Definition of GINGHAM

GINGHAM Noun and Adjective

Gingham is primarily a noun and can also be used as an adjective, referring to a type of lightweight, plain-woven cotton fabric, typically featuring a checked pattern.

GINGHAM as a noun

As a noun, gingham refers to the fabric itself, which is characterized by its distinct checkered pattern. For example, “She wore a dress made of gingham,” highlights the material used for the dress.

Textile Characteristics: Gingham is known for its simple weave and the checked patterns created by contrasting colored threads. It is often used for clothing, tablecloths, and curtains. For instance, “The picnic blanket was made of red and white gingham,” showcases its classic design.

Historical Context: The use of gingham dates back to the 17th century, originating from Southeast Asia and later popularized in Europe and America. For example, “Gingham became widely popular in the 18th century for its durable and affordable qualities,” indicates its historical significance.

Fashion and Apparel: Gingham has a strong presence in fashion, particularly in summer and casual wear. It is often used for dresses, shirts, and skirts. For example, “The spring collection featured several gingham pieces,” shows its popularity in seasonal fashion.

Home Decor: Gingham is also widely used in home decor for items like tablecloths, napkins, and curtains, adding a rustic and charming look to interiors. For example, “The kitchen curtains were made of blue gingham,” highlights its decorative use.

GINGHAM as an adjective

As an adjective, gingham describes items made from or featuring the gingham fabric. For example, “She bought a gingham tablecloth,” indicates that the tablecloth is made of gingham material.

Cultural Associations: Gingham is often associated with certain cultural and regional aesthetics, such as the classic American picnic or vintage style. For example, “The picnic was set up with gingham tablecloths and baskets,” evokes a traditional and nostalgic image.

Variations in Pattern: While typically recognized for its checked pattern, gingham can vary in size and color of the checks, offering versatility in design. For instance, “The designer experimented with larger gingham checks for a modern twist,” showcases its adaptability.

Crafts and DIY Projects: Gingham fabric is popular in crafting and DIY projects due to its easy-to-work-with nature and charming appearance. For example, “She used gingham fabric to create handmade aprons,” illustrates its use in craft activities.

Global Influence: Though it has European and American connotations, gingham is used worldwide in various cultural contexts and styles. For example, “Gingham is a common fabric in traditional Southeast Asian clothing,” indicates its global reach.

In conclusion, gingham serves as both a noun and an adjective, describing a versatile and timeless fabric known for its distinctive checked pattern. From fashion and home decor to cultural associations and historical significance, gingham remains a beloved and enduring material across various applications.

Examples of GINGHAM in a sentence

GINGHAM as a noun in a sentence

  • She wore a pretty gingham dress to the picnic.
  • The tablecloth was made of blue and white gingham.
  • They decorated the nursery with curtains in pink gingham.
  • The shirt he wore had a classic gingham pattern.
  • The kitchen towels were made of checkered gingham fabric.
  • The quilt was stitched from patches of colorful gingham.
  • She sewed a cute gingham bow onto her daughter’s dress.
  • The picnic blanket was spread out on the grass in red gingham.

GINGHAM as an adjective in a sentence

  • She wore a charming gingham skirt to the summer party.
  • The kitchen curtains were made of blue gingham fabric.
  • He tied a gingham ribbon around the gift box.
  • The cozy armchair was upholstered in green gingham.
  • The table setting featured gingham napkins and placemats.
  • The country-style kitchen was decorated with gingham accents.
  • She sewed a gingham border onto the tablecloth.
  • The patio umbrella had a cheerful gingham pattern.

Origin of GINGHAM

The term gingham has its etymological origins rooted in the Malay language.

  • Malay Origins: “Gingham” originates from the Malay word “genggang,” which refers to a striped cloth. Malay traders introduced gingham fabric to Europe during the colonial period, where it gained popularity for its distinctive checked or striped patterns.
  • Colonial Influence: Gingham fabric became synonymous with the patterns and designs associated with Malay textiles, reflecting the cultural exchanges and trade routes between Southeast Asia and Europe. The term “gingham” entered the English language as a descriptor for this type of fabric.
  • Fabric Characteristics: Gingham is typically made from cotton or a cotton-blend fabric and is known for its characteristic checked or striped patterns, often in contrasting colors. It is widely used in clothing, homeware, and crafts due to its durability, versatility, and timeless appeal.
  • Global Usage: Gingham fabric gained popularity beyond its origins in Southeast Asia and Europe, becoming a staple in fashion and design worldwide. Its association with rustic charm, simplicity, and nostalgia has made it a perennial favorite in various cultures and contexts.

From its origins in Malay textiles to its global popularity as a versatile fabric, the term gingham embodies the cultural exchanges and influences that shape the world of textiles and design.


  • Checkered
  • Plaid
  • Checked
  • Tartan
  • Crisscross
  • Picnic
  • Patterned
  • Woven


  • Solid
  • Plain
  • Smooth
  • Unpatterned
  • Monochrome
  • Single-colored
  • Uniform
  • Homogeneous


  • Fabric
  • Textile
  • Material
  • Clothing
  • Design
  • Weave
  • Homespun
  • Country-style

🌐 🇬🇧 GINGHAM in other languages

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