After an especially tenacious winter, spring is finally in the air, and that means sultry summer nights are on the way. We thought this seemed like a good time for a look at one of our favorite warm-weather fabrics: seersucker.
A light, soft, woven cotton, seersucker is defined by puckered stripes that hold the fabric away from the skin, creating pockets of air that help to keep you cool. That airy feel, along with great texture and style, has made this fabric a summer classic for everything from sundresses and shorts to suits for centuries.
To create seersucker's signature stripes, yarn-dyed threads are wound onto the loom and different tension levels are assigned to the colors. When the shuttle starts to fly, the stripes emerge – some more taut and others less so, thanks to those tension settings – and the loose stripes automatically pucker up between their tighter neighbors. It's called a "slack-tension" weave – which sounds just perfect for summer, doesn't it?
Seersucker came to the West from India during the British Colonial period of the 1800s, and the name was originally kheer aur shakkar, Hindustani for "rice pudding and sugar," a pretty apt description of the texture. In America, Southern gentlemen adopted it for suiting, and then college students started wearing it in the 1920s, cementing the fabric's association with preppy style.
When our designer Laura Jo decided to bring seersucker into our collection, she wanted to loosen it up a bit – to keep the great, rumpled texture and natural air conditioning, but shed that preppy primness in favor of the relaxed style you love from Coyuchi. So she varied the width of the stripes and had them woven from pure organic cotton in three soft, tonal hues, instead of the usual color-plus-white.
The result is the ultimate seersucker – light and airy, soft and cool, and just as dreamy, laid-back and easy to love as summer itself.