Croft Mill

Step into Spring with Gingham Fabric!

A fabric that is immediately evocative of the warmer seasons, gingham oozes with attractive charm. Now that spring has arrived and summer is but a couple of months away, it's the perfect time to start using gingham fabric to brighten your wardrobe and home.

It isn't entirely clear where the word 'gingham' originates. Some sources suggest that it is a corruption of the Malay word 'genggang', which means 'separate' (referring to the pattern). Another possibility is that gingham fabric was made in and thus named after the French town of 'Guingamp', located in Brittany.

Wherever the name came from, gingham fabrics were first imported into Europe at some time in the 17th century. Everyone is familiar with the classic checked pattern of gingham so it may surprise you to learn that the fabric was originally striped. The checked pattern did not emerge until the middle of the 18th century, when gingham started to be mass produced in mills in Manchester, often in a blue-and-white colour. Striped gingham fell out of popularity towards the end of the Victorian era.

Gingham fabrics have been used ever since and have never really been out of fashion. Perhaps the most famous gingham dress in history was worn by Judy Garland when she played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Renowned actress and fashion icon Brigitte Bardot walked down the aisle in a pink gingham wedding dress which sparked such a trend that the fabric quickly became in short supply in France. Today, gingham is used by many major fashion houses to create clothing, including Fred Perry, Ben Sherman and Lambretta Clothing.

To create gingham, the yarns are first dyed. Then, two different colours are used on both the weft and warp, resulting in a plain-weave, lightweight fabric with the iconic tri-tone checked pattern.

Gingham fabric is extremely versatile. It's light weight makes it especially suitable for creating summer dresses, skirts and tops though it is also great for nightwear. The material is also perfect for crafting many different home furnishing, from tablecloths and napkins to throws, cushions, curtains and towels.

Here at Croft Mill, we have a superb selection of gingham fabrics to choose from in a variety of different colours and styles so check out our website to discover the complete collection. Don't forget that we also offer a comprehensive array of premium-quality accessories in our fully-stocked haberdashery.

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