Gareth Pugh, SS09, Paris.
While quilting sounds like a homely technique akin to patch-working or needlepoint it can actually be used to create architectural structure or add new dimension to flat fabrics.
Gareth Pugh has used this technique in his collections as a form of embellishment which can be manipulated in different ways for different garments. By using the technique in varying shapes and in different widths it can be used in his collections as a link that ties other elements together. Sometimes it appears in thin striped borders like an echo of the ribbing on his knitwear, or sometimes wide and flat like seamed in panels.
By pairing the quilting technique with a fabric you also enhance or subvert the existing qualities of the fabric. For example, by using quilting with leather, you are further stiffening the material, and also taking advantage of the sheen on the surface of the material as it catches the light over the quilted ribs.
Gareth Pugh, AW10, Paris.
The basic principle of quilting is that two pieces of fabric are sewn together, one on top of the other, with a soft layer of wadding sandwiched in between. This means that the two layers of fabric are pulled closer on the stitching lines where the wadding is compressed, while in the areas between the two rows of stitching the wadding will be thicker and the outer fabric will appear “puffier”.
Additional layers of fusing or interfacing may also be needed to support the outer fabric in cases where the fabric is thin and delicate. Or where a fabric with an open weave is used, a thin and densely woven backing fabric may be used underneath to prevent the wadding from showing through.