reassure yourself, I've done this successfully with silk taffeta, making yards & yards of knife pleats. Using a pressing cloth further ensures that no waterdrop marks can form because there were no drops.

    I got this tip from a fellow costumer at costume college.....!!:embaressed:
    vgirl likes this.
  6. Theda_Bara

    Theda_Bara Registered Guest

    Thank you, Rue! I'll give it a try and let you know how it works!
  7. vintagebaby

    vintagebaby Registered Guest

    Wow thats so cool. I didnt know that. Thanks for the tip!
  8. Great tip!!

    I used to work at a dry cleaner and had to iron in the pleating. It was a time consuming process and I was always sighing when I'd see a pleating item come in.

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