What is "Plisse" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 28-May-2024 ( ago)
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Plisse: Unwrapping Centuries of Pleats in Textile Design

Plisse in Textiles: An Unfolding Story of Craft and Elegance

The History and Origin of Plisse

Plisse, a term derived from the French word 'pli', meaning fold, has been a part of textile history for centuries. This fabric, recognized by its crinkled or pleated texture, is created by applying heat and pressure to wet fabric, causing the fibers to shrink and create permanent pleats. Plisse emerged in Western fashion in the 15th century but reached its height of popularity during the 19th and 20th centuries, where it was often used in women's fashion for its lightweight, decorative quality.

Types of Plisse

  • Classic Plisse: This type retains a simple, consistent pleat, adding texture to the fabric without complicating the overall pattern.
  • Patterned Plisse: This variation includes different types of pleats, often combined to create intricate patterns and designs.

Tips for Handling Plisse

  • Due to its delicate nature, Plisse should be hand-washed or machine-washed on a gentle cycle.
  • It is advisable to avoid wringing out the fabric to prevent damage to the pleats.
  • Plisse should be dried flat or hung up to dry to maintain its shape and structure.

Major International Manufacturers and Users

  • Issey Miyake: Renowned for his technology-driven clothing designs, Issey Miyake has utilized Plisse in many of his collections, valuing its ability to create structural, three-dimensional garments.
  • CHANEL: The iconic French fashion house, CHANEL, has often incorporated Plisse in their haute couture and ready-to-wear lines, attracted by the fabric's lightness and dramatic silhouette.
  • Dior: Plisse holds a special place in Dior's design vocabulary, particularly in their ball gowns and cocktail dresses, where the material's volume and sculptural qualities can be fully exploited.
  • Yves Saint Laurent: Yves Saint Laurent has utilized Plisse in a variety of garments, from voluminous blouses to structured dresses, appreciating the fabric's ability to add elegance and movement.
  • Givenchy: Givenchy has often turned to Plisse for its couture collections, using the fabric's textured surface to create visual interest and depth.

Applications of Plisse

  • Women's Fashion: Due to its lightweight, decorative quality, Plisse has been a staple in women's fashion, particularly in the creation of blouses, dresses, and skirts.
  • Home Dcor: In addition to clothing, Plisse has also found its way into home dcor. Its distinctive texture and lightweight nature make it a popular choice for items like curtains and lampshades.


The legacy of Plisse in the textile industry demonstrates the power of technique and innovation in shaping fashion's landscape. With its roots dating back several centuries, this unique fabric has continued to adapt and thrive in various contexts, from the haute couture runways to everyday clothing and even home dcor. The fabric's allure lies not only in its textured aesthetic but also in the way it manipulates form and space, allowing designers to explore the three-dimensional potential of garments. As we look towards the future of textiles, it is certain that Plisse will continue to unfold in new and exciting ways, proving that even the most traditional techniques can find a home in contemporary design. This study of Plisse underscores the enduring dialogue between fashion and textiles and the interplay of tradition and innovation that propels the industry forward.

A lightweight, plain weave, fabric, made from cotton, rayon, or acetate, and characterized by a puckered striped effect, usually in the warp direction. The crinkled effect is created through the application of a caustic soda solution, which shrinks the fabric in the areas of the fabric where it is applied. Pliss? is similar in appearance to seersucker. End-uses include dresses, shirtings, pajamas, and bedspreads.

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