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  • In-between pleats: Pleats, pleating and 'pliable logic'

Huang, Tsai-Chun, 2020, Thesis, In-between pleats: Pleats, pleating and 'pliable logic' PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

In-Between Pleats is a research project constituted by a series of case studies, historical research, a short intensive pleating apprenticeship, and live performances. The research objective emerged through the exploratory making of pleats. It is to create new thinking about pleats by examining the dynamics of handmade and digital technology, and the potential of those pleats on the body and movement, interrogating three research questions: ‘What is a pleat?’, ‘What is in a pleat?’, ‘What do pleats do?’.

Pleating is a type of fabric manipulation and so this research refers to ‘textile thinking’ for analytical thinking. The research starts with an understanding of pleating history and techniques. A selection of materials, including cotton, silk, and synthetic fibres, are tested, recognising that the quality of pleats and pleating is directly affected by the specific fibre and forming structure. It is these differences that offer a range of perspectives to this study. These explorations, led by textile thinking, help to anchor my practice among other practitioners, and position this study in the research context.

The experiments to reproduce Mariano Fortuny and Issey Miyake pleats establish a fundamental understanding of pleating techniques, which form the first layer of analysis for this study, and lead to a methodology for the next layer of research. I propose a new methodology: ‘pliable logic’, derived from my making and thinking, evolving from Pennina Barnett’s ‘soft logic’, Sarat Maharaj’s ‘think-speak-write’, and Gilles Deleuze’s concept of ‘plica ex plica’, to interrogate and revisit the research questions.

A new pleating method – fabric mould – is originated from my research into materials and techniques; new types of pleats emerge from the application of 3D printing technology. Using these newly produced pleats in live performances, a space to rethink the relationship between garments, textiles, body and movement, offered new perspectives of what pleats and pleating are. Pliable logic provides innovation for both the creation and interpretation of pleats and pleating, through an oscillation between making and theory.

The research proposes a new taxonomy of pleats based on my making experiences. A speculative proposition of what future pleats will look like and be made of, builds a perspective that reinvigorates the way in which pleats and pleating are perceived.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W230 Clothing/Fashion Design
Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W230 Clothing/Fashion Design > W231 Textile Design
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2020 09:28
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2020 09:28
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4351
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