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Gingham is a light-to-medium-weight fabric that makes use of dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarns. This type of fabric has been popular all over the world for several centuries now, and right now, China is among its biggest producers.
What is gingham fabric?
Also known as Vichy check, gingham is a cotton (or cotton-blend) fabric that uses a plain weave to form a checked pattern. It usually comes in a two-color pattern, and a few popular combinations are red-and-white and blue-and-white.
Since gingham has been around for some time, there’s a lot of debate that goes on regarding its history and etymology. One theory is that “gingham” originated from the Malay word “genggang,” which means ajar or separate, or the Dutch word “gingang,” which eventually evolved into gingham. Another theory is that the fabric is named after Guingamp, a town in Brittany, France, where gingham was believed to have been made. But another French town, Vichy, claimed that the fabric originated there.
There’s no definitive conclusion on gingham’s origin and etymology. That said, it’s widely believed that the fabric initially had a striped pattern, but when it began its production in Manchester in the 18th century, the checkered pattern came to be. Eventually, gingham was exported to other countries in the world.
Gingham vs. Plaid
Many people have sometimes used gingham and plaid interchangeably because these two fabrics almost look the same. But in reality, these two are actually different from each other, and surprisingly, their main difference is their pattern.
As mentioned earlier, gingham uses two colors — usually white and some other color. Meanwhile, plaid’s pattern makes use of varying colors and sizes. Additionally, the horizontal and vertical line sizes in gingham are all equal, which is something you don’t typically see in a plaid fabric.
The Physical Properties of Gingham
Gingham features several outstanding characteristics. Since it’s a light-to-medium-weight fabric, it’s very breathable. It’s also nonstatic because it can easily absorb moisture. Other great qualities include strength and durability.
That said, it should also be noted that gingham creases easily.
What is gingham used for?
Gingham can be used in a plethora of ways. It’s incredibly popular in the fashion industry since it’s used to create dresses, skirts, shirts, and other fancy garments. Many attires for the summer are made with gingham fabric.
Gingham is also perfect for curtains, table settings, and cushions. And the applications don’t stop there — you can also utilize this fabric in other projects, such as quilts, basket liners, aprons, and many more.