Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Accordion Pleats

Accordion pleats are a type of fine, narrow, regular pleating created by sewing or pressing minute darts into the fabric of dresses and skirts, usually from the waistband towards the hem. Accordion pleating was used in the construction of ball gowns during the late 19th century. By the turn of the century it was an integral part of many styles and became especially popular during the 1920s and 1950s.


mister anchovy said...

that's cheating, pure and simple, Minx.

Candy Minx said...

Hey...I thought it was fair because the pleats were a result, (Or it seems so in some accounts) as being a response to the popularity of the instrument!

Check it out:

"Considering the dates that the earliest types of accordion were invented, one would not expect accordions to be mentioned in any early colonial literature of New Zealand, especially since New Zealand is half way around the world from the centres of accordion development. However a reference does exist in the journal of Edward Jerningham Wakefield, one of the earliest English colonists, and his entry from the 24th of September 1839 contains an amusing reference to his use of an accordion:

"One named Te Kaeaea diverted us much by.....bringing a long pointed wooden spear within inches of our bodies; then retreating with a roar of laughter every time he saw us shrink from the thrust.... I repaid him his surprise the first day that he came on board. I had got an accordion under a large cloak, and kept time to its notes with my mouth, so as to deceive him and twenty other natives into the idea that I was uttering the various sounds. They showed a profound respect for my oratorical talents, until I let them find out the trick, a day or two afterward. The accordion in question was called my mouth for a long time afterwards".

It seems that New Zealand's Maori inhabitants were not slow to perceive the potential of the accordion for by 1901 they were using it to accompany their own songs. Author Guy Scholefield writing of events around the turn of the century, remarked that instruments like the accordion and mouth organ were used as accompaniments to Maori dances during the 1901 Royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, and were also used to entertain the Prince of Wales during his 1920 visit.

During the 1920's, advertisements for "accordion pleated skirts," appeared in newspapers. One factory even called itself the Accordion Pleating Company, a fact which indicates that accordions were sufficiently known and popular, for a manufacturer to consider it worthwhile associating his name and product with the instrument. However it appears that the most significant increase in accordion use and popularity occurred later in the 1930 decade, to be eclipsed again in the 1950 decade and continue in many respects to this day."




Gardenia said...

LOL! Don't know about playing the pleats, but what beautiful designs!