The British army borrowed both the material and the name “khaki” from India, where the army first used it.
The Indian name means “dusty,” and the original material was a stout cotton drill of the color of dust.
For clothing it served a twofold requirement. It was adapted to a warm climate, and its color was an admirable camouflage.
It was first word in 1848 by the Guide Corps, a mixed regiment of frontier troops.
Military use of today does not confine the material to cotton and permits the color to range from tannish-brown to olive-drab.