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The Different Ways to Use and Wear Gingham Fabric

Posted by Fabrics Galore on

gingham fabric

Gingham fabric has been a very popular style of material for generations, a two-color check pattern with variations such as red and white gingham or blue and white gingham. It has a long history in the fabric and textile industry, originally made completely of cotton fibres but later also of man-made fibres. It’s important to note that with a wide range of applications there’s very little you can’t do with gingham. To help you understand how you can use gingham in your dressmaking, quilting and furnishing and projects, here at Fabrics Galore, we have put together this guide for you. 

What is gingham fabric? 

As we have already touched upon, gingham fabric is easily recognisable by the chequered design. However, it is not widely known that gingham doesn’t actually mean check or checked, "gingham" comes from the Malayan word genggang, or "striped." It’s a very cool and breathable fabric which varies from medium to lightweight and can range from a very small, checked pattern to very large checks. It is usually either 100% cotton or a cotton/polyester blend, which is why it is so versatile and breathable.

Across the globe, many countries claim gingham fabric to be a staple of their own textile history and culture. As an example, in Europe, gingham has been associated with country-style, rustic symbolism making the fabric a popular choice for tablecloths, curtains, aprons and practical workwear. Throughout the 20th century, it was worn frequently by Hollywood stars, including Judy Garland with her iconic blue gingham dress in The Wizard of Oz. In modern day, gingham is considered to be a vintage pattern which is still a bestseller in fabric shops everywhere. 

Vintage fashion is constantly being revived, including gingham fabric, as with a past so interesting it’s no wonder the fabric keeps reappearing. It’s always been very versatile, being found in just about every colour of the rainbow, but is still comfortable to wear and sturdy enough to give good coverage and not lose its shape. Because gingham contains cotton it absorbs any small amounts of moisture and is strong, substantial, and serviceable. 

How can gingham fabric be used? 

Here at Fabrics Galore, we stock a wide variety of gingham fabric which are available in gorgeous colours ready to inspire your next project. So, what kind of creations can you design using these chequered patterns? 

  • Dresses

Gingham fabric has always been used to create dresses, becoming very fashionable in the years following World War I, allowing people to follow fashion and buy inexpensive ready-to-wear clothes. If you are looking to design some beautiful summer dresses, gingham is the perfect choice as the cotton allows air to circulate and move freely through the fabric. Gingham is therefore always a popular choice for summer school uniforms. 

  • Quilting

Quilting is a very popular pastime, and the possibilities are endless - allowing you to really branch out and use your imagination. Gingham fabric is the perfect choice for quilting, as the designs are so striking, you can really experiment with different styles. The small checks can really add something unique into quilting projects to create interest, especially when mixed with plain cotton patchwork fabrics or a contrasting pattern.

  • Furnishings

As well as for dressmaking and quilting, there are so many different furnishing projects you can undertake with gingham fabric. The various colours and patterns of gingham fabric are perfect for creating any household linens that you can think of. For example, if you are looking to enhance your dining room space, a tablecloth and matching napkins go a long way in tying the dining room together, so you could create your own design look with gingham fabric. On the other hand, sewing your own curtains is a great project, especially for beginners. Using gingham is not only a great choice in terms of durability, you can create a vintage look for your home. This pattern allows you to unleash your creativity and instantly transform a room by making the curtains the centrepiece of your home. 

Purchasing gingham fabric from Fabrics Galore

With our many gingham fabric options on our website, you have the opportunity to let your imagination run wild. Our selection grows by the day and is one of the most popular fabric options we have available. All of them are available for just £3 or £4 per half metre, and are suitable for dressmaking, quilting and face masks. We have both corded gingham and printed cotton gingham available for you to purchase, with each of the printed cotton ginghams having a gorgeous Wizard of Oz theme while also meeting the OEKE-TEX 100 standards so you can be sure of the fabric’s sustainability credentials. 

If you would like to learn more about the extensive range of gingham fabrics available at Fabrics Galore, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team. We would be more than happy to help you decide on which colours to choose, or even discuss any other fabrics you may be interested in. You can give us a call on 020 7738 9589 and we can have a chat with you. No matter what fabric you choose, we are sure you will be happy with our recommendations.


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