Students were shown how to do traditional smocking by hand, by new PhD student Matty Aspinall as part of the Burberry project.
Matty first introduced the students to the history of smocking. Apparently, the word “smock” comes from the Anglo Saxon ‘smoce’ meaning a shift or shirt when men working in the fields wore loose fitting tunic-like garments.
The smock was, in the majority, made from bleached linen. It was worn for both leisure and labour. The most common smocks worn were the ‘reversible frocks’ and the ‘smocked coat’. The latter was front fastening with buttons going ¾ the way down the front. In both styles embroidery over the ‘tubing’ or gathers controlled the fullness of the garment and gave the wearer considerable protection against the wind and rain.