Prints, Patterns & Fabrics: Madras

I thought it might be useful to put together a guide to the various prints, patterns & fabrics so beloved of Preps... So here is the first instalment.

Madras (also Madrasi Checks)


Whilst Madras has now become a term to refer to the colourful plaid patterns that adorn many a preps' finery, the name originally referred to a type of Indian cloth named after the city of Madras (now Chennai) in India that became popular for summer clothing during the colonial era.
Madras is a lightweight cotton fabric woven with a patterned texture that can be used for any summer clothing.

Madras became incredibly popular amongst the preppy set during the 1960s and has remained so ever since. Madras bleeds over time which gives the cloth a very very preppy look! Especially preppy is the creation of a garment from a variety of differenet Madras cloths.

I love this cheeky print which works particularly well for swimwear or a pair of summer shorts. Many preps have been known to use madras for blazers, pants, bowties, shirts...

Amazon stock all kinds of wonderfully preppy madras cloth apparel.