Where Does The Madras Print Come From?

Cover picture: http://bit.ly/2FebBaE


It's cold. And many of us only think of the return of hot temperatures and of the beautiful season. Well, at Coo-Mon, we have found the way to recall the sun and bring back a touch of warmth between two snow storms !

Add the Madras to your wardrobe!

The Madras, this print with false air of summer, will spice up the dullest winter outfits. Stay with us throughout this blog post, because you will discover the new madras accessories signed by Coo-Mon!

Without further ado, discover the story of this so familiar print, known to everybody, but of which we do not know the real origin ?

Where does the madras print come from? What are its origins ?

First of all, let’s answer the burning question. "Madras" ... this word sounds so exotic, and when we pronounce it, it leads us straight to a sandy beach lined with palm trees ... but what does it mean?

You will be surprised to learn that Madras, with its new name Chennai, is the 4th largest city in India by its size. Home to over 6 million people, it is a major economic and cultural hub in the south of the country. And contrary to what one could imagine, Madras is neither in the Caribbean nor in Latin America.

As for knowing its exact definition, theories diverge. It cannot be agreed whether the name of the city derives from the Portuguese word "madra" (mother), the Arabic name "médersa" (Koranic school), or the Hindi term "madhu-ras" (honey).

And not to complicating things, it seems that the madras print was not created at ... Madras.

Research suggests that the fabric comes from the town of Palicat, near Madras. Afterwards, it was simply named after the largest city in the region. When the Madras print began to make a name for itself, its production was relocated to Madras, especially for logistical reasons, because the infrastructures there facilitated the export.

From the beginning of the 17th century, India has attracted European merchants. The old economic arrangements facilitated major migratory movements, also increasing trade flows, which favored exchanges between the colonies of the European Empires. As a consequence, the madras eventually found itself in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Guyana, former French colonies, where Creole women still proudly wear the colored fabric.

The characteristics of the Madras print

In the past, the madras was hand-woven in banana and cotton fibers. Solid, it nevertheless gave off a particular smell. The fabric thus designed was breathable enough to respond adequately to the problems of hot climates.

Nowadays, the fabric is woven with silk chain and cotton weft. When we talk about madras, we immediately visualize this fabric with its bright and varied colors (red, blue, pink or yellow), declined dress-skirt, scarf or other accessories. The patterns that compose it are either checked or striped (lines), and are identical on each side of the fabric.

Photo of a madras fabric sample used by Coo-Mon for its accessories

 A strong comeback of the madras

The madras was very popular during the 1960s, worn mainly in shirt, pants, and jacket. Then it was somehow forgotten, giving way to the bohemian style of the hippie period, and later dethroned by more neutral color choices. The print was no more than a symbol, a traditional fabric representative of Creole folklore.

But it is now timidly returning to fashion.

It was especially on the men's fashion shows in Milan in Spring-Summer 2016 (collections by Ermenegildo Zegna, Missoni, and Jil Sander), and was revisited in Spring 2018 for the Hermès Women's Ready-to-Wear collection.

Who wears madras print nowadays?

Is the madras reserved for a certain age? A specific body type? A skin tone? A defined style? The answer to these questions is: No.

The print can be worn by anyone, as long as you like this assortment of colors. If you are not quite comfortable with a total madras look, accessories and fashion jewelry are a nice alternative!

Ladies, we offer you a simple and trendy outfit, combining Coo-Mon fashion accessories in Madras, a white tunic dress, dark brown tights and a pair of black ankle boots. The obi belt shown below is a limited edition. Made of black faux leather, it helps accentuate the mid-section and highlights the most feminine silhouettes. The big bangle, meanwhile, is suitable for all types of wrists. The association of these two accessories is great because of the same Madras print with yellow and red tiles. The perfect color reminder!

   Plaid Madras fabric obi belt

Madras women bracelet

Do you like Madras a lot and want to see other patterns? Click here to discover two other colors of belts in Madras.

Gentlemen! colorful outfits are not reserved for women. What do you think of these beautiful Coo-Mon bow ties, made in a Madras from Guadeloupe? Pre-tied, this collar will be on faster than you can even say it! You'll be able to pair them with a simple navy blue shirt and denim pants, all wrapped up in a pair of lace-up ankle boots.

You can surely opt for a suit for a more formal or festive outing.

You will also find Madras bow tie and suspenders sets for men in our online shop

Madras bow tie for men

Little girls

With this festive outfit, all you need is some good music to dance to the rhythm of the maracas!

The black "spinning skirt" is edged with madras ruffles in white and gray print and is ideally worn with a colorful long sleeve sweater - for the sparkling little girls.

This outfit would not be as fabulous without a hair accessory! Whether you opt for the butterfly headband or the rosette flower headband made in the same madras, Mademoiselle will be delighted! Made of cotton and lace, this original headband is adorned with a crystal button that closes this set with an elegant touch.

Little girl Madras ruffle skirt

Baby Madras flower headband

Little boys

Whether it's for a baptism, a wedding, a school photo shoot or a family outing, little boys will find something to wear in our selection of Madras bow ties and suspenders.

To make things better, little boys can have the same accessories as their dad with our father and son bow tie sets in Madras.

Shop your madras accessories now

in the Coo-Mon online store


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