Sunray pleating is mostly found on the underside of the tops of four-poster beds and half testers, so that you look up into it. The technique consists of pleating or gathering fabric to form the ‘rays’, which emanate outwards from a central given point to the sides and corners.

In a four-poster canopy, the centre of the sunburst is usually in the middle, but it can also look good offset to one corner, or towards the back. Half testers and canopies, or coronas tend to start of the sunburst at the centre back, as there is limited space to experiment with. Sunray pleats can also be pleated from the centre and finished as gathers at the edges, for a less formal finish.

Any of the lightweight fabrics with a tight weave such as silks, spotted muslin, tafetta, all fall into soft pleats are easiest to work ,with, – not too heavy to manage or to pleat. On the whole, the effect is feminine and shouldn’t look forced. The pleats should have soft rounded edges, and not pulled flat as fixed as though someone has sat on them. The centre workings must always be covered, unless they are pulled through a hole at the top–but that’s unusual and very difficult to manage. Large rosettes, or bunched roses, or more formal centre pieces in wood, silver, glass, fabric can be used as long as the fixings are secure.

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