Khaki (from the Persian یکاخ – earthen, or earth-coloured), entered the English language via Hindi, during the British occupation of India. It was adopted by the British army from the mid-19th Century for its camouflage properties, as well as its practicality compared to cochineal-dyed red coats and bright white trousers, for heat and cleaning.

The colour can vary from a tan ‘drab’ traditionally dyed with an extract of the Mazari palm (Nannorrhops ritchiana), to a brighter green, such as this version achieved with a mixture of fermented indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) and turmeric (Curcuma longa).


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