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What is the best thread for smocking?

Smocking is a kind of embroidery technique where fabric is gathered to create a stretch. This kind of embroidery does provide an enhanced appeal. However, its primary purpose is to offer fit and flexibility to garment designs. Smocking is prevalent in practice, from times much before elastic came into existence. Through this blog, we will discover everything about smocking, the best thread for smocking, and more such aspects to enhance your knowledge. 

Smocking is usually practiced on fabrics that can be gathered easily, like cotton or silk. Ideally, any fabric that gathers well could be smocked. Smocking is best practiced by hand. However, the invention of technology has made smocking easier and cleaner with the help of specialty pleater needles and gears. 

In smocking, the fabric is reduced to 1/3rd of its width, usually when the fabrics are lightweight. Each stitch varies in thickness and tightness. Hence, smocking is performed before the garment is assembled. 

Let’s look at some of the most prevalent,

Smocking stitches

Cable stitch

It is a tight stitch of double rows joined through alternating columns of gathers. 

Stem stitch

This tight stitch has minimum flexibility. It joins two columns of gathers at a time and has a downward slope. 

Outline stitch

This is similar to stem stitch, However, but it has an upward slope. 

Wave stitch

This weave uses tight horizontal and loose diagonal stitches. 

There are plenty more stitch patterns that are employed with smocking patterns. Some include Honeycomb stitch, trellis stitch, Bullion stitch, Cable floweret, and others. 

What kind of thread is used for smocking?

The Best thread for smocking is slightly heavier than the usual threads. This is because the thread needs to pass through pleated layers to form a sophisticated smocked pattern. Embroidery floss is one of the best threads you could use to create a smocking pattern. Elastic threads also work the best for smocking purposes. The elastic thread creates stretch and texture in the fabric and offers a great appeal.

Exquisite garments can be crafted by employing the smocking technique on fabrics. The tops, dresses, and other garments with a fitted appeal look phenomenal. You can achieve the garment’s desired firmness, stretch, and elasticity with elastic thread. It’s the best way to make any fabric stretchy. 

How do you make elastic smocking on a sewing machine? 

Use electric thread in the bobbin of your sewing machine. Hand-wind the thread around the bobbin until it’s complete. 

Thread the regular thread in the needle, the one that matches your fabric color. Place elastic thread bobbin in your machine. 

Cut straight the fabric and prep it for smocking. Swe the first line and stop nearly ⅜ inch away from the fabric edge. Now backstitch at the beginning and end of the line. At this point, you should be able to see the fabric gathered.

Stretch the fabric as flat as you can and stitch another row about ⅜ inch away from the first row. 

Continue the process till you get desired smocked area. 

That’s all. You are ready with the smocked fabric using the best thread for smocking. 

Smocking vs. Shirring

Shirring and smocking look pretty similar, and the difference is thin, but it exists. In the most simplistic terms, smocking is a technique for gathering fabric to create an embroidery design. On the other hand, the shirring is prominently used for garment sections like yoke, sleeves, and bodice. 

Smocking generally creates pleats without stretch, whereas shirring creates evenly spaced round tucks. 

That’s all. The terms are interchangeably used often, and smocked is used for advertising or promoting the product. 

If you are a garment manufacturer looking for the best thread for smocking, Viken Tape is your ideal place to be. We are the manufacturer, exporter, and supplier of premium quality elastic thread. Our particular elastic thread for smoking surpasses your expected quality and is ideal for smocked garment products. Visit us and place your order for the smocked elastic right away.


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