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Chino cloth

File:Chino pants.jpg
A pair of trousers made from chino cloth, generally referred to as chinos.

Chino cloth (/ˌtʃn/ CHEE-noh) is a twill fabric, originally made of 100% cotton. The most common items made from it, trousers, are widely called chinos. Today it is also found in cotton-synthetic blends.

Developed in the mid-19th century for British and French military uniforms, it has since migrated into civilian wear. Trousers of such a fabric gained popularity in the U.S. when Spanish–American War veterans returned from the Philippines with their twill military trousers.


The etymology of the term chino is disputed. Some sources identify the root as the American Spanish language word chino, which translated literally means toasted.[1] Because the cloth itself was originally manufactured in China, the name of the trousers may have come from the country of origin.[2]


First designed to be used in the military and then taken up by civilians, chino fabric was originally made to be simple, hard-wearing and comfortable for soldiers to wear; the use of natural earth-tone colors also began the move towards camouflage, instead of the brightly colored tunics used prior. The British and then American armies started wearing it as standard during the latter half of the 1800s.[2]

The pure-cotton fabric is widely used for trousers, referred to as chinos. The original khaki (light brown) is the traditional and most popular color, but chinos are made in many shades.[3]


  1. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  2. ^ a b "The History Of The Chino". Duchamp London. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  3. ^ "Mens Trousers, Mens Chinos, Coloured Chinos, Skinny Chinos At Republic". Retrieved 2012-12-01.