I just got a nice email from a Carol Soderlund student who asked about my homemade pleater. Since this post has been languishing since 2013, now is a good time to dust it off! Here are links to my two videos showing the pleater in use: Loading the Pleater and Removing Fabric from the Pleater.
When I posted earlier about the Tale of Two Uglies, I showed a picture of green fabric in a pleater that I use. A couple of people have asked me how I made it, so here are some pictures.
The first picture shows an overall view with a yardstick for scale.The second picture shows a closer look at the back side.Here’s a close-up of the front. The red line is the center from end to end, the lighter blue lines are on either side of the center slot. That helps me start my fabric in the middle of the pleater if I choose, and, if I want to help keep it square, I can put a crease down the center of the fabric and try to keep it in line with the red mark as I pleat.The last picture shows an end view with the slats spread open.The wood I used was actually dollhouse siding, and hubby donated it because he was never likely to use it for anything. Any wood, including light (1/4”) plywood would work fine. You’d need to sand it well to smooth it. If you used plywood, it could be cut from a 4’ width of material.
The fabric I used for the back was canvas or a heavy denim. Again, it was what I had laying around, and it was old and 36” wide. I then glued and stapled it to the slats. The staples are in the bottom of the face of the board, rather than trying to staple into the skinny edge. The glue I used was probably Elmer’s, and I would change that to a silicone or some kind of rubbery adhesive. White glue dries too stiff.
When I use it, I push the fabric down into the slots with a plastic drywall spatula. A credit card or other flat squeegee tool would work.
PS – if you haven’t, and want to, please sign up for the DippyDyes mailing list.