The History of Pleat Production (Plissee)

Pleats are far older than expected by most of the people. Already in ancient Egypt textiles were pleated for decorating dresses of the rulers. Since a permanent pleating of natural fibers was very complicated and only possible while using expensive aids, they stayed more or less a luxury until the invention of synthetic fabrics.

Numerous portrait paintings from the history of mankind give evidence of this rather royal fashion. The famous pleat collar of Mary Stuart and plenty of other medieval celebrities are true masterpieces of the textile handicrafts at this time. Also less filigree pleated clothes such as the Scottish kilts or the traditional fustanella of the Greek freedom fighters can sometimes be seen at special events even nowadays.

More and more, pleating machines replaced the hard manual production and thereby made the pretty pleats available to a larger group of population. During the time of industrialization the advantages of pleated materials were discovered as well, that is why other materials were pleated, too. For example rubber as a protective cover for movable machine parts, such as joints or springs, cardboard or paper as filters, packing material or Roman blinds and later wire for the manufacture of medical instruments. (Faltrollos)

The real boom, however, pleats experienced with the production of synthetic textiles, since they have a better durability and strength and do not take up their original shape again such as natural fabrics do under the influence of warmth or humidity. Not only fashion designers benefited from this, but also the producers of room textiles in the field of sun protection.

The pleat structure enables a textile surface to be pushed together or apart comparable to a blind which makes them an interesting alternative to roller blinds. Tailored exactly to the shape of the window and equipped with a complex system of tension lines, they can be fixed to any kind of glass surface, no matter if rectangular, sloping, pointed or circular. (Rollos).

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