Modeling wrinkles and gathers for fabric

I’m currently trying to model puffy-sleeves and I got to wondering if there was a simple way to do the look of a gathered seam (where the fabric is pinched on one side like a paper fan) or should I just think model them like a solid form? I’ve been trying to kind of zig-zag the verticies but it comes out pretty dumb and too thick…

You could always run a cloth simulation and then apply it at the desired frame.

That would be how this was done:

Found this in the Manual:

Draping isn’t really the effect I’m looking for…

Cloth simulation is nevertheless the right tool for the job, as in the attached picture.

Best wishes,


Yes of course. Even if you have to animate it, you can set it up so that the cloth gathers at the sleeve as in the above example. You’ll get a nicer result for cloth if you use the Cloth Modifier.

If you want to do it by hand and you don’t need to animate it, then sculpting might be the next best shot.

Doing it for subsurf is another way. I did this by hand. I used a photo reference to get the stress points and folds looking right.

But you really have to know good polyflow for sub surf. So I would think about sculpting instead.

pardon, but how did you do this?

Start with a suitably sized and subdivided open-ended cylinder. Just as with a real puffed sleeve, the diameter should be much larger than the arm.
Make it cloth, and add a pinning vertex group consisting of the two ends of the cylinder.
Add a shape key in which the two ends (or the whole thing - it doesn’t make any difference) are shrunk to the size of the arm. Animate the value of the key smoothly from 0 to 1 over a few tens of frames.
Run the cloth simulation for long enough to settle down after the shrinking has finished.

I’ve attached the .blend of my version.

(Sorry for the delay in replying - I’ve been on the other side of the Great Firewall for a couple of weeks.)

Best wishes,


puffedsleeve.blend (211 KB)

thanks so much for the information and the blend file! that’s very helpful.