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What is the difference between Denim and Chino?

notdos

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This stupid thread arrived…exactly where I thought it would.
The End.
 

double00

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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?
yes chino is usually mercerized yarn which gives sheen and durability and a somewhat more slippery hand imho , denim warp gets sized and dyed with indigo as stf

denim singles tend to run beefier than chino ( both warp and woof ) , all else being equal that most likely means chino is comparatively overspun as there is a direct relationship between grist and twist for integrity of yarn

these are both military / workwear fabrics and built for durable service .
 

ter1413

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Daniel Hakimi

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Nobody needs a guide to differentiate between khakis and jeans.
1. I agree with others that referring to all chinos generically as "khakis" is stupid and we shouldn't feed into it.

2. That's not the purpose of the guide, but it's something I want to understand deeply to be able to write the guide effectively.

yes chino is usually mercerized yarn which gives sheen and durability and a somewhat more slippery hand imho , denim warp gets sized and dyed with indigo as stf

denim singles tend to run beefier than chino ( both warp and woof ) , all else being equal that most likely means chino is comparatively overspun as there is a direct relationship between grist and twist for integrity of yarn

these are both military / workwear fabrics and built for durable service .
Now this is helpful. Thicker yarns explain coarser textures and less wrinkling. I know mercerized cotton can be used for denim too, but that's something to dig into.

I'm sick of people who didn't actually read my question saying "this is dumb, everybody knows the difference!" -- this is a useful answer.
 

double00

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... it's something I want to understand deeply to be able to write the guide effectively...
a reasonably deep question : how to account for the differences in feel , performance , and aesthetic between chino and denim , given the common structural dnas of cotton and twill ?

let's filet this !

i've harvested a couple of samples to glean from , one is vintage prob 70s typical 13 oz denim from a random roll i have around; the other is from a dockers miusa capsule that i wore out and held onto the corpse for patching etc .

let's take a look :

IMGP6543.JPG

here are the right side of the fabrics , showing opposite bias . if we wanted to we could fit a straight edge to those biases and it would tell us a lot about the comparative relationship between warp and weft .

IMGP6542.JPG

here's the wrong side , again we can easily see that the chino bias is somewhat steeper


IMGP6546.JPG

the lightbox view . from here we can practically count the number of picks and warps , with a ruler in frame we'd have the measurements . we can also see the wiggle inherent in denim against the uniformity of chino (i hope you are seeing this ?) . i just taped my samples to a sunny window - don't look directly at the sun folks , it will only make you as crazy as i am .

ok don't stop . now let's pick apart the yarns .

first the weft :

chino on the left , denim on the right . first thing we can see is the chino weft is plied ! it looks to be a pair of yarns in S twist ( presumably the singles are spun as z but this is getting fairly fine for my eyes ) , the denim is a fatter single , spun as Z twist .

IMGP6549.JPG

now the warp :

as in the weft the chino warp is plied ,

IMGP6551.JPG
this is probably the most important diff between the fabrics imho , both warp and weft are composed of plied yarns while denim is made of singles . the denim warp is z spun and single , the chino warp is a pair of singles - most likely z spun and plied s . ( this is the reason for the opposite biases in the first pic ) ...

i haven't bothered to parse the differences in grist , but the component singles are far finer in chino than denim . the heavier unorganized weft probably accounts for the sponginess of denim compared to the relative flatness of chino .

more i could offer but i'lll leave the rest
 

Daniel Hakimi

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a reasonably deep question : how to account for the differences in feel , performance , and aesthetic between chino and denim , given the common structural dnas of cotton and twill ?

let's filet this !

i've harvested a couple of samples to glean from , one is vintage prob 70s typical 13 oz denim from a random roll i have around; the other is from a dockers miusa capsule that i wore out and held onto the corpse for patching etc .

let's take a look :

View attachment 1823306
here are the right side of the fabrics , showing opposite bias . if we wanted to we could fit a straight edge to those biases and it would tell us a lot about the comparative relationship between warp and weft .

View attachment 1823305
here's the wrong side , again we can easily see that the chino bias is somewhat steeper


View attachment 1823307
the lightbox view . from here we can practically count the number of picks and warps , with a ruler in frame we'd have the measurements . we can also see the wiggle inherent in denim against the uniformity of chino (i hope you are seeing this ?) . i just taped my samples to a sunny window - don't look directly at the sun folks , it will only make you as crazy as i am .

ok don't stop . now let's pick apart the yarns .

first the weft :

chino on the left , denim on the right . first thing we can see is the chino weft is plied ! it looks to be a pair of yarns in S twist ( presumably the singles are spun as z but this is getting fairly fine for my eyes ) , the denim is a fatter single , spun as Z twist .

View attachment 1823317

now the warp :

as in the weft the chino warp is plied ,

View attachment 1823319
this is probably the most important diff between the fabrics imho , both warp and weft are composed of plied yarns while denim is made of singles . the denim warp is z spun and single , the chino warp is a pair of singles - most likely z spun and plied s . ( this is the reason for the opposite biases in the first pic ) ...

i haven't bothered to parse the differences in grist , but the component singles are far finer in chino than denim . the heavier unorganized weft probably accounts for the sponginess of denim compared to the relative flatness of chino .

more i could offer but i'lll leave the rest
Fuck, this is helpful and parts of it went over my head. I definitely need to read more about the Z/S dichotomy. I didn't realize that chino yarns could be piled, but apparently piled yarns are common and don't always make piled fabrics?

Damn, I gotta get to work. Thanks.
 

double00

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a single is the most simply spun yarn that can hold itself together .

to make a yarn with more than one single typically the multiple of singles is spun the opposite direction . this action usually results in a de-spinning of the singles .

sorry for the world salad . let me say it another way :

if you have a cat or dog groom it out until you have gathered a bit of fur , also tell em you love em and a little kiss never hurt ,

once you have a little cloud of fur , roll it oppositionally like a doobie, gently pull , tension it to attenuate it in to yarn , and twist until stable . hold it again in half and it will automatically ply itself . now throw it away and wash your frigging hands you pervert . jk .

the direction we spin is S or Z , when we look across the fiber which *direction* is it going :

Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 7.49.12 PM.png

aka clockwise or counter but this is the textile shorthand

( i pilfered this from internet but knowledge of art )
 

double00

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the bigger point is probably that the chino that i sampled was plied in both directions . meaning it wasn't a single yarn as is denim ( i've never seen a plied denim yarn ymmv ) .

the chino as i've sampled is built as a much finer single then plied in two as a yarn and built as a steeper twill .

as i see it the character of the fabric prob comes from exactly that : the finer yarn , and plied works on itself , it becomes denser and reponds to higher tension etc . i guess you'd say it's a more paper like fabric .
 
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Denim is also made of cotton but the way its spun and sewn is different enough for it to be considered seperate, mainly that denim has a smaller range of colors and textures, and is also thicker and harder wearing, therefore more practical, chino as a term for cotton trousers is also more broad then denim as a term is
 

mak1277

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Sid Mashburn calls them khakis (regardless of color). Good enough for me.

 

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