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Old 10-20-2010, 11:28 AM
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Getting that "loose wrinkled" Look?

While walking down the street, I took a look inside a parked car at the leather interior. It reminded me of something that I've been wondering about for some time. The seams between the panels all have a wrinkled/gathered/loose look to them. Since I don't know the proper terminology, I refer to it as all three. I would have taken a photo but this in New York City.............need I say more?

My question is - how is this look achieved? I also remember seeing it on some luxoboats from the '70's and 80's as well.

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Old 10-20-2010, 12:04 PM
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Making wrinkles that look like that is called "shirring", which is just another word for gathering or wrinkling. You will generally find square or rectangular sections that are done this way as an accent, but it can be done on almost any shape panel. The way it is done is to add extra fabric and then compensate for the extra fabric by sewing in small pleats, or sewing in elastic. If you sew in elastic, you have to then sew the shirred section to something that won't stretch.
For example, say you have an insert in a seat that is 16" wide and you want it to look shirred. Add an extra 2 to 3" of width to the fabric, sew a piece of elastic about 14" long to the top and bottom edges, and then sew something like twill tape 16" long to the part with the elastic, making sure to stretch the piece out to it's proper width of 16". Then just make the insert like you would if it was flat.
In the factories, they have special shirring machines that sew and gather the edges at the same time. The machine can be set to gather a certain amount every time. For example, the machine can be set to gather and sew 24" of fabric so that it finishes 21" in length every time. If you ran the top and bottom of the piece of fabric through the machine, it would gather the whole piece from 24" down to 21". Don't think that there is a foot for your sewing machine that will do this, it's way more complicated than that and especially for an industrial machine.

And don't bullspit us, you were looking for a Blaupunkt stereo to boost, not at the seats.

No one lives forever, the trick is creating something that will.

Last edited by DanTwoLakes; 11-05-2012 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:03 PM
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I see now what you mean. My mom's old Singer and Kenmore have this for her machine.
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