Sunday, November 22, 2020

Gingham shirt

Gingham shirt  

The history behind the origin of gingham is as chequered as the fabric itself. Many countries claim gingham fabric to be a staple of their own textile history and culture. Its widespread use throughout the world is due to it being inexpensive to produce, easy to wash, durable and simple in design.

The origin of the word is interesting since the fabric was manufactured in Dutch-colonised Malaysia and Indonesia yet also in India. It was exported to Europe in the 17th Century and later to the USA before local manufacture was set up in the 18th Century. The word appears to derive from the Malaysian word genggang meaning ‘striped’ and adopted by the Dutch.

In India, the gamucha is a gingham towel used to dry the body.

From Dorothy’s blue gingham dress to the 1960s mod sensibility to classic vintage styling, gingham fabric is a fashion staple representing different elements of this simple design.

For women, gingham in fashion is generally reserved for the young. But why is this so? And why do wild-west gingham shirts and the 1960s mod style conjure up contrasting images for the same fabric? Why is a textile originally from the East a perfect example of Americana interior design? Let’s warm up the time machine and take a look. But first…


Gingham is a medium-weight balanced plain-woven fabric typically with striped, check or plaid patterns in white and a bright colors made from dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarns. It is made of carded, medium or fine yarns.

Gingham is a type of simple, woven cotton or linen cloth. Originally it had a regular bright coloured stripe but later appeared as a check or plaid pattern.

The colours are commonly blue/white or red/white. This cool, breathable textile varies from medium to light-weight and can range from a very small, checked pattern to very large checks.

There is no right or wrong side in gingham as it has the same appearance on both sides. This is due to the fibres already being coloured before they are woven together.

This makes gingham very economical for dress-making or home furnishing.


Gingham fabric was popular to use in various dress material such as shirts, skirts, maxi and also for some home furnishing such as towels and curtains. 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 Lambretta Clothing, Ben Sherman, Fred Perry, Penguin and Merc producing gingham shirts.

No comments:

Post a Comment