Friday, November 16, 2012

A Stack of Pretty Plisse

I love vintage plisse!  Plisse is a lightweight fabric with puckered texture. Although its similar to seersucker, the process for creating the puckers is completely different.  For seersucker, the texture is created by a slack-tension weaving process where alternating stripes of tight and bunched warp threads create a permanent crinkle texture.
 Plisse's bumpy texture is made by applying a chemical (sodium hydroxide) to parts of the fabric causing those areas to shrink and the untouched portions to pucker.  Its usually not necessary to iron plisse, (which is one of its many attributes) but should you feel the need, take care not to press hard or stretch the fabric, since you could flatten out the crinkles.  I've found that lightly steaming does the trick.

Often times the chemical is applied in a striped pattern to mimic seersucker, but others are done in a stippled pattern.

And the prints on the vintage stuff are utterly charming! Look at those sweet little birds. :)

My vintage catalogs often show these fabrics for use in summer dresses, children's wear, and baby accessories. So, I guess I probably should have written this post back at the beginning of summer. lol
Oh well, the recent purchase of a lovely 4 yard piece and the fact that its frosty outside and I'm already missing warm weather made me want to gather them for a photo shoot. :)
I suppose I should pull out some of my winter fabrics for the next post...corduroy and barkcloth, maybe?
Have a great weekend everyone!


Glenna @ Hollyhock Quilts said...

These are GORGEOUS!! I have some, but always thought they were seersucker. I really should learn more about fabric, I guess! Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie said...

How interesting, and the chemical treatment to make the "pucker" obviously doesn't damage the fabric. Loving that sweet birdie print. I learn something from you each time I visit. Yes please...corduroy and barkcloth next.

Nanette Merrill said...

I didn't know it was called that or how it was made. thanks! I have a robe my mother made me when I was in my 20s. It was to take to the hospital when I had babies. I still have it because I can't part with it and I don't have many things left that my mother made for me.

Kathy said...

The birdies are to die for!

My Casa Bella said...

Beautiful! I love corduroy, I made purses out of that fabric and they sold quickly, I should of kept one for my self....:(
My Casa Bella

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Valerie said...

Kimberly, I find your plisse to be ever so pleasing! What perfectly wonderful vintage fabric!