Already in ancient Egypt textiles were pleated. Plisse style pleats were even found in Viking graves in Sweden as far back as 10 B.C. In 1907 Mariano Fortuny, mastermind of the pleated fabric, developed an innovative pleating process for silks. The famous ‘Delphos Gown’ was a finely pleated silk dress and wasn’t corseted. The silhouette resembles the lines of an ancient chiton. He reinvented rather than replicated a Hellenic Style.
Permanent pleating of natural fibers was very complicated until the invention of synthetic fabrics.
Knife, Box, Accordion, Honeycomb, Rolled, Inverted, the variety and fantasy is endless. Due to unique creation and technique we are able today to enjoy a huge variety of pleats. Pleats are being used more and more by designers as a structure element.
See below the pictures of LOGNON, one of the last pleat makers in Paris. Today, five people work at Logon l’indéplissable (in another time up to sixty people worked there simultaneously) delicately folding the cloths for haute couture, cinema and opera costumes, lawyer’s gowns and for some fortunate individuals. The material is first placed between two kraft paper moulds (some of which are more than a century old), they are then put in a vapour oven during one hour ; the material is finally removed from its mould, delicately so as not to damage the patterns, which are sometimes very sophisticated.
The high quality of the pleats has allowed the Lognon workshop to continue through the ages and is still delivering pleats in the form of suns or poetic “bouquets of flowers” as well as the famous pleated silk squares for Hermès.