Madras: Is a lightweight fabric available as tartan (plaid) patterns in cotton, seersucker and as patchwork, meaning cutting several madras fabrics into squares or rectangles and sewn together to form mixed patterns of various plaids.
Madras has a nostalgic feel. A feeling of past summers on Cape Cod and Nantucket. Summer shorts, shirts, dresses and dinner jackets.
Undyed madras cloth became popular in Europe because it was lightweight and breathable. Cotton plaid madras reached America in 1718 as a donation to Yale University. Sears offered the first madras shirt for sale to the American consumer in its 1897 catalog.
Madras became popular in the 1960's among the generation of preppy baby boomers, and then carried on to the modern through the generations to today and has remained unchanged. Maybe it was Mad Men, maybe Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren. I think it evokes feeling of the past, better times, good times and summer times.