Although I realize I still owe you a Christmas decoration (ahem) it's probably better to ignore that one at this stage as the world has moved on. So let's start afresh with a small new series on fabric design classics.
Prints or weaves that have developed into evergreens might not seem an overly exciting subject at first, but still can hold a couple of suprises, as I found when I did some research on my first classic: Gingham, or Vichy as they like to call this fabric on the European continent.
Originally gingham was a cotton made of two colours forming striped fabric, which was brought to Europe from Asia in 17th century. Later english and french mills developed a checkered pattern, which eventually took over the original striped version (That's where the name Vichy comes from. Of course the French will say they started the checkered thing. And the english will say the Frenchies just copied it from the Manchester mills.. ;). Whatever happened: Suddenly it was there and hasn't left since.
The fresh country style charm of gingham is undeniable. Like with everything else: Too much is definitely possible. However, the ease of cutting and sewing this geometrical pattern, the fact that it can be combined with so many other patterned and solid fabrics, and that it can be used as a canvas for many embellishments, makes gingham a must have in each fabric stash.
Red, Blue, Yellow, Pink, Baby Blue and Black are colours often used for gingham, but there are also different variations.
For instance Robert Kaufman's Carolina Series (first row) or the danish Stof A/S (who also still offer the striped gingham) available in Germany through Quiltmaus (second row). I also like the diagonal ginghams to add some pattern variation. Especially for accessories like belts, headbands and bags.
Then there is embroidery on gingham fabric, known as "chicken scratch" in the US or "Broderie Suisse" (I don't know the German name for this embroidery style). Quieter Moments is doing magic with this technique as you can see below. I've got to try this out as the variations and colour combinations are endless.
For small daily doses of gingham these are two nice products: Avie Art offers whimsical stickers with a gingham background that can be personalized to your needs, and The Papered Crown has sets of cheerful clothes pins in her etsy shop.
By the way: Who says gingham is for country style interiors only? Add a bit of drama to your living room and get inspired by this utterly fabulous slimline sofa seen at Angelucci.
It's the size of the checkers and the quality of the material that determines the best use of each gingham fabric and with the smallest checks starting at 2 to 3 mms there is really not much around that is Gingham proof!