Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Wonderful Art of Smocking

It's always amazing to see smocking transposed to more "modern" clothing (in this case, a 1950's girl's dress). This simple and decorative form of embroidery was introduced in the 13th and 14th century English countryside and used by farmers who smocked their clothes to create extra warmth and promote freedom of movement across the back, chest and arms. Practical and pretty too, the early smockers adorned their clothes with symbols that indicated where they were from and what role they played. These garments proved to be unpractical and dangerous with the introduction of machinery and were no longer worn on the farm but adapted to women's garments as a fashion element. Generally, done by hand, smocking machines were finally invented in the 1940's and have been used, more so, on children's clothing.

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