I remember picking up a dress from the roadside stands in Pondicherry when I recently visited the place. It was striped and free flowing a little below the knees and it was cool. I loved it the moment I wore it but I seldom knew what the material was. It is a striped and checkered fabric which is required for the summer wear. I came learn from the internet that it is called the Seersucker, which incidentally comes from a mix of the Urdu and Hindi words, seer which means milk and shekar which means sugar. The word is used to describe the fineness of the fabric comparable to milk as well as the rough stripes like the sugar which is somewhat bumpy in texture. I loved the dress all the more after knowing all about it and I still use it on a spring or a summer evening when it’s breezy and I can retire after a long day’s work. The weave of the fabric is such that it gives a somewhat wrinkled appearance to the fabric thus helping in circulation of air as well as the dissipation of heat. It doesn’t require ironing at all.
Learning a little more on the history of the fabric I came to know that it was used by the Britishers in India who felt it comfortable to wear in a country that was hot and moist and thereafter it went over to America too. The fabric was also used by the nurses during the Second World War.
Seersucker comes in plain colors, usually pastel shades and white, and in plaids, checks, which was also called as the Gingham and also in florals sometimes. These can also be used for curtains.