How to Clean Pleated Clothing
Besides the obvious places, like pleated skirts and tuxedo shirts, soft versions are showing up in ruched tops and draped dresses.
There are two kinds of pleats: Heat-set pleats, like those on an accordion-pleated dress (shown) and the origami-like folds of starburst pleats, hold their shape thanks to a heat process. Stitched-in pleats, such as those on a knife-pleated skirt or on anything ruched or draped, are sewn into place. Not sure how to tell which is which? “Lightly spray water on a small area,” says John Mahdessian of Madame Paulette. “The pleat will loosen if it is heat set.”
- Heat-set pleats: Dry-clean these garments to preserve the crispness of the pleats.
- Stitched-in pleats: These won’t lose their shape when wet, so you can usually machine wash them on a gentle cycle.