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Verbina's Garden
Fold Basics
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There are basically five different folds.  I have created samples of each to show you how they appear.  I hope that this tutorial will help you to understand the mechanics of them and allow you to replicate folds in your art.

Cloth is made to drape and hang the way it does because of what is called the point of support. On a skirt the point of support is the waist, from which folds will appear. On a shirt it would be the area near the neck and shoulders. From these points the fabric will hang.  I have marked the points of support on the samples with an "x" and arrows designate where the folds flow. 

Once you understand folds, you will be able to spot them in any photo you see.


First there is the column fold. This is commonly found in curtains and full skirts. Very easy to identify.


This is called a drape fold.  Commonly found in swags and in clothing like shawls.


The Coil fold is also easy to spot. It truly looks like a coil. This normally appears around tubular shapes, such as an arm.


The Interlock fold is usually found in items that are draped, like a blanket drapped over a couch. The folds seem to interlock and disappear into each other. They are also found on sleeves and pants, especially near the bottom.


And finally there is an Inert fold. This is formed by fabric that is not in use and is lying inert. Such as a cloak or dress that puddles onto the floor.

As you can see from my sample doll to the right, the folds truly make an impression.
In this doll, I used four of the five folds I mentioned.  Coils are on the lower sleeves.  Columns in the skirt.  Inert on the train of the gown.  And drape on the small over skirt drapings at the waist.  I simply could not figure out how to put the interlock in there without covering up another portion of the dress.  I am sure though that you get the idea.


As you can see the point of support is at the top allowing for long, flowing folds.


As you can see, the folds come away from two points of support on the drape fold.


With a coil fold, the point of support is high but the folds go around the shape.  A little different but very effective in art.


As you can see the point of support is not always going to be visible with this type of fold.


Even though you may see other types of folds within it, it is generally an inert fold but takes extra attention.

Base by Pinkies