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Towards the conservation of artisan pleating in Australia: recapturing the art of folding in partnership with Global Pleating and Specialty Pleaters

Fellow: 

Avril Buchanan

Fellowship Partner/Sponsor:

The George Alexander Foundation

Industry:

Fashion

Country:

Egypt

Fellowship Year:

2024

Synopsis

For millennia, pleating has influenced innovative fashion and textile design concepts through the manipulation of materials, surfaces, form and function. The simple and predictable motion of folding can be arranged in great variety and complexity, materialising artistic expressions through motion and tactility. In the context of Australian fashion design, artisan pleating refers more commonly to the adaptation of origami designs, cardboard moulds and heat setting processes which shape fabric into a series of folds. The decline of textile manufacturing sectors in more recent decades has left all but three pleat workshops across the country, posing the very real possibility that the practice will disappear entirely within a number of years. This report will recount a year long exchange program with a well renowned pleating studio in Egypt, discussing the potential of translating these skills to suit Australian education and conservation programs. In the process, it attempts to reframe the craft as a whole and its place in contemporary design cultures.

Towards the conservation of artisan pleating in Australia: recapturing the art of folding in partnership with Global Pleating and Specialty Pleaters
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