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Decoding the secrets of caring for a pleated garment

Written by AMULYA MISRA for THE DESIGN COLLECTIVE

Pleats are a style staple that can be spotted in the wardrobes of women everywhere. While they are used to create texture and volume, they give any outfit an added touch of sophisticated fun. After all, who doesn’t love the fluid movement of a pleated piece? 

The innovation of using pleats in apparel is an ancient one. In fact, it can be traced back to the garments of queens and pharaohs in the Egyptian civilization. In the modern world, they have become synonymous with sensuality, femininity and class. 

Pleats come in many shapes, sizes and forms. From being folded evenly throughout to varying in sizes, some may be ironed and pressed to give them a crisp appearance while others might be more fluid in silhouette. With their versatile nature, it’s no surprise that they serve a purpose beyond aesthetic appeal. They allow ease of movement while simultaneously creating additional volume. 

Although pleats are one of the biggest and one of the most oldest trends in fashion, caring for them still remains a mystery. Be warned, they do require a little maintenance in order to ensure that they look crisp and new. If you’re lost on how to care for these beautiful and classic pieces, don’t worry–we’ve got your back. We have curated a simple guide to help you in the process.

Pay attention to the label 

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is ignoring the care instructions that come with the garment. Before you decide to throw your pleated item into the washer, we recommend you read the instructions to ensure it is wash-friendly. If not, as some pleats cannot be laundered at home, send it to the dry cleaners immediately. 

PS. Wash the skirt in cold water to avoid shrinkage. 

Hang it up right

The second step to ensuring your pleated garment remains as good as new is to make sure you’ve hung it up properly. After washing it, do not throw it into a dryer. Instead, hang it up from the waistline (for a skirt) or by the shoulders (for the dress) and let it air-dry. 

This method allows the garment to keep its shape and structure.

Avoid spot-cleaning 

If you happen to stain your pleated garment, it is best to avoid rubbing the fabric vigorously or for a long period of time as it may alter its texture and colour. The best solution for such a crisis is to visit the dry cleaners. 

Meticulous ironing 

While the task may seem tedious at first, trust us, this is an important step in maintaining those gorgeous pleats. You need an ironing board to do this properly. 

Depending on the material of the garment, select the appropriate iron setting. For those shimmery silks and delicate chiffon, iron at low-heat regularly to help the garment keep its shape. When dealing with fabrics such as linen and cotton, use a high setting and ensure that you press each pleat carefully. 

If you’re scared of ruining the pleats, we have a cheat sheet for you–use paper clips to hold the pleats together so that you don’t accidentally iron them wrong. Word of caution: don’t iron over the paper clips! Simply use them as guides. 

PS. Once you’ve finished ironing, don’t place the garment back into the garment. Simply hang it up for a little while and let it cool so that the pleats set properly.

Don’t own a pleated garment? Then it is time to get one! 

Whether you’re dressing up for work or preparing for a night out, pleats are a definite must-have that can be easily styled all year round. If you’re looking for some great pieces to add to your wardrobe, we have got a few suggestions.

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