Imagine for a moment the first Spring picnic of the year. Maybe it’s something you’ve longed for all Winter, and you’re excited to embrace the warm weather and all the wonderful gifts it has to bring. In your mind, you may be conjuring an idea of a red and white checkered tablecloth and a woven picnic basket—why is this the first thing that your brain imagines? Why is the gingham tablecloth so classic?
The Beginnings of Gingham
Gingham has long been a popular staple in textile industries across the world due to its durability, ease of production, and low costs. In the 18th century, northern British fabric mills began churning out gingham fabric at a rapid pace, and the design became one of the preferred fabrics for both children’s clothes and interior furnishings.
An All-American Design
Not only is gingham associated with the pleasant nostalgia of older and simpler times, but it also provokes feelings of American patriotism thanks to its frequent color combinations of red and white or blue and white. Plus, gingham was a fashion staple in movies now considered classics, such as The Wizard of Oz and The Philadelphia Story.
Due to its history as a versatile fabric utilized in high fashion, utilitarian fashion, costume design, school uniforms, and more, gingham has long since made its mark as a fabric ready for anything. Its variety of uses and wide range of popularity has allowed it to become a fabric that’s easily remembered among past trends while remaining prominent in current styles.
The next time you’re eating atop a gingham tablecloth at an event or a picnic, take a moment to remember gingham’s diverse and complex history. Or, if you’re planning an event and haven’t decided on your décor, consider a classic look like gingham!