Gingham is a printed or dyed fabric that is known for its checked patterns of white and a bold color. The size of the checks can vary, and although it typically is found with the checks appearing in horizontal rows and vertical columns, the checks also can appear to be arranged diagonally. Originally, this fabric was intended to be woven into stripes. Its name comes from the word genggang, which means “striped” in the Malay language spoken in places such as Malaysia and Indonesia, where it is believed to have originated.


This fabric dates to at least the 17th century, when it was imported to Europe and later to the American colonies. Its production was a major economic boon in many places, including Manchester, England, and the colonies in what is now the southeastern United States. Originally, two differently colored fibers were used to produce a striping effect. As time passed, gingham fabrics began to appear with a checked pattern, as well as plaids. Blue and white was the color combination of choice for many years, although it can now be found in virtually any bold color paired with white.




Not to be confused with. . .