Gingham is a medium-weight balanced plain-woven fabric made from dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarn. It is made of carded, medium or fine yarns, where the colouring is on the warp yarns and always along the grain (weft). Gingham has no right or wrong side with respect to colour.
The name originates from the Malay adjective, genggang, meaning striped. Some sources say that the name came into English via Dutch. When originally imported into Europe in the 17th century it was a striped fabric, though now it is distinguished by its checkered pattern. From the mid 18th century, when it was being produced in the mills of
it started to be woven into checked or plaid patterns (often blue and white).
Checked gingham became more common over time, though striped gingham was still
available in the late Victorian period. Manchester, England
Along with muslin, gingham is often used as a test fabric while designing fashion or used for making an inexpensive fitting shell prior to making the clothing in fashion fabric.
Gingham shirts have been worn by mods since the 1960s and continue to be identified with fans of indie and mod music with brands like Ben Sherman, Fred Perry, Penguin and Merc producing gingham shirts.
The fabric is used in many applications. Gingham curtains are found in many kitchens, and gingham handkerchiefs are found in many back pockets. It is a favorite for lightweight shirts and blouses, as well as summer dresses for women. Many barbecue aprons are made with gingham checks, and even pajamas and bedspreads can be created with this fabric.
Gingham typically is considered to provide a youthful, whimsical or relaxed feel. This might be because it frequently is used in children's clothing and décor, or that feel might be why it is used for those purposes. It can be found virtually anywhere, but it most often is found in informal settings. As a lightweight and easy-to-clean fabric option, it is considered to be a great choice for many household linens as well as comfortable clothing.