Madras plaid & Patchwork madras fabric


Madras plaid & Patchwork madras fabric

What is Madras Fabric?…….
Madras is the name for a plaid / check fabric, woven in the Southern Indian city of Madras, where, since several hundred years, cotton fabric was woven on hand looms, in a typical plaid pattern, with several yarns of different colors, woven together into a plaid check pattern.
Madras fabric has been traditionally used in India, as a staple cloth for summer clothing like wrap cloths, shirts and other items.
Madras fabric was always loomed on handlooms (powered by hand), and that was the authentic way of weaving the fabric, but off late, more madras is being loomed on electric power looms, which have added to the speed of production, in addition to eliminating some of the characteristic slubs in the weave of the fabric, which were a standard anomaly in the genuine article.
Initially, madras that was loomed, was done so with yarns that were vegetable dyed, and hence, the colors were more rustic (vintage), and upon washing the garment made thereof, the colors would run (bleed), leading to the term “bleeding madras”, which became a much sought-after feature of this fabric, and led to huge demand for the same from clothing manufacturers and shirt makers. The colors of bleeding madras would run and leave the garment with a vintage run-down look, and this made it very desirable.
Today’s Madras is woven with more color-fast yarns, and hence, the colors don’t run as such, making the garment more stable.

However, a huge demand for bleeding madras made offer this product once again to its customers, by producing small runs of this fabric, made on traditional vintage handlooms, using the same vegetable yarns, thereby, bringing back to life, an age-old classic.

A variant of Madras fabric, which is equally popular among the preppy set, is Patchwork Madras fabric, which is basically, plain madras plaid cut into strips, and then re-sewn back together to form a patchwork fabric, which blends several different plaid patterns into one non-homogeneous  mix of plaids.
This fabric is very popular for children’s clothing, smocked clothing, classic children’s garments, mens shirts, jackets, shorts, ties, bowties, pants and also for skirts, headbands, wristbands, handmade handbags, and pet clothing.

Where can I buy Madras Fabric?…….
Madras fabric can be purchased in several fabric stores, and online as well, but this is not a very commonly available fabric, and sometimes some stores can carry very limited variety of colorways, as well as limited quantities of this fabric. Also, sometimes, simple plaid fabrics originating from places other than the city of Madras, India, are also peddled as madras fabric, but those are not the authentic item.
One of the largest collections of authentic Indian madras fabric is FABRICONLINESTORE.COM and their wholesale madras catalog at, which include several hundred thousand yards of madras plaid fabric, and patchwork madras, along with other fabrics for quilting, sewing and crafts.
Here, you can buy fabric by the yard, as well as wholesale, with discounts.

What is the price of madras fabric?…….
Madras fabric generally retails between $5-10 per yard, depending on whether it is genuine Indian madras fabric, fabric width (44 or 660 inch), fabric count and construction, weaving method (hand or power loomed), fabric weight (generally 3.5 to 6 ounces). The pricing usually also depends on whether the fabric is a closeout, or a surplus, or if it is fresh milled fabric, and finally, the quantities (MOQ’s) also impact pricing.

What are the minimums for buying madras fabric?…….
Generally, most fabric stores have little or no minimums for their fabrics. While this could be true for some of the fabrics these stores offer, it might not apply to all fabrics. Some fabrics, by virtue of their patterns, colorways, or the intricacies involved in their production, have higher minimums, without which it might not be viable to sell these.
Fortunately, most madras plaid and patchwork madras fabrics, fall within the category of fabrics that are available by the yard, though some patterns within these can have higher minimums. usually retails most of its fabrics, and most can be bought in increments of 1 yard. usually has minimums starting as low as 50 yards, going all the way up to 1000 yards, based on which it offers discounts on these.

Where can i buy madras fabric wholesale?…….
Both the sources above offer madras fabric wholesale, and by the yard. Wholesale minimums usually start at 50 yards, and discounts start there too. Wholesale accounts receive discounts proportionate to the yardage they purchase.

Can I get Madras Fabric from India directly?…….
Yes – offers a Direct-From-Factory option, wherein there is the option of getting this fabric, from their India factory warehouse direct, by the name of Atlantis Inc. India.
You get the fabric with an additional discount over and above the regular discounts.
Fedex International picks up from the factory warehouse, provides you a tracking, and drops to your doorstep, all within 8-10 business days mostly, and releases the fabric to you FIRST, and then sends a duty/brokerage bill to you.
The advantages with this option are that you get the madras direct from the source – India, leaving no doubt that it is in fact, genuine Indian madras. And, the additional discounts don’t hurt either.

What can Madras Fabric be used for?…….
Madras fabric is a great option for sewing preppy clothing for children’s such as boy’s shirts, pants, shorts, jackets, bowties, as well as for girl’s dresses, hand smocked dresses, classic children’s clothing, southern apparel, vintage dresses, menswear items like ties, bowties, pocket squares, shirts, pants, sport coats and jackets. Madras fabric is also great for handmade accessories like handmade belts and handbags, handmade preppy headbands, wristbands, monogrammed clothing, embroidering, cellphone covers, book covers, preppy table linen, bedding, sheets, drapery, crib bedding, and children’s room decor.
Additionally, madras fabric makes for preppy pet clothing, like dog shirts, dog jackets, dog collars, dog bedding and pet accessories.
Quilting is another hobby and craft form, for which plaid madras is excellent, since it can be used for making theme quilts, patchwork quilts, plaid quilts, madras quilts and children’s quilts.

Finally, Madras fabric is a classy and preppy option for any sewing and craft projects.

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