Madras fabric is named after the Indian city of Madras, where it first originated. Back then; those who wore this suitably stylish check were considered members of the peasant class. How dare they! The original Madras fabric was made from lightweight cotton muslin (to suit hot Indian temperatures) and coloured with natural vegetable dye. Beetroot anyone?
Fast forward to the 1600’s and the style began to make its way west thanks to Dutch and English traders. The East India Company became the first to capitalise on the style, attracting roughly 400 weavers to Madras to produce the plaid fabric.
And then there’s Yale University. No, students didn’t become Madras traders… Instead, Elihu Yale, official of the East India Company, made an enormous donation of fabric to the university. The Collegiate School of Connecticut was then renamed Yale in his honour. Having been introduced to America in 1718, we’ve seen the popularity of the distinct check continually increase ever since.
Today, Madras is a staple pattern of any summer wardrobe. It’s easy to see why – the shirts are versatile, stylish, comfy & easy to wear. Team the bold design with neutral colours – think an open Madras shirt worn over a white tee. Or, if you prefer something a little wilder, clash with contrasting prints and bright shades. Warmer weather? Wear it on its own and let it do the talking.
We recommend the Salcombe Madras Shirt for him and the Shearsby Boyfriend Shirt, Breighton Boyfriend Shirt or Devin Collarless Shirt for her. In so many different colour combinations, you’ll be spoilt for choice.