Cotton Madras Fabric is distinguished by its vibrant plaid designs, usually in a patchwork formation. The material has a rich history, dating back to 17th century India in a city formerly called Madras, from which the fabric gets its name. Madras was originally worn only by members of the lower class in Indian society who would recycle cloth and sew it to other pieces, hence the patchwork design. The fabric was introduced to the Western world when the English East India Company brought it back to Europe in the mid-17th century. Its breathability and light weight made it—and still make it—a hot commodity. Cotton madras fabric is perfect for dresses, summer wear and jackets.