What is gingham?

What is gingham and why is it called that?
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With a history spanning over 500 years, it’s no surprise that gingham is so popular – but what is it?

The print is now widely worn as a fashion statement, whether on dresses, jackets, trousers and skirts.

Here, we explain what gingham is, where it got its name and how to wear it in 2021.

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What is gingham?

Gingham is defined as ‘lightweight plain-woven cotton cloth, typically checked in white and a bold colour.’

It’s commonly used in school dresses, but has become a commonly used print in womenswear and menswear fashion too.

Why is gingham called gingham?

The name gingham comes from the Malayan word genggang, which literally translates as striped.

GQ explains that the gingham we know now was previously known for being ‘dyed in the yarn’ fabric, meaning the yarn is dyed before it’s woven.

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What’s the difference between plaid and gingham?

Plaid includes vertical and horizontal lines of varying sizes and colours, but gingham features lines of the same size that are always evenly spaced. They’re nearly always on a white background, making it easily identifiable as gingham.

What kind of fabric is Gingham?

Gingham was originally made from cotton fibres, but now is also made in man-made fibres.

How to wear

Due to its monotone print, gingham is one of the easiest prints to wear.

An easy place to start is by sticking to its colour palette, but you can add pops of other colours too.

We’ve found some outfit inspiration to get you excited.

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Buy now

Monki seersucker dress

Dress, £35, Monki – buy now

by megan crosby Rae Rainbow Gingham Organic Cotton High Waist Trouser

Made-to-order Rae Rainbow High Waist Trouser, £69, By Megan Crosby – buy now

GANNI Ruffled smocked gingham seersucker midi dress

Smocked Midi Dress, £215, Ganni at Net-A-Porter – buy now

For fashion advice and general chit-chat, join our Facebook group What To Wear Next.

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