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What is the difference between Denim and Chino?

Daniel Hakimi

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They're both cotton twills, but they definitely tend to feel different. I know that Denim is, formally, a warp faced 2:1 or 3:1 cotton twill with an indigo warp and white weft, but that doesn't explain the way in which Chino is airy, and sometimes sort of waxy-ish... Is chino cotton treated in some way? Is chino a denser or looser weave? What's the difference?
 

Daniel Hakimi

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That doesn't really explain the difference. It says chino cloth is a wide category of cotton twills, but nobody says that denim is a type of chino. And while I've felt a very wide variety of chino fabrics and denim fabrics, they've always been distinct, they never feel the same. What causes that difference?
 

mak1277

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That doesn't really explain the difference. It says chino cloth is a wide category of cotton twills, but nobody says that denim is a type of chino. And while I've felt a very wide variety of chino fabrics and denim fabrics, they've always been distinct, they never feel the same. What causes that difference?
I think the point is that “chino” isn’t a specific cloth. That’s why it doesn’t feel the same.

Why would anyone call denim chino? Denim is denim. There’s no need to overcomplicate it
 

Daniel Hakimi

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I think the point is that “chino” isn’t a specific cloth. That’s why it doesn’t feel the same.
"Food" isn't a specific kind of food, but food is sometimes the same as pasta.

If "chino" is just any cotton twill, then denim would be a type of chino, and chino would, in some cases, feel like denim, becaue denim feels like denim..

Also, denim isn't just 3:1 twills, but also 2:1. In a variety of weights and densities with a variety of treatments.
 

mak1277

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"Food" isn't a specific kind of food, but food is sometimes the same as pasta.

If "chino" is just any cotton twill, then denim would be a type of chino, and chino would, in some cases, feel like denim, becaue denim feels like denim..

Also, denim isn't just 3:1 twills, but also 2:1. In a variety of weights and densities with a variety of treatments.
Idk. The article I linked is plenty informative for me. I don’t need more
 

mak1277

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Just because a square is technically a rectangle also doesn’t mean you’d ever say “rectangle” when you see “square”
 

Daniel Hakimi

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Just because a square is technically a rectangle also doesn’t mean you’d ever say “rectangle” when you see “square”
Well, depending on context, you might, but more importantly, you'd never see a square and say "that's not a rectangle." If somebody referred to my jeans as chinos, that would be *incorrect*.

On top of that, things like black "denim" and green "denim" aren't denim, because they're not made with indigo warps and white wefts, but there are still people who call them denim, and people *don't* usually call those garments chinos -- there's a distinct feel. And again, "denim" covers multiple twill weaves and a few different treatments.

So even if we were to ay "chino is any cotton twill that isn't denim," we'd have these odd corner cases of colored "denim" twills.

Is there a specific subset of twill weaves that are chino cloth?
 

mak1277

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So even if we were to ay "chino is any cotton twill that isn't denim," we'd have these odd corner cases of colored "denim" twills.
You could also have fatigue pants made out of cotton twill. I would not call those “chinos”.
 

breakaway01

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My understanding is that chinos are a type of garment, not a fabric. Just as “jeans” (the garment) are made of “denim” (a fabric), “chinos” are made of various cotton twill fabrics.

Denim is a specific subset of cotton twill fabric. Besides the weave (right hand twill, left hand twill, broken twill) and the different warp and weft colors, denim yarn seems to me to generally be coarser/thicker than yarn used in twills meant for chinos. The woven cloth can also be treated in different ways that change texture, etc.
 

notdos

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A Google search says:

Different types of fabric are used in jeans and chinos. Jeans, by definition, are made of denim, whereas chinos are made of chino cloth. The denim used to make jeans is a type of warp-faced cotton that's woven to create diagonal ribbing. In comparison, chino cloth is a type of cotton with twill-style weaving.
 

mak1277

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What about something like what Epaulet sells…cotton/wool blend chinos. I think they’re absolutely chinos even though they aren’t cotton twill. What else would you call them?
 

Daniel Hakimi

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My understanding is that chinos are a type of garment, not a fabric. Just as “jeans” (the garment) are made of “denim” (a fabric), “chinos” are made of various cotton twill fabrics.

Denim is a specific subset of cotton twill fabric. Besides the weave (right hand twill, left hand twill, broken twill) and the different warp and weft colors, denim yarn seems to me to generally be coarser/thicker than yarn used in twills meant for chinos. The woven cloth can also be treated in different ways that change texture, etc.
So Chino cloth is just a hard-to-define subset of cotton twills that aren't denim? I guess this makes as much sense as anything.

A Google search says:

Different types of fabric are used in jeans and chinos. Jeans, by definition, are made of denim, whereas chinos are made of chino cloth. The denim used to make jeans is a type of warp-faced cotton that's woven to create diagonal ribbing. In comparison, chino cloth is a type of cotton with twill-style weaving.
Lol. I know what jeans and chinos are. I was asking the difference between denim and chino. They're both cotton twills. Denim is a 3:1 or 2:1 warp-faced cotton twill with indigo warps and a white weft. Chino cloth and denim are different. How would we define chino cloth in a way that shows that denim is not a type of chino cloth, but a distinct fabric?

What about something like what Epaulet sells…cotton/wool blend chinos. I think they’re absolutely chinos even though they aren’t cotton twill. What else would you call them?
Pants. I mean, I don't want to be too pedantic, they can call them whatever they want, but if you want to be technical, naw, they're not chinos.
 

breakaway01

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I think this falls into the Justice Stewart's "I know it when I see it" definition. As a consumer and not a fabric maker, I can tell the difference between cotton twill fabric meant for chinos and denim. I'm sure you can too. It's not hard. But I doubt many could explain exactly how these yarns and fabrics are manufactured and treated to make them so different to the eye and to the touch. Cotton twill intended for dressier chinos, for example, is treated to be smoother and more lustrous. But I couldn't explain to you exactly how that is done.

How would we define chino cloth in a way that shows that denim is not a type of chino cloth, but a distinct fabric?
Crazy guess, but are you a patent attorney by any chance? :)
 

mak1277

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But if you use “chino cloth” and make something else out of it (fatigues, let’s say) then you can’t say that would be chinos. It’s more than the cloth alone.
 

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