Smocked Baby Clothing


It is a popular type of clothing, which features an embroidery technique, that makes it elastic and give it the ability to stretch. Smocked designs are usually applied to the collars of baby clothes for an easy and comfortable fit.

Smocked clothing for babies is usually handmade and can be highly decorative, providing a stylish and unique look.


About Smocked Baby Clothing


Smocking is essentially in two styles. One is English Smocking while the other is the North American style. In English smocking, the embroidery is done on pleats that sre pleated before smocking. In the case of North American Smocking the pleats are formed as you embroider them. Obviously, English Smocking tends to get more versatile as the pleats can be formed into round shapes. The North American style makes you conform to a rigid grid. Here there are no pleating threads which are available for you to shape your piece.

Smocked baby clothes are not something new. Smocking is basically an art form which has been handed down through the generations. You may even trace the roots by simply looking at the art of the past. Specifically look at the stitchery on the clothing of the past. Paintings from the Italian as well as German Renaissance depict a certain type of smocking on mens' shirts as well as on ladies' chemises.

No one knows as to when smocking really started, but smocked baby clothes have been around forever.

Smocked baby clothes are available both with English Smocking as well as with various other styles of contemporary smocking. North American Smocking style essentially consists of iron on transfers of several pairs of dots. Then these pairs of dots are formed in a pattern. Hence while stitching; they make up a smocking design as well as pleats, both at the same time. Today the North American style of smocking is not very popular, especially among the major pattern companies for making smocked baby clothes. The pattern companies prefer to make smocked baby clothes with the English style of smocking. But now even that is changing.

You can see a change coming in their smocking patterns. Pattern companies too are opting to doing iron-on transfer dots for your smocked baby clothes. This way they make up the pleats first and after that they do the stitching.

Another smocking style is called counterchange smocking. Here you may use striped fabric or gingham or even dotted fabric. You simply need to mark where you are going to place your stitches.

Smocked baby clothes need to be made of lightweight fabric, but only those which have a stable weave which will be able to gather well. Usually, cotton or silk are the typical fiber choices. Earlier, smocking was also done in pique or crepe de Chine, as well as cashmere. Smocking is generally done by using a crewel embroidery needle. A cotton or at times, a silk thread is normally used. Smocking normally requires three times the width of whichever initial material you are using, in case you want to get the correct width of the finished item. You can actually do smocking on any type of fabric as long as it is supple enough for it to be gathered.

Either your fabric for making smocked baby clothes should be pre-printed in a polka dot pattern else you will need marking equipment.