A decorative technique, whereby sections of fabric are  carefully pleated, but more often gathered as they are held in place with embroidery stitches, which create a pattern. Fine and lightweight fabrics must be very full, medium weight ones less so. The stitching needs to be tight enough to hold the gathers in place so that they can’t stretch, but loose enough not to pull.

Smocking is best known as used on girls’ dresses–the bodice is smocked to gather up the fullness, which is then released into the skirt.

It looks very effective in interior furnishings in small doses, on curtains headings, the ends of bolsters and on the front and sides of decorative cushions.




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