How to Pleat Tulle

An extremely thin and absolute see-through netting material, tulle is most often employed for ballerina tutus, wedding dresses and wedding veils. Tulle, which may be reached from rayon, cotton or cotton, is commonly used as an accent fabric on clothes or as decoration because of its soft, floating features. If you want to pleat tulle, take a little extra care with the fabric, as it may be a bit unwieldy to utilize.

Start with the knife pleat, as it is the simplest pleat to make. When you’ve mastered making knife pleats — particularly in tulle — try your hand at more complex pleats with dual folds, such as box pleats and inverted box pleats.

Cut the fabric to the length you’ll need by first determining the size of the pleats. Pleats are utilized to make uniform folds at the peak of the fabric, which are then sewn in place. Tulle is often pleated for ballerina tutus to give them fullness. The pleats may be any size you want, however, for consistency, make each pleat exactly the same width. Each pleat requires three times its breadth in fabric to make. As an example, a 1-inch pleat needs at least 3 inches of fabric, so triple the quantity of fabric required for the sewing project in mind.

Place the grid on a level surface. Lay the tulle lengthwise across it. Some of the tulle may drape the other side, which is acceptable, as you may pull it up since you pleat. Enjoy your sewing pins handy. On other fabrics, you normally mark the pleat line near the peak of the fabric, but tulle is too difficult to mark. As long as you produce the fold atop the grid’s conspicuous lines based on your own pleat’s width width, and pin it in position, your pleats should be uniform.

Catch a approximate 5/8-inch seam allowance — or greater if desired. Fold the tulle at the very first inch mark, together with the folded edge away from you, and transfer it all the way to the next inch mark. Insert a pin in through the 3 layers of tulle at the middle of the pleat to hold the pleat in place. For the next pleat, fold the fabric on the next inch mark; at the 4-inch mark, transfer it to the 6-inch mark, and pin in position as you did to your very first pleat. Repeat this procedure across the length of the tulle.

Check your pleats for uniformity and adapt as required. If you choose to make 2-inch pleats, do not forget that you will require 6 inches of material for a single pleat. If your pleats are uniform, you’re ready to sew.

Sew the pleats in place. Hand-stitch that the pleats with a basting stitch to keep the pleats aligned when you sew them together with the machine. Remove the pins after hand sewing. Feed the tulle via the sewing machine away from you and machine-stitch over the hand-basted sewing. Align the top edge of the tulle against one of the marked lines on the plate under the needle to darken a stitch across the top of the pleat. Sew the pleats slightly less than the typical 5/8-seam allowance line, since you don’t want this stitching to show after it is sewn to the waistband. Eliminate any remaining pins as you sew.