When people say “gingham”, you might think of tablecloths, school summer dresses and other checked garments, usually in red or blue. But what is gingham, and how should you use it? Like any fabric, there are some things that gingham is suitable for, and other purposes that might call for a different fabric. As a medium-weight cotton or cotton blend, gingham tends to be pretty versatile, and you can use it for both clothing and other items, such as home accessories.
This guide will give you some inspiration for how to use and wear gingham fabric, which is an affordable option if you’re keen to get some sewing done.
What Is Gingham?
Gingham is a medium-weight, plain-woven fabric made from cotton or a cotton blend. When it was first imported into Europe in the 17th century, it was a striped fabric. However, today it is more likely to be a checked pattern or plaid. Some common colours include blue and white, red and white, and green and white. It’s a popular choice for school uniforms, especially for primary schools, but that’s certainly not the only way you can use gingham.
You can find our ginghams in our dress fabrics, with colours ranging from black and blue to red, pink, green, yellow, and beyond. Its affordability means that it is often used as a test fabric when designing fashion, in the same way that muslin is, but it’s also a great fashion fabric. Some of the items and fashion trends that have used gingham include gingham shirts, particularly popular with the mod subculture since the 1960s, gingham blouses, gingham trousers and capri pants, and gingham skirts and dresses.
How to Use and Wear Gingham
There are plenty of ways to wear gingham. While you might think it looks rather casual, you can dress it up or down and make lots of different items with gingham. There’s no reason you can’t use gingham for a smart and fashionable dress or shirt as much as you can use it for something more casual.
One way to wear gingham is to dress it up and make the most of it. It’s not just a simple fabric used for tablecloths and school uniforms. In fact, you can find plenty of inspiration from runway fashion if you’re looking for ideas on how to use it. Gingham can be great for accessories such as jackets or capes if you want to push the boat out, and it also makes a great material for dresses of all styles.
Gingham can also be a good choice of fabric for work clothes. It makes good shirts and blouses, which can be worn casually or as smart tops for work. Button-down shirts and blouses in gingham are a great choice, and gingham dresses can work in the workplace too. Consider a gingham pencil dress, for example. Gingham shirts can be a good choice for smart-casual offices where you might wear one with smart trousers.
Beach clothes and swimwear have often used gingham too. Take a look at some vintage swimming costumes and beachwear patterns, and you’re sure to find plenty of gingham. These days, anything intended to be worn at the beach might not be made from real gingham, as it’s not the best material for getting wet. But gingham could still make a great outfit to put on if you want to cover up in the sun or after paddling in the sea.
Gingham is also a fantastic choice for accessories. You can use it for items ranging from scarves and ties to pocket squares, headbands and other accessories to add a little colour and texture to any outfit. It’s also a good choice as an accent fabric on bags or other accessories and clothes, perhaps as a lining or border that adds to the primary fabric.
As well as using gingham for clothing and accessories, don’t forget to consider how you can use it in your home. It’s a brilliant choice for home accessories ranging from cushions and tablecloths to curtains, bedding and upholstery. You can find plenty of ways to use gingham to add patterns and colours to different spaces in your home.
Gingham is such a versatile fabric that you won’t run out of ways to use and wear it. Take a look at our gingham selection to see the choices that we have available. Our online delivery makes it easy for you to order your fabric and get sewing.
Daisy Gingham Cerise£6.99 per metre
Emerald Green Gingham 1/8″£3.20 per metre
Yellow Gingham 1/8″£3.20 per metre
Navy Blue Gingham 1/8″£3.20 per metre
Royal Blue Gingham 1/8″£3.20 per metre
Pale Blue Gingham 1/8″£3.20 per metre
Lilac Gingham 1/8″£3.20 per metre
Pink Gingham 1/8″£3.20 per metre
Red Gingham 1/8″£3.20 per metre
Purple Gingham 1/4″£3.20 per metre
Royal Blue Gingham 1/4″£3.20 per metre
Turquoise Gingham 1/4″£3.20 per metre