035 – George Kalajian of Tom’s Sons Pleating – Writing the Book on Pleating


The art and mastery of pleating fabric…

pleatingGeorge Kalajian of Tom’s Sons Pleating International Pleating (a pleating contractor in New York City working in textile pleating and fabric texturizing) and author  joins Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Three generations of pleating, a unique company, and relevance of the garment district

pleatingKalajian shares how the company has been around since 1931, offers third generation pleating expertise, and how his great, great grandfather had a textile mill. His parents came to New York after escaping a civil war in Lebanon, and how only for the past 5-6 years the company stopped making clothing and is now doing only what they do best — pleating. How the company is unique, there’s no other garment manufacturer that became a pleater, and they can offer clients so much more than just pleating. There are considerations, and the complexity of systematic folding of fabric, with many variables. The importance of being in a single location for specialized fields like pleating, and how there’s no way to share what designers need to see over great distances.

The best fabrics for pleating, writing a book, and why his father is like Google

pleatingHe discusses his uncle’s clients in Lebanon, and a family history and legacy in pleating. How synthetics are best for pleating, polyester the best of them, and pleated silks actually last if you don’t wear them. Humidity and body heat releases fibers and pleats. Plus–the oldest garment ever found was a pleated garment. How an introduction to his new book “Pleating” includes forward by Jack from Mood Fabrics, and why it took four years to complete. The challenging and complex task of writing about something that had never been written before or codified, pulling from a sea of data in his father’s brain, and why his dad is like Google. Why he wrote the book, and how it relates to him being the only person who could have written it, as no one else has a father who grew up in factory, an uncle’s mill, a sewing school and pleating school. Why it was not the book he intended to write, and a race against clock to get the info from his father.

A production app, a wedding dress, and Superman’s cape

pleatingAn app My Production Pal, the mathematical and geometrical parts of pleating, and how there is no “language” for pleating. Kalajian also reveals how an important component of his family business is top secret, while he concentrates on teaching what do you do with the pleating. How Kalajian hand pleated his wife’s wedding dress, finishing only in the last moment. How his first memory of pleating is when he got in trouble with a red satin Superman cape, finding something you are passionate about, a basic purpose in life to make something beautiful, working with family, and following passion and bliss.

One Comment

  1. I love this podcast, love this business, love the book, and have the pleasure of having personally met George, his father, and others… this is really a fantastic resource!

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