Gingham is typically woven with a combination of a base color of white or tan and another color typically blue or red but the possibilities are endless. It can come in various sizes from the larger pattern used for tablecloths to it's smaller version, Pin Check, which is used in men's dress shirts.
The term Gingham has many possible origins. In Malay, "genggang" means ajar or separate. It may have been named for Guingamp, a town in Brittany, France. Or it could have come to English via Dutch.
Gingham when it was first imported to Europe in the 1600s was striped. In the mid-18th century, English mills began weaving the checker pattern that we now refer to as Gingham.
One of the most famous examples of Gingham is the blue and white dress worn by Dorothy in the 'Wizard of Oz.' (That comes on the list before the Gingham shirt worn by Mary Ann on 'Gilligan's Island.')Gingham evokes a homespun feel perfect for farmhouse, country, rustic, and Americana decors. It at works well with the girlish fancy of cottage decor, and the bright country feel of Shabby Chic.