Pleating Work Placement

During this week spent at Ciment Pleating, in London, I have learnt so many new and interesting things, which will inspire me for years to come. When I arrived I had very little knowledge of the process of how to pleat, but over time I have learnt all the different methods and processes of many of the pleats they create at Ciment Pleating. This is one of the only pleating company’s left in the UK which makes me very sad because it is a beautiful art form.

The pleating process consists of two patterns made out of card or paper. The fabric is then placed in between the paper and pushed slowly together to create the pattern. It is then either tied up or rolled up depending on the chosen pattern and left in a steamer for approximately 28 minutes. After this has been completed it is then left to cool down. This cooling process is the most important because this will make the fabric stay In the shape of the pattern. Once cooled down completely the paper is then separated from the fabric and the pleat is complete.

The first pleats I learnt about was the straight pleat which is the most basic of pleats, sometimes known as a knife pleat. This consist of one being longer then the other allowing the fabric to sit flat. The next one I looked at was the accordion pleat which means the pleat has 2 sides and both be the same length. This one doesn’t sit flat or face one direction.

The majority of the time spent at Ciment Pleating I have been helping Gary create Sunray pleats which I think is one of my favourite. This is similar to an accordion pleat but is cut in a semi circle. It starts of very small and gets bigger the closer to the hem. This pleat would mostly be used for skirts.

Because I have been very focused on geometrics recently, when it came to pleating some of my own fabric. I wanted to be very creative and try some of these fancy pleats. Firstly, I tested out the chevron pleat using some of my plastics. This is a repeating triangle pattern which is really fun to play with especially using thick fabrics like my plastic. I’ve also had the chance to play around with the star pleat, basket weave pleat, herringbone pleat and tree bark pleat. So I not got lots and lots of samples to take back with me to play around with.

Considerations when thinking about pleating fabrics how big do you need the final piece of fabric because some of my samples are now much smaller then they were originally because some patterns half the size when completed. Also some of my patterns are upside down, like I really liked the back size of the basket weave because it looked really industrial so I turned my fabric around to make it different.

I’m so thankful that I have had the opportunity to complete this work placement and I must thank Irene, head of fashion at CSAD for getting me in contact with Ciment Pleating. I has really inspired me to consider creating my own fabric to pleat and create a garment with, or even just into fashion with these interesting fabrics I have been working with and create fashion garments out of them, because they would be interesting and edgy with these sorts of geometric shapes and textures.

A girl who works at Ciment Pleating called Jo, recently completed a course at De Montford university which is called Contour fashion, which teaches is a fashion course specialising in lingerie, body wear, swimwear, nightwear, corsetry, menswear and sportswear. I think something like this sounds super interesting as a whole. I am really starting to consider weather I would be able to study fashion after my textile degree.

China Video

Here’s a video documentary I have been working on over the last few days. A collection of images of my time in China during my Erasmus. Hope you enjoy it. Credits to Hongbon for the Music.

Reflection

My trip to Rajasthan has been a unique, inspirational and cultural experience. It has been like nothing I have encountered previously. Filled with exciting visual sights like patterns, colour’s and textures, as well as smells, tastes and lifestyles.  India was like nothing I have ever experienced before, and I feel so lucky to be able to have experienced this trip with my peers.

I have found a new love for hand processes, in particular dyeing and printing. I have always enjoyed tie-dyeing however I haven’t had the chance to experiment with it in such a long time so I would love to do more of it this term because I love the fun and unknown outcome. Due to the fact I spent first term of second year in China, I haven’t done any serious printing since first year, and I am excited to get back into the print lab this term. I have so many brightly coloured ideas because of all the inspiration I gained from the visually beautiful sights I have experienced this term.

Our brief was to create a short film or slide show as a response to the Rajasthan trip. I decided to create a short clip using both moving image and still imagery to showcase my new skills on I stop motion as well as my new found interest in hand printing techniques. I decided to pick a theme personal to me, and ended up choosing to look at horoscopes. I’ve always been interested in Astrology however since visiting India, I have realized that they look at horoscopes in a completely different way to how we view them in the United Kingdom. They base their Zodiac signs on their date, time and place of birth. Usually, I would be an Aquarius because I was born on the 18th of February, however according the beliefs in India I am a Capricorn. With this in mind, I created two lino prints, one using the Aquarius symbol and one using the Capricorn symbol. Following this, I created an I stop motion video of me using these lino prints to create a design with colours from some of my favorite imagery from the trip.

This trip has inspired me to take a more hands on approach to creating patterns. I will forever be inspired by the creative textures and patterns I saw in India. It is a beautiful place filled with a massive divide between the wealthy and the poor, I feel that this makes it extremely diverse and visually interesting. I want to say how thankful I am for these wonderful opportunities I have received. Its hard for me to believe that we live on the same planet with such different lifestyles.

Horoscopes

After attempting to email the guy from the sun dial museum in Jaipur and receiving no response, I went online and using a website I found out my Indian influenced star sign. Normally I am an Aquarius but according to this website, looking at my date, time and place of birth I am in fact a Capricorn. With this in mind I thought I would base my project looking at printed patterns using horoscopes as my main focus, as this project is about us and I want this video to project myself and my ideas of what interested me in India.

I spoke to my flat mates who are graphics students about the idea of creating a video for this project and after some consideration I thought a stop motion video would work really well for this project. If I attempt to create a pattern using some sort of potato or Lino print, and create a video of making the pattern.

Here are some pictures of patterns, prints and colours that have inspired me in this project:

 

 

India-Day 9

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Video

Today was my last day of actually doing things before I got ill and we travelled home. Jenna and I got up very early this morning to watch the sunrise then attend a yoga class. It was really refreshing and the sunrise was beautiful to watch. Like nothing I have ever seen before.

Afterwards I spent some time in the pool before making my last trip to the market and making my final purchases.

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India- Day 8

This morning we traveled to the ‘Fine Art School’ to study the art of miniature paintings. Before arriving I assumed we were being taught how to make the paint brushes to create the miniature paintings but when we arrived i was presently surprised. They showed us how to paint out the elephant drawings we have seen on the market stalls since we arrived. With a demonstration board and teachers coming round showing each of us the steps. First of all a teacher came round and drew an elephant on the top of the paper for us to copy. after copying it in pencil we then were given black ink and a paint brush to outline the elephant. afterwards we added colour to the elephant, I choose pink as I thought this would look cute. We added the colour around the edge then I added water in the centre making the colour fade out. after this we used the black to add lots of detail including patterns on the saddle and the face. We then decorated the outline creating the finished piece. I was overall really pleased with my drawing because I’m normally very un confident but it went much better then I thought.

Video

Afterwards one of the teachers took us to his home where he sold many of the groups work, here I bought two miniature paintings one in red and one in pink, as I thought it would be nice to frame mine next to theres, when I returned home.

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India- Day 6

Today we visited the City Palace of Udaipur where the Maharaja still lives. The palace took nearly 400 years to construct in a extravagant style. It is said to be the largest of its type in the state of Rajasthan. Build on a hill creating a beautiful panoramic view of the city, overlooking Lake Pichola. This was probably one of my favoirte places we visited because of all the amazing patterns on the ceilings, walls and windows. I was very impressed with all the different rooms having there own unique style of patterns and colour schemes. It was rather beautiful to look at. (only have limited imagery because you needed to pay to take photos in the Palace)

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