Madras Fabric – The Distinctive Cotton Ethnic Plaid Fabric
Madras fabric, what is it? Madras fabric is a light weight cotton fabric with a distinctive pattern, madras is has what is considered an ethnic plaid pattern. The name madras comes from Madras, India where the fabric was invented. Madras was originally mainly a black and red check fabric of East Indians, but now comes in a variety of plaid fabrics. Pure madras is 100% cotton.
• As plaids, they must be matched
• Are hand woven cottons
• Have bold patterns that cannot be matched
• Shrink as much as 10%
• Some fabrics have small flaws
• Some are dyed with vegetable dyes that bleed, so fabric should be laundered in cold water until the water runs clear
Working With These Fabrics Requires:
• Sewing machine needles recommended are 60/8-70/10 sharps
• Sewing machine settings should be a stitch length of 1.5-1.75 mm
• Sewing machine feet recommended are the even feed, roller and zipper foot
• Thread recommended is all-purpose cotton, polyester or cotton/polyester blend
• Markers recommended are tracing wheel and carbon, temporary marking pens, chalk
• Tools and equipment recommended are sharp scissors, sharp shears, rotary cutter and mat, safety pins
• Seams recommended are plain, lapped, to name a few
• Edge finishes recommended are plain hems, bias facings, self-fabric facings, bindings and bands
• Closures and pockets recommended are all types
These Fabrics Are Suitable For:
Madras is recommended for summer clothing such as pants, shorts, dresses and jackets.
For information about the notions, tools, and equipment required to complete a sewing project, click here to view the sewing notions home page
For more information about this family of fabrics some great references are:
Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide
To continue exploring information about fabrics follow the links below.