Today's post on NYC talks about my visit to International Pleating and other bloggers that I met up with in NYC. My last, and final, post on NYC will cover the fabric and trim stores.
When the folks at International Pleating heard I was coming to New York, they suggested that I stop by for a visit wearing my new pleated skirt. When I asked if I could see pleating in action I was told that, no, that process is a closely guarded secret, but there's still plenty to see in their factory. I told Lisa that I needed a better reason to visit than to show off a skirt that THEY pleated and she replied, "Come to show us your skirt, stay for the company."
How could I resist a quip like that?! Besides, I wanted to ask for clarification about some of their pleating services such as mushroom and Fortuny pleating.
I actually stopped by their factory twice. The first time to meet them and chat about pleating. The second time, two days later, I dropped off a piece of fabric I bought in the garment district to have it pleated.
It was a very informative visit! I met with Lisa, who handles most of their online correspondence, and George, who runs the company. George's father, Leon, was also on deck.
Photo credit: George at International Pleating
Photo credit: Lisa at International Pleating
I very much enjoyed talking with Lisa and George! George is very passionate about pleating, so there was much to discuss, and we also had a lot in common, family-history-wise.
Lisa examined the hem on my skirt and pronounced it good. I told her that I had tried very hard to avoid a flared hem and yet it still flared slightly. She said that even hems on the purl merrow machine flare very slightly and she pulled one to show me.
After returning from NY, I wore my chiffon skirt to work where the hem had several unfortunate encounters with the wheels on my desk chair. Parts of the hem are rather torn up and I am now considering sending it back to International Pleating for a purl merrow hem (cost: $15). Lesson learned: don't wear a long chiffon circle skirt to work!
Mushroom and Fortuny Pleating
I have always thought that mushroom pleating and Fortuny pleating were, essentially, the same thing. In fact, neither of these terms have been defined officially and, in many minds, they are equivalent. But, as George put it, it's like having two recipes for Banana Bread—each recipe is different but both result in a similar treat. (I'm paraphrasing here.)
When George talks about mushroom pleating, he's talking about pleats created on a pleating machine. Fortuny pleating is done, at least at his factory, on a table using a proprietary technique. The result of both processes has a similar look and sometimes he combines both techniques. The fabric, the budget, and the desired effect, determine which techniques he uses. You can learn more in George's article, What is the difference between Fortuny pleating and mushroom pleating?
I'm eventually planning to have some mushroom pleating done, but I haven't yet identified the project. They now sell pleated fabrics on their website. You might also check out International Pleating's Etsy shop which offers some pre-pleated fabrics as well as other goodies.
P.S. Mushroom and Fortuny pleating are similar, but not the same, as Broomstick pleating, a popular craft from the 80s. If you aren't familiar with Broomstick pleating, which you can do at home, either google it, or read this excerpt from The Art of Manipulating Fabric.
A big part of my trip to NYC was meeting up with other bloggers. I've already mentioned meeting up with Carolyn, Robin, and Mary Glenn, but that was the tip of the iceberg! New York City is full of sewing bloggers!
Photo credit: Wendy B
Photo credit: Carol of makeitanywear
top row: Oonaballoona, Aspen, Grace, Claudine
bottom row: Carolyn, Robin, me, and O! Jolly
THANKS so much, Carolyn, for a wonderful evening!
Photo credit: our waiter
Photo credit: Peter Lappin
Photo credit: Peter Lappin
A few more photos from the garment district:
Photo credit: Carolyn
Three posts down and one to go. My last post on NYC will cover fabric and trim shopping.
Have a great week!