Time efficient version of the smocking craft to empower women
Smock-it is an innovative and time efficient version of the old craft smocking. By innovating the production method with novel technologies like lasercutting, smocked clothing can be produced more sustainable and more efficient while maintaining its aesthetical qualities.
Smock-it garments empower women in intimidating situations as the smocking acts as a shield and applies comforting pressure. Together with women’s fashion brand MLY, we designed smock-it garments for her winter collection.
Activity: second Bachelor project
Duration: one year
Team: Jessie Lauret, Daisy O’Neill
Collaboration: SUMMA Fashion
Dutch Design Week 2017 – Mind the Step Exhibition (80.000 visitors)
Eindhoven Maker Faire 2017 (10.000 visitors)
What is Smock-it?
"How can we
make smocking usable
Very time consuming
Feeling protected and comfortable
From trying the craft ourselves, we learned when smocking, the fabric first must be gridded manually. Then, a specific pattern should be hand sewn. This makes smoking a very time intensive process.
From body storming with smocked garments, we learned how smocking can make the user feel protected and more comfortable.
How can we embrace sustainable aspects in the smocking process to fit current priorities?
Innovating the process
After trying out the smocking process and talking to various sewing experts, it became clear the sewing itself could only be done by hand. The grid and pattern measuring and drawing however, could be optimised. To explore integrating novel technologies, we started lasercutting patterned grids.
From exploring with multiple patterned grids, we learned how stamping these grids onto fabric might be the most feasible solution.
User tests combined with qualitative interviews were conducted to test on which parts of the user’s body smocking should be applied to facilitate a feeling of protection and comfort.
When talking to our users about situations they’d like to feel more protected and comfortable in, we found how much of the women referred to similar intimidating situations. Thus, we decided to focus on empowering women in these situations by using smocking.
From the user tests we learned the placement of smocking that facilitates a feeling of protection and comfort was very individual.
Thus, we decided our garments should be personalized so every women can choose the placement of their smocking to feel more empowered.
To learn more about creating sustainable fashion, we went to an event called ‘META Fashion Summit’ and talked to four fasion experts.
We found multiple ways for creating sustainable fashion, came in contact with companies that could help us become part of a circular economy and learned more about new sustainable textile materials. To integrate this in smocking we asked ourselves questions like:
How can a smocked garment be recycled?
What recycled textiles can be smocked?
How does a smocking service fit in or stimulate the circular economy?
What kind of social impact would marketing our product have?
Due to time limitations, we weren’t able to answer all these questions yet. We aim to answer them in the next iteration.