From the shape memory alloys meet smocking workshop at the E-Textile Summer Camp:
Smocking is an embroidery technique used to gather fabric so that it can stretch. Before elastic, smocking was commonly used in cuffs, bodices, and necklines in garments where buttons were undesirable. Smocking was practical for garments to be both form fitting and flexible, hence its name derives from smock — a farmer’s work shirt.
Smocking requires lightweight fabric with a stable weave that gathers well. Cotton and silk are typical fiber choices, often in lawn or voile. Smocking is worked on a crewel embroidery needle in cotton or silk thread and normally requires three times the width of initial material as the finished item will have.
SMA are metal compounds capable of converting thermal energy into mechanical energy. They can be mechanically deformed and through a thermal stimulus they display the ability to return to their pre-memorized shape.
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