Used in England from the middle age to the recent time, smocking is a technique used for embroidery works. Fabrics are collected in this technique so they can stretch when it is necessary. It is commonly used for clothes and wearables that the buttons, shippers, and similar accessories are not used. Although the smocked garments were used for the farmers and workers in the earliest times, they became fashionables later.

What Is Smocking?

The main intention of smocking is to stay in control of the content. The exceeded content of cloth or enlarged parts is kept hidden using this technique. It can be used for the fabrics as the most favorable one who can bring a stretchy appetence to clothes. Several embroidery stitches are used for smocking.  Although long and large stitches are available on the back of the cloth, the front contains smaller stitches.

Smoking is not a usual thing to practice at present, thanks to modern machines and techniques. But, toys, flowers, and similar works are using this smocking technique for beautifying purposes.

Other applicable fabrics include ginghams, velvet, lawn cotton, chiffon, lace,  Linen, crepe, and silk. The use of the fabric type may change according to the purpose. For example, if it is something entertaining and shiny, silk will have to be the fabric. Also, it is recommended to have a smooth surface to bring the utmost benefit if the smocking, stretching g the cloth. The rougher the surface, it will be more difficult to handle cloth in the performing.

How Do You Do Smocking?

The type of cloth is vital for doing smocking. If it is silk fabric, you will have to use silk thread. When it comes to the cotton fabric, the cotton thread will have to be implemented. An elegant color has to be used for stitching. If the color is a minimalist one, it will be better for smocking. Washing is essential before smocking as it can remove the dirt and bring the required texture to the fabric. When it comes to the smocking, machine, hand, and pleater can be used for the process. Different types of smocking styles can bring different shapes for the clothes.

There are few smocking types according to the purpose.

Cable stitch, Outline stitch, Cable floweret, Wave stitch, Surface honeycomb stitch, Trellis stitch, and Vandyke stitch are the most commonly used types of smocking. The type of the smocking may change according to the number of stitches, type of fabric, and the number of columns to be connected.

How Do You Smock For Beginners?

A beginner has to choose the right fabric type. The checked cotton fabric is the most appropriate one for a beginner as the cloth consists of linings to be smocked. Both velvet and knit fabrics are not recommended for beginners as they may be hard to handle. If you are a beginner, you will have to use three times of cloths more than the expected size. If you need a cloth with a width of 20cm, then you will have to take 60cm long clothes.

Smocking Patterns

DIY Stitching Tutorial for Beginners – 01 | Smocking Patterns