My very first sewing project on my own was created from gingham. It has a fond place in my heart that was awakened recently while watching The Wizard of Oz with my grandchildren. It was their first time and they were fascinated. I was having a ball watching them and I impulsively mentioned to Zara that I could make her a costume to be Dorothy. Then I wondered, can you still buy gingham? I decided I needed to learn facts about gingham NOW!
1. Definition – “a clothing fabric usually of yarn-dyed cotton in plain weave” and I think that’s adequate. Thanks Miriam Webster.
2. Word origin – There are many countries which claim gingham but “the word appears to derive from the Malaysian word genggang meaning ‘striped’ and adopted by the Dutch.” I learned this on the V is for vintage site which I liked quite a bit.
3. History – I found a fascinating site on the history of gingham, yes! Such a thing does exist and is the magazine AnOther. I loved it all but this seemed to be the seminal part. “Originally it was a striped fabric imported from India. However, in the mid-eighteenth century, when Manchester mills started producing the material, it was woven into checked or plaid patterns.” This was all news to me. Check out the site from which this comes, you will love it.
4. Traditional Use – Besides our gal Dorothy, how else has this fabric been used? I learned that “gingham fabric had long been used to make clothes for the working class in both Europe and the United States.” This and other fascinating facts can be found on Country Living’s website.
5. Modern Use – Besides clothing gingham is associated with kitchens, particularly tablecloths. From there it has been used in blankets, chairs. curtains and all kinds of table linens. It also branched out from blue and white to red and white and finally, all the colors. I gleaned all this information from the Stout Bros article on the history of gingham. Click here to read more and see pictures!
6. Gingham vs Checked – I found a great resource which defined every kind of check I could ever imagine. Gingham is a TYPE of check distinguished by even amounts of white and the primary color. If you want to see all the kinds of checks, go to this website.
7. Gingham quilts – Yes, there are and they seem to be baby quilts or bold modern quilts. You can use a gingham or create your own gingham look by following this pattern. I need to do this!
8. 2017 – I found an article from this past season. It stated, “It’s summer, wear gingham.” I guess I missed that but the article provided pictures of clothing that I would probably never wear. But I liked looking at them!
You can also find images and articles about gingham clothing for me. In fact, google gingham and there is no end to what you will find.
9. Poem – Yes, yes there is! I was personally not familiar with it but I have discovered that Eugene Fields’ “The Duel” is very popular. There are all kinds of books about this poem written in the 1800’s.
The Gingham Dog and the calico Cat
Side by side on the table sat…
Want to read more? You can buy the book or click here.
10. Fabric – You can definitely find gingham fabric in many places. My personal favorite is the line by Riley Blake because of the bright colors.
11. Video – Wait a second, aren’t they the folks who had that fun video about Gingham? Yes indeed they are! The parody is a bit dated now but I still love it. Take a look.
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You might enjoy my last fact post. Read it here.