Sie sind auf Seite 1von 6

A History of Smocking

Smocking is an embroidery technique used to gather fabric so that it can stretch.


Before elastic, smocking was commonly used in cuffs, bodices, and necklines in
garments where buttons were undesirable. Smocking developed in England and
has been practised since the Middle Ages and is unusual among embroidery
methods in that it was often worn by laborers. Other major embroidery styles are
purely decorative and represented status symbols. Smocking was practical for
garments to be both form fitting and flexible, hence its name derives
from smock — a farmer’s work shirt. Smocking was used most extensively in the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
1. English Smocking
English Smocking is of two types namely
Geometric Smocking and Picture Smocking.
Geometric Smocking
In this type only two stitches are used. They are Cable stitch and Trellis stitch.
Simple borders, lines and thousands of patterns can be created with cable and
trellis stitches (Figure 9.21).

2. American Smocking
American Smocking is otherwise known as Counter change smocking. It has been
popularized by a young woman in Arizona, Anne Hallay. This smocking is done on
gingham, striped, or a gridded fabric. Basically 5/8” stripped fabric is made into
squares and a honeycomb or vandyke stitch is used to bring the sections together.
Finished fabric will have the illusion of a solid fabric.No pleating is used for this
type of smocking. This type of smocking is more often used in teenager’s
garments. English Smocking is of three types namely Counter change
Smocking, Mock Smocking and Direct Smocking.
Counter change Smocking
This type of smocking requires a grid. Most often striped and checked fabric is
used to do this work. No stretch is created in this type of smocking. Three times
more fabric is needed to bring to the required length and width.

Canadian Smocking or North American Smocking


Canadian smocking is also called as North American Smocking. In this type
textural effect is created on the front side of the fabric. No pleating is required for
Canadian smocking. A grid is drawn or designed on the back of the fabric. Later it
is used to create the three dimensional effect on the front side of the fabric. This
type of smocking is not usually pressed or ironed. The texture would be flattened
or destroying if the smocked fabric is pressed.
The fabric used should be cut on grain
               Pleating threads are parallel to the cross grain
               Fabric is not damaged by the needles or the pleating machine
               There are no folds, bubbles, or splits
               Any temporary marking have been completely removed
               Smocking is appropriately centered in garment
               No
visible break on the front side where the threads have been stopped and
restarted
               Stitches catch only the appropriate pleats
               Stitch
tension appears consistent for all stitches ;tension is neither too tight
that pleats are pinched nor too loose so that thread sags
               Stitch depth is consistent
               Threads within stitches are laid smoothly
               Threads from any back smocking, are not visible on the front of the work

Summary for Smocking


Smocking is a technique of creating wavy patterns on fabric and garments. Unlike
embroidery more fabric is required for smocking. There are different techniques
used to complete the pattern. Techniques and materials followed for each of the
smocking type vary from region to region. English smocking, American smocking
and Canadian smocking are the three types of smocking frequently used by the
designers. Smocking is a common feature in girls and women garments. It also
finds its application in home textile products such as cushions, wall hangings and
so on. Today’s contemporary designers introduce smocked fashion accessories in
the market too.
A Brief History of Smocking
English Smocking is embroidery on pleats that have been pleated before smocking. It is an art
form whose origin has been obscured in history but has been handed down from generation to
generation much like the sagas; songs and myths, however its roots are traceable to a point
through looking at the art of the past and in stitchery. Paintings from the Italian and German
Renaissance often depict examples of smocking on men's shirts and ladies chemises. Italian
Shirring, which has its roots in the basic running stitch, maybe interpreted as a form of smocking
all dressed up.

The origins of smocking are elusive.


There are clues but nothing was put to
writing until the late 19th century. Until
this point, smocking was handed down
from generation to generation.
Examples of smocking or embroidery on
pleated fabric can be found all around
the world, tucked away in museums,
from indigenous cultures to examples of
smocking in paintings and wooden
carvings as early as the 12th century.
There is also a mention of an
embroidered smock in the household
accounting of Elizabeth I. The oldest
account of smocking dates back to 1175
BC!

From the late 17th century to the


Industrial Revolution of the late 19th
century Smocked Frocks were a very
popular piece of clothing for people in
rural Britain to wear. The garments were
made out of Linen and waterproofed by
wiping them down with linseed oil. Big collars added protection from the weather. These smocks
were often embroidered with symbols of what trade the wearer did (bakers, farmers,
blacksmiths, etc.) and were worn to protect the underclothing.

It was the Industrial Revolution that brought about the demise of the smock frock as a utility
garment. The big voluminous smocks were a hazard to the new reaping machines so they
quickly became obsolete for everyday wear. They were still worn on Fair Day or to church but
the style soon evolved to be a 'fashionable' garment for the female gentry. The new Aesthetic
Dress movement took hold and the two styles of the smock evolved into fashionable garments
such as bishop blouses & dresses while the smock frock became basic square yoke dresses for
young girls.

Fast forward to the 20th century.


North American Smocking appears to have been either invented or is a form of an old smocking
style promoted by Butterick & Co. in the late 19th Century. It was very popular from the 30's
through the 60's. This style consisted of iron-on transfers of pairs of dots formed in a pattern
that while stitching made up a smocking design and pleats at the same time. This made
smocking more accessible to the general public.

1. English Smocking
English Smocking is of two types namely
Geometric Smocking and Picture Smocking.
Geometric Smocking
In this type only two stitches are used. They are Cable stitch and Trellis stitch.
Simple borders, lines and thousands of patterns can be created with cable and
trellis stitches (Figure 9.21).

2. American Smocking
American Smocking is otherwise known as Counter change smocking. It has been
popularized by a young woman in Arizona, Anne Hallay. This smocking is done on
gingham, striped, or a gridded fabric. Basically 5/8” stripped fabric is made into
squares and a honeycomb or vandyke stitch is used to bring the sections together.
Finished fabric will have the illusion of a solid fabric.No pleating is used for this
type of smocking. This type of smocking is more often used in teenager’s
garments. English Smocking is of three types namely Counter change
Smocking, Mock Smocking and Direct Smocking.
Counter change Smocking
This type of smocking requires a grid. Most often striped and checked fabric is
used to do this work. No stretch is created in this type of smocking. Three times
more fabric is needed to bring to the required length and width.

Canadian Smocking or North American Smocking


Canadian smocking is also called as North American Smocking. In this type
textural effect is created on the front side of the fabric. No pleating is required for
Canadian smocking. A grid is drawn or designed on the back of the fabric. Later it
is used to create the three dimensional effect on the front side of the fabric. This
type of smocking is not usually pressed or ironed. The texture would be flattened
or destroying if the smocked fabric is pressed.
The fabric used should be cut on grain
               Pleating threads are parallel to the cross grain
               Fabric is not damaged by the needles or the pleating machine
               There are no folds, bubbles, or splits
               Any temporary marking have been completely removed
               Smocking is appropriately centered in garment
               No
visible break on the front side where the threads have been stopped and
restarted
               Stitches catch only the appropriate pleats
               Stitch
tension appears consistent for all stitches ;tension is neither too tight
that pleats are pinched nor too loose so that thread sags
               Stitch depth is consistent
               Threads within stitches are laid smoothly
               Threads from any back smocking, are not visible on the front of the work