Madras fabric can be made using two very different methods, and that could make all the difference.
There are two ways of weaving fabric : one used machine looms that are automated and driven by electricity, while the other method uses hand power alone, and is non-automated and hence is known as Handloomed.
Handloomed fabrics are woven using a slow method that takes a long time for each yard of fabric to be woven, whereas, powerloom fabrics are woven speedily, using electric power.
Handloom fabrics are essentially “handmade”, and hence more sought after and valued by real afficionados, being one of a kind, slow manufactured, using natural techniques.
Powerloom madras fabrics are more commercial-manufactured, and hence, lose the special touch of handmade handloom woven madras fabrics.
Generally, another difference between handloomed fabrics would be in that these would be slightly looser weaves, as compared to powerloomed fabrics, which would be a tighter weave.
Also, handloomed madras fabrics tend to have slubs or irregularities in the weave texture, but which are rather desirable traits of this fabric, since these are viewed as “natural” anomalies in the fabric.
Powerloomed fabrics would mostly always be smoother, and more “perfect”, but also would be viewed as more factory-made, and hence, would be less valuable.
Finally, owing to the desirability of handloomed madras plaid fabrics, they are costlier than powerloom fabrics, the latter being priced lesser owing to economies of scale in their production.
Nevertheless, Handloom & powerloom madras fabrics, both are the real thing, and both qualify as true madras cloth, and hence, will always be an indelible part of the closets of preppy fashion enthusiasts, and both fabrics are an excellent choice for menswear like ties, shirts, jackets, pants, bowties, kids clothing, women’s skirts and dresses, pet / dog clothing, totebags, purses and accessories.