Our inspiration for recreating bleeding Madras came from the subtle colours of 1960s originals examples that we own. This was a result of years of washing and wear which lent the shirts a relaxed and lived in appearance, one that is impossible to match with modern chemical dyes. Since original examples are so hard to come by - particularly in deadstock condition - a comparison between the pre and post fade colours has been impossible.
After 6 months of wearing and washing one of our shirts we are able to make such a comparison. The shirt has been worn and then machine washed weekly with a normal colour load. It has begun to develop a beautiful patina and personality with pastel shades and an incredibly soft hand. It is pictured on the left here with an unwashed and unworn shirt to show the subtle changes that it has undergone. Following this is an original 1960s shirt where the front panel has not faded as much as the others, giving a glimpse of what the colour would have originally been.
We're very proud to have had our Madras shirts added to the textiles collection at the Harris Museum. Their http://www.tmoi.org.uk/ website is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in the history of textiles and one that we used when creating our fabrics.
Pictured is our shirt on display next to an original 1860s Madras fabric swatch as part of the Behind the Scenes: The Secret Life of Clothes exhibition.