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We study the behavior of thin elastic sheets that are bent and strained under the influence of weak, smooth confinement. We show that the emerging shapes exhibit the coexistence of two types of domains that differ in their characteristic stress distributions and energies, and reflect different constraints. A focused-stress patch is subject to a geometric, piecewise-inextensibility constraint, whereas a diffuse-stress region is characterized by a mechanical constraint - the dominance of a single component of the stress tensor. We discuss the implications of our findings for the analysis of elastic sheets that are subject to various types of forcing.


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