Who doesn't love Polka Dots? Here is their history:
Popularized in fashion in the 1950s, Polka Dots are used on sneakers, toys and fancy dresses.
Dots were Sinister
Early in history, polka dots had a sinister quality. In medieval Europe, wearing dotted patterns on fabric was taboo. It wasn't easy to space the dots evenly without the help of machines, and irregularly spaced spots connoted more than anything the first visual manifestation of disease, particularly leprosy, syphilis, smallpox, bubonic plague, and measles.
Spots aren't the only outlaw graphic pattern of the Middle Age—both spots and stripes marked social outcasts, although each pattern brought a different inflection.
Dotted-fabric patterns went by various names in mid-19th-century Europe. Dotted-Swiss referred to raised dots on transparent tulle.
The English term polka dots stems from an extended craze for polka music and dancing that swept east to west from Europe between the 1840s and 1860s.
Marketers hawked every product they could as polka-themed: polka curtains, polka gauze, polka hats, shoes, and vestsPolka dots took a subversive turn in early 20th century America. Clean and utterly simple in their machine-printed version, the pattern exuded a lively wholesomeness appropriate for children. It became especially popular on bedsheets, bassinets, and nightgowns.
1960's fashion was full of Polka Dots. Dots are here to stay. They do have a checkered past!