Madras fabric is a lightweight, fine fabric. It is usually woven from cotton but viscose, silk or other blends can be used. It is often made incorporating bold stripes or check patterns. Before being woven, the cotton fabrics are often mercerised to improve the strength and lustre of the fabric. The fibres can be combed and carded, depending on the quality of the end fabric required. Madras fabric is used for shirts, blouses, dresses and turbans. Originally, this fabric was made be hand on a loom and used vegetable to dyes to achieve the desired colour, however machine-made versions are also available.
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