Various types of pleating and gathering

A few questions came up about cartridge pleating and gathering came up on a forum. So I put together a few visual examples of pleats and gathers I’ve used.

All links and photos open in a new window.

The iconic look of cartridge pleating is two to three rows of even gathering stitches pulled up to create an almost stiff shelf of fabric. The top of the pleats are then sewn to the bottom of waistband of bodice edge. The bottom of the pleats then hang down inside, and when worn butt up against the body to stand out.

I have yet to make anything that requires more then one of two rows of gathering threads, thus most of the skirts I’ve used it on have a softer look.

The Renaissance Tailor-How to Cartridge Pleat.

The Elizabethan Costume Page-Renaissance Pleating


An unlined 3 yard skirt gathered and sewn to the bodice
A lined wool skirt with small gores, somewhere between very small cartridge pleats and gathering
An unlined gored skirt, one narrow line of cartridge pleats
A lined velvet skirt with huge cartridge pleats in the back

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