Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a single- pleated tutu skirt and one that has been double hand-pleated? Not being super-knowledgeable about the methods used in hand pleating tutu skirts has left me with a few questions.
The internet offers very little information about the differences in construction regarding double pleating. Good example photographs were also very scarce. I decided to go ahead and check in with Costume Creations to find out more about these two different pleating methods.
Standard Hand Pleating
A standard single-pleat consists of fabric, or in this case tulle, being tucked and folded once at regular intervals around the circumference of the tutu skirt. Single-pleated tutu skirts have less weight to hold them down. Although single pleating can be used successfully, it takes great skill to pleat the tulle at the correct depth. Single pleating on tulle can produce thin and droopy skirt edges when the tulle fans out.
Single hand-pleated tutu skirts tend to bunch up at the top layer which is another reason that many dancers and designers prefer double-pleated tutus.
There are some ballet costume designers who skip pleating altogether and only gather the tulle. Tulle that is gathered actually has more body and weight than the single-pleat method.
Double Hand Pleating
Double hand-pleating a tutu skirt involves folding the tulle over twice at each pleat interval around the skirt. The depths of each individual pleat are determined by the designer according to the needs of the dancer.
Why Is One Pleating Style Chosen Over Another?