Seersucker is a thin, all-cotton fabric, commonly striped, used to make clothing for spring and summer wear. The word came into English from Hindi, which originates from the Persian words "shir o shakar," meaning "milk and sugar", probably from the resemblance of its smooth and rough stripes to the smooth surface of milk and bumpy texture of sugar [ [ seersucker. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000 ] ] . Seersucker is woven in such a way that some threads bunch together, giving the fabric a wrinkled appearance in places. This feature causes the fabric to be mostly held away from the skin when worn, facilitating improved heat dissipation and air circulation. It also means that ironing is not necessary.

Muslim traders traded the fabric throughout a wide area. [] During the British colonial period seersucker was popular as a material in Britain's warm weather colonies. When Seersucker was first introduced in the United States it was used for broad array of clothing items. For suits the material was considered a mainstay of the summer wardrobe of gentlemen, who favored the light fabric in the high heat and humidity of the summer, especially prior to the arrival of air conditioning.

Seersucker is still widely worn. It was used for nurses uniforms in World War II. [] Seersucker is also mentioned prominently in the Official Preppy Handbook.

The fabric was originally worn by the poor in the U.S. until undergraduate students, in an air of reverse snobbery began to wear the fabric. [] Damon Runyon wrote that his new habit for wearing seersucker was "causing much confusion among my friends. They cannot decide whether I am broke or just setting a new vogue." When worn in the North, typically the last Monday of May is considered the beginning of the appropriate time for wear. In the South a rule of thumb that it is appropriate to wear between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It is widely considered a fashion faux pas to wear seersucker at the wrong time of the year. Suits are sometimes worn with bow ties. Common items of clothing made from seersucker include suits, shorts, shirts and robes. The most common colors for it are white and blue; however, it is produced in a wide variety of colors, usually alternating colored stripes and puckered white stripes slightly wider than pinstripes.

Seersucker is made by slack-tension weave. The yarns are wound onto the two warp beams in groups of 10 to 16 for a narrow stripe. The crinkle stripe may have slightly larger yarns to enhance the crinkle. The stripes are always in the warp direction and ongrain. Today, seersucker is produced by a limited number of manufacturers. It is a low-profit, high-cost item because of its slow weaving speed. Seersuckers are made in plain colors, stripes, plaids, checks and prints. Seersucker is used in curtains and summer suiting, dresses, and sportswear.

Seersucker is comfortable and easily washed, and was the choice for the summer service uniforms of the first female United States Marines. The decision was made by Captain Anne A. Lentz, one of the first female officers selected to run the Marine Corps Women's Reserve during the Second World War.

The US Senate recently had Seersucker Thursday.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • seersucker — [ sirsɶkɶr ] n. m. • 1838; mot angl. ♦ Anglic. Tissu de coton gaufré écossais ou rayé. ● seersucker nom masculin (anglais seersucker, crépon de coton) Tissu de coton écossais, gaufré et parfois à fines rayures, parfois mélangé à du polyester.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Seersucker — Bindung Krepp Traditionelles Materi …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Seersucker — Seer suck er, n. A light fabric, originally made in the East Indies, of silk and linen, usually having alternating stripes, and a slightly craped or puckered surface; also, a cotton fabric of similar appearance. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • seersucker — 1722, from Hindi sirsakar, East Indian corruption of Pers. shir o shakkar striped cloth, lit. milk and sugar, a reference to the alternately smooth and puckered surfaces of the stripes. From Pers. shir (Cf. Skt. ksiram milk ) + shakar (Cf. Pali… …   Etymology dictionary

  • seersucker — ► NOUN ▪ a fabric with a puckered surface. ORIGIN from a Persian phrase meaning milk and sugar (with reference to the alternating stripes in which the fabric was originally woven) …   English terms dictionary

  • seersucker — [sir′suk΄ər] n. [Hindi shirshaker < Pers shir u shakar, lit., milk and sugar, also a kind of striped linen cloth] a light, crinkled fabric of linen, cotton, etc., usually with a striped pattern …   English World dictionary

  • Seersucker — Seer|su|cker 〈[si:ə(r)sʌkə(r)] m. 3; Textilw.〉 leichter Leinenstoff aus abwechselnd flachen u. gekräuselten Bereichen, wird bes. für Tafel , Küchen u. Bettwäsche verwendet [engl., „Krepp“] * * * Seer|su|cker [ si:ɐ̯sakɐ ], der; s [engl.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • seersucker — noun Seersucker is used before these nouns: ↑suit …   Collocations dictionary

  • Seersucker — Seer|su|cker [ siəsʌkə] der; s <aus gleichbed. engl. seersucker, dies über Hindi śɪ̲rś’akar aus pers. šɪ̲r wa šakar »Milch u. Zucker«> Baumwoll[misch]gewebe mit Kreppeffekt, der durch unterschiedliche Kettspannung u. Mischung von stark u.… …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • seersucker — seer·suck·er (sîr’sŭk′ər) n. ▸ A light thin fabric, generally cotton or rayon, with a crinkled surface and a usually striped pattern. ╂ [Hindi śīrśakkar, sīrsakar and Urdu šīršakar, milk and sugar, a kind of silk cloth, both from Persian šīr o… …   Word Histories

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