Since I took so many pictures, I will be splitting this into a two-part series on pleaters and pleating. Hopefully it will answer a lot of questions that anyone might have about pleaters and pleating.
This is my Sally Stanley Pleater on a
Pleating Thread Box
The box is hinged and holds 24 spools of thread, altho I currently have only 18 - I wanted you to see the dowel that the spools ride on. The ends of the thread slide between 2 pieces of velcro tape. I use quilting thread in my pleater, as the thread is stronger and won't break when pulling it thru the pleats. I also try to use lights and darks in colors - the white I use for holding rows and black is used on light fabrics and yellow on darker fabrics. Sometimes I alternate yellow and black on items pleated with many rows.
This is what the pleater needles look like. They are "S" shaped at the pointed end, which allows them to ride between the pleater rollers.
The far right side of the pleater has a hand crank - this is how you crank the fabric thru the pleater to get your pleats.
Either end of the pleater has a screw, which allows for removal of a pleating roller so that needles can be inserted.
Once both screws are loosened, the little metal holder can be moved out of the way so that the pleater roller can be removed.
Once the pleating roller is removed, you can see how the needles are set within the other pleating rollers.
On my Sally Stanley, there are grooves to place needles for 1/2-space rows if desired. I don't usually pleat 1/2 rows, but they are very helpful especially for those learning to smock or for smocking doll or preemie clothes.
Each needle is carefully placed into the grooves, then the pleating roller is put back in place and tighten down the screws to hold in place. You want to make sure not to tighten the screws too hard, or the roller will be hard to move - if it's too loose the screws tend to make the roller push outward, which will make needles bend or break.
Once the pleating roller is in, you will thread the needles from the top and thru the eye.
Next Sewing Journal entry will be on prepping fabric and pleating. I hope you enjoyed the anatomy of the pleater. As always, if you have any questions, just leave a comment here and I will do my best to answer!