Gingham is a medium-weight balanced plain-woven fabric made from dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarn.
The name originates from an adjective in the Malay language, genggang, meaning striped. Some sources say that the name came into English via Dutch. When originally imported into Europe in the 17th century it was a striped fabric, though now it is distinguished by its checkered pattern. From the mid 18th century, when it was being produced in the mills of Manchester, England, it started to be woven into checked or plaid patterns (often blue and white). Checked gingham became more common over time, though striped gingham was still available in the late Victorian period.
Along with muslin, gingham is often used as a test fabric while designing fashion, or used for making an inexpensive fitting shell prior to making the clothing in fashion fabric.
Gingham shirts have been worn by mods since the 1960s and continue to be identified with fans of indie and mod music with brands like Ben Sherman, Fred Perry, Penguin and Merc producing gingham shirts.