How well do you know chinos? Besides the fact that they can be worn to work, on weekends, at dinner parties, and even at weddings? How about the fact that Audrey Hepburn and JFK apparently enjoyed wearing them? Or that they were originally used for military purposes in India? At Tellin, we’re obsessed with this adaptable, time-tested, and elegant essential.
Today’s chinos are inspired by a khaki fabric that was developed by Sir Harry Lumsden in 1848 while he was stationed in India. In an effort to blend in with the off-white/sandy landscape, Lumsden mixed coffee, curry, and mulberries and dyed his and his troops’ white uniform a beige/earth-tone shade. This new shade was called khaki, the Hindi term for ‘dust’ or ‘dusty’.
Over the next fifty years, the khaki fabric was adopted by other armies, produced at a larger scale, and was eventually fabricated in China. American soldiers stationed in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War shortened what the Spanish-speaking Filipinos called ‘pantalones Chinos’.
Come to think of it, this isn’t the only instance where we refer to a product or practice by its country of origin – like going Dutch.
The khaki color comes from a need to blend in. Today, we don’t associate earth tones with tactical military wear, but we might still feel the need to blend in. Inspired by the chino’s long, international history, we decided to take this versatile, cross-generational fabric in a new direction.
At Tellin, we source a lot of our material from Schoeller, a 150-year-old Swiss manufacturer and fabric maker. It’s their 3XDRY (pronounced three times dry) technology that really caught our attention.
Is breathable on the inside
Is treated to resist liquid on the outside
Dries faster than untreated cotton twill (traditional khakis)
The way we perceive clothes shapes how entire generations dress and sometimes act. We noticed this with the red plaid flannel that once epitomized country life. It’s now ubiquitous in cities and lives just as well indoors as it does on the streets, and in the great outdoors.
We know that beige pants are already a classic. But our goal isn’t to produce clothes that look, feel, and function like everything else that’s already out here. We’re a small company that likes to think big (and sometimes we obsess). Fascinated with how people wear and interact with clothes and how this changes over time, we want to push this multi-faceted pant even further.
Khaki, the dust-hiding color, originates from the Hindi word for ‘dust’. We continue the story and have named our advanced urban chinos ‘Yatra’, the Hindi word for ‘Journey’ or ‘Travel’.
We put a lot of thought into the creation and intention of these pants and don’t waste our time thinking about trends. We think about shifts; about new ways of wearing clothes in the city and on the road. Yatra will let you go anywhere and everywhere, and will help you blend in no matter what city you’re in. With Schoellers 3XDRY fabric, we’re making chinos that adapt to your lifestyle as seamlessly as Sir Harry Lumsden made the first khaki fabrics adapt to his.
What’s stopping you from travelling, exploring, and immersing yourself in a new city, or even your own? When’s the last time you felt like a local? In our upcoming article we’re going to be discussing the hidden beauty in cities and the benefits of staying in and sometimes getting out of them. For now, you can check out our new collection of elegant clothes made with high-performance fabric here.