Madras is a lightweight cotton fabric with typically patterned texture and
plaid design, used primarily for summer clothing such as pants, shorts,
dresses, and jackets. The fabric takes its name from the former name of the
city of Chennai, India. This cloth also was identified
by the colloquial name, "Madrasi checks."
Madras today is available as plaid patterns in regular cotton, seersucker
and as patchwork madras. Patchwork madras is fabric that is derived from
cutting several madras plaid fabrics into strips, and sewing them back together
as squares of 3 inch
sizes, that form a mixed pattern of various plaids crisscrossing. As a fabric,
it is notable because the front and back of the fabric are indistinguishable.