Pleated skirts come in large and small sections of fabric. Depending on the style and weight of the garment, this option is perfect for a sophisticated night out or a lively day with friends in the city.
Though pleated skirts themselves are versatile, they certainly are not the easiest wardrobe pieces to care for. You can’t simply fold these items away or haphazardly hang them in a closet and expect them to keep their shape.
This difficulty is because of the way pleats are made. Fabric is first tightly rolled between two pieces of cardboard and then placed into a steamer. Wear after wear, the material will maintain this pleated shape dramatically changes due to wrinkling, improper ironing, or physical damage. For instance, some pleated skirts must skip the washing machine because the pleating will reheat and lose shape.
The unique shape of a pleated skirt is more complex than other garments to care for. At the same time, it is more challenging to repair improperly-cared-for skirts precisely because of the repair issues surrounding cleats.
How can you make sure your treasured pleated skirts look and remain polished? Follow our five tips on how to ace ongoing maintenance.
You may have noticed that pleats can fall out of certain materials, like silk, if you sit on them for long periods of time or wear them in moisture-heavy places. These occurrences are because many natural fabrics change and lose their shape quickly.
If you want a pleated skirt that requires less maintenance, we suggest choosing one in a wrinkle-resistant fabric or even a synthetic material like polyester. Then, use a starch spray to keep the pleats in place as you move throughout your day.
The only problem with synthetic fabrics is that you can’t always iron them. Be sure to read the label first before ironing a pleated skirt in a non-natural fabric.
Ironing is perhaps more treacherous on a pleated skirt than on any other type of garment. This challenge is because improper ironing can actually remove said pleats from your skirt – and you won’t be able to get them back!
To iron properly, first choose the lowest setting possible on the iron, and if your iron has steam, turn that on, as well. Next, make sure that you’re following the direction of the original pleat and pushing the top layer of fabric diligently into the material. If you’re concerned your iron is too big for this task, you may consider using a flat iron instead, as the small surface does fit into many pleat styles.
If you have the kind of pleats that overlap (called a knife pleat), you may want to use the paperclip method. The approach is simple. Take a paperclip and fasten one to each pleat before ironing. This step ensures you don’t iron the garment in the wrong direction.
Of course, there are certain types of pleats that you can’t iron, including accordion pleats.
After ironing, hang your pleated skirt by its waistband in your closet. You may be tempted to fold your pleated skirt, but this will wrinkle it. Find a hanger with clips that don’t dent the fabric, especially if you want to tuck a blouse into your skirt. What’s more, hang the skirt carefully, so each pleat falls into the shape it takes when you wear it.
After you have ironed your pleated skirt, ignore the impulse to put it into your closet. Instead, leave it on your drying rack, or somewhere it has room to breathe. The pleats will only reset appropriately if they have room to cool.
There are many garments you can safely use spot cleaners before washing them, but pleated skirts are not one of them. For one, spot cleaners often change the color and texture of garments, so they’re not recommended for sophisticated clothes like these. What’s more, you can’t always wash your pleated skirt, rendering the spot cleaner useless.
Your best bet is the dry cleaners if you’ve spilled on your skirt. Not only can they remove the spill, but they can also restore your pleats, so you don’t have to waste time ironing.
Just remember to remove your pleated skirt from the dry cleaner’s bag and hang it on a proper hanger. Dry cleaners often use metal hangers that can damage the shape of the skirt. Leaving clothing too long in plastic bags can discolor them, too.
One of the most critical factors in caring for your pleated skirt is making sure that it is hung properly. If you try to pin your pleated skirt onto a plastic hanger, it is likely to fray or tear where the sharp pin has gone through the fabric. Other types of hangers are slippery, and we’ve seen what happens to classy, sophisticated pleats on a skirt that sit in a pile on the floor.
That’s why Butler Luxury’s Women’s Skirt Hangers are so necessary for proper storage of your pleated skirts. Our rectangular skirt hangers have sturdy metal clips that adhere to waistbands without denting or marking. The wooden part of the hanger is sturdy enough that it won’t bend, no matter how heavy the fabric of your skirt. What’s more, you can pick the style that best fits your closet.We also know that many women’s suits come with pleated skirts. If you’d like to keep your suit together, you can keep your skirt and suit jacket or blazer together on one hanger with our Women’s Suit Hangers.
Ready to buy a new suit? This guide offers an overview of common suit fabrics, reasons to choose that fabric, and care recommendations for each material.