The fabric called madras is the emblematic fabric of Martinique, the French West Indies and Guyana. It is mainly used for the making of the Martinique traditional hats and clothes. Rent a car to roam around Martinique and discover the island's traditional fashion culture.
Madras originally comes from Madras (Chennai) in India. It was brought to Martinique over a century ago by Indian workers who emigrated to the Caribbean after the abolition of slavery. In India, madras was first made with banana tree fibers and then replaced by cotton and silk. The city of Rouen, in continental France, soon became the French capital of madras and still remains the center or madras production in France. Madras differ from other French-made fabrics with their structure of highly colorful squares and lines.
Madras is the basic fabric used for making traditional Martinique clothing : madras shirts for men, skirts, handkerchiefs, hats and dresses for women. Women's madras clothes are often adorned with broderies and lace. Madras is also used in interior design : curtains, tablecloths and bedcloths can be made with madras to give a Caribbean feeling to a room.
You will have no trouble finding madras items and clothes in Martinique's many clothes and souvenir shops.
A little advice from Jumbo Car Martinique : rent an economic car to find Martinique's traditional clothes shops.
Originally steming from India, madras has become the traditional fabric in Martinique since the 19th century. Martinique abounds with shops selling clothes, beddings and various souvenirs and accessories made with madras. Rent a car to discover Martinique and find shops that sell madras products.