Project 6 – Stage 4 Folding, Pleating, Tucking and Weaving Fabric

I took this two coloured fabric to see what effect I could achieve by folding (or pleating) in reverse directions along the colour change.

I then did the same job with another striped fabric.  This particular cotton was fabulous to try because of the colour positioning.  They are arranged so that each complementary set are separated by two other sections. As this type of manipulation involves concealing two sections as it is folded, it ends up with the complementary colours seated next to each other.  I love that the blue and orange peek through the centre twist.  I ‘permanently borrowed’ this piece of fabric  from the stash of a friend so didn’t have a lot to play with but I can imagine it with the reverse pleating repeated over a larger width showing it continually reversing.   Sounds like a job for my new Photoshop skills to try out.

This pleated piece was done using cotton overprinted with gold foil in small areas.  It was more challenging than I thought and I’m not confident of the durability of it – especially the squashing in the post when I send the assignment off.

I have used a 1/2″ pleater and adhered the finished piece to a fusible backing, keeping the pleats standing upright.  If I were to use this in a piece of work I would be tempted to put tiny stitches on the lower edges of each pleat to ensure they didn’t lose their shape.  I love the effect but it would require more work to use it effectively.

This fabric is a high sheen polyester sateen.  Short machine stitched rows have been done, the width of the machine foot, in multiple directions.  Because the sateen is very springy the folds sit up well and give a soft undulating feel to the piece.

The folds could be done in pre-designed directions to give a very different look.  Many slightly curvy lines widening out in a similar direction could give the effect of a peacock tail.  Or perhaps vertical and horizontal lines forming a grid would create box like shapes in which I could nestle my Milk Tray chocolates.  Sorry, you’ve got to have seen the 1970s UK adverts for Cadbury Milk Tray to understand.  All involved the rich purple box of chocolates being delivered to the unknown lady by a daredevil hero in the dead of night who had to battle untold dangers to achieve his mission.  A sort of mini James Bond film really.  It’s the purple that does it.

This furnishing fabric has an interesting surface.  The beige canvas part and the velvet red and orange stripes.

I stitched down the side of the stripes, making the width of the canvas part into the tuck, and then inserted some thick silk yarn.  Knots were tied at the ends to hold it in place.  This has enabled the tucks to remain standing up quite stiffly instead of falling to the side.  I’m itching to stitch some fancy hand work over these ridges.

I wanted to try a bit of fabric weaving and, using a book written totally in Japanese, I took some bias turned fabric strips and started the process. Oh boy, was that a challenge.  The template was in black and white, the writing was out of my reach, the pictures seemed to stop short of actual instruction and my eyes continually succumbed to the optical illusion of this triaxial ribbon weaving technique.  Anyway, not one to shy away from a challenge, I persevered until I ran out of strips.  It looks, from the picture, like a tiny sample but I hope the general idea of the effect that can be achieved can be seen.  Depending on how many colours you use and how those colours are laid out various shapes can be achieved.  I was aiming for stars, and I can see them on the actual piece, but here in the photo I see tumbling boxes.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
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4 Responses to Project 6 – Stage 4 Folding, Pleating, Tucking and Weaving Fabric

  1. Lovely samples Claire and I definitely saw stars on my first view of the Japanese weaving piece! The colours glow beautifully too.

  2. George says:

    That is a very cool effect Claire.

    • Claire B says:

      Thanks George. My next pieces are a little different, I am currently working on multiple tucks of different types on a single piece of fabric.

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