I'm trying to create a cloth stage valance like this with the cloth simulator.
I've tried pinning the sides. but it's too even and I think the ends should be pinched.
I've also tried weight painting. Still not right.
As a base mesh we will use simple Plane rotated by 90 degrees and subdivided couple of times. Less subdivision = bigger wrinkles.
I've used Subdivide > 10 and than Subdivide > 1.
We need to add Mean Crease > 1 to the outer edge for Subdivision Surface modifier that we will add later on.
For Pinning Cloth we will add Vertex Group with two side edges assigned.
For folding our Cloth we need to add Shape Keys - Basis and Key 1 with shrunken side edges moved to the top of the mesh.
We can go ahead and animate Key 1 value by inserting keyframes on frame 0 with value 0 and frame, lets say, 25 with value 1.
Now we can finally add Cloth simulation to our mesh with below settings.
Most important are:
Rest of the settings are more or less important tweaks, described in tool tips and docs.
Now we can add Subdivision Surface modifier and play our animation to see result (this one is 80 frames long):
You can experiment with base mesh randomization, subdivision or Cloth settings to get different results.
Material used in Final Results is default Velvet BSDF with changed color.
Back drapes are made using same method.
Click the auto keyframe button(red circle) and the double key button next to it. Then select LocRotScale from the box to the right of those buttons.
Go to frame 0 and scale your mesh to be about twice as wide as you want your curtain(S+X, or S+Y) and Press the insert keyframe button(green arrow). Then go to about frame 40 and scale your mesh again back to the size you want your curtain to be and press the insert keyframe button again.