Sewing, Needlework, and Quilting


Smocking is a centuries-old embroidery technique in which decorative, colored thread is stitched in patterns, pictures, or other designs over rolled pleats or tubes in fabric. This is typically done as an art form on clothing or on fabric which is mounted in picture frames for hanging on the wall.

  • English smocking is an historic technique of sewing the embroidery over pleats already sewn into the fabric.
  • North American smocking is an alternate technique in which the pleats are gathered and formed in the fabric by the smocking stitchwork itself.
  • Lattice smocking involves stitching from the back side of the fabric, creating unique effects in the pleats and appearance, and is particularly good for heavier fabrics like velvet.  

Smocking Resources:

Smocking Arts Guild of America

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