Computational Smocking through Fabric-Thread Interaction

, Jing Ren, Olga Sorkine-Hornung


We formalize Italian smocking, an intricate embroidery technique that gathers flat fabric into pleats along meandering lines of stitches, resulting in pleats that fold and gather where the stitching veers. In contrast to English smocking, characterized by colorful stitches decorating uniformly shaped pleats, and Canadian smocking, which uses localized knots to form voluminous pleats, Italian smocking permits the fabric to move freely along the stitched threads following curved paths, resulting in complex and unpredictable pleats with highly diverse, irregular structures, achieved simply by pulling on the threads. We introduce a novel method for digital previewing of Italian smocking results, given the thread stitching path as input. Our method uses a coarse-grained mass-spring system to simulate the interaction between the threads and the fabric. This configuration guides the fine-level fabric deformation through an adaptation of the state-of-the-art simulator, C-IPC. Our method models the general problem of fabric-thread interaction and can be readily adapted to preview Canadian smocking as well. We compare our results to baseline approaches and physical fabrications to demonstrate the accuracy of our method.




We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their insightful feedback. We extend our gratitude to M. Rifad (YouTube channel "DIY Stitching"), F. Shanas (YouTube channel "handiworks''), and S. Fyms (YouTube channel "FymsEmbroidery") for generously granting us permission to use the images of their remarkable fabrication results. This work was supported in part by the ERC Consolidator Grant No. 101003104 (MYCLOTH).