If there’s anything that’s more ubiquitous in the world of pants than denim, it’s twill.
Yet not many people have heard of “twill.” Twill is the foundation for chino pants, so you’ll hear them referred to as “chinos” or even “khakis.” And since twill is a type of weave, not a type of fabric, you’ll often hear them referred to as “cotton chinos” or “cotton khakis.”
Which may be the reason why no one actually knows what twill is, or what makes it unique.
Well, here at Vintage 1946 we make sure to give twill its due. After all, we stock up on three different categories of twill, including:
What are the differences? First, you’ll have to know what separates a pair of twill pants from all the rest.
Know Your Twill Trousers
Plainly speaking, twill is a fabric weave that uses a diagonal rib pattern, in contrast to a “plain,” or straight weave. This pattern not only gives twill a tight weave, but ensures that the fabric from which it’s constructed has good “draping” qualities—i.e., it moves well over the skin.
Twill made from 100% cotton can be fashioned into chino cloth, which is essentially the foundation of all chino pants. This means that twill is fundamentally built in to casual and professional pants alike, offering a comfortable, versatile, and stylish alternative to plain jeans.
But twill trousers have been around longer than you think.
Military Twill Pants
This Military Twill Classic Fit in British Tan is a callback to the origins of twill pants: British and French military uniforms in the 1800s. The lightweight yet sturdy twill designs allowed for breathability in hot weather and had enough versatility to be suitable for military use. Because the style wasn’t so bad either, it wasn’t long before twill—and chinos in particular—became much more popular.
Sahara Twill Pants
As the name suggests, Sahara Twill is ideally suited for when you have to wear pants in warmer climates. They’re breathable, durable, and when constructed from 100% cotton as chino cloth is, light on the skin.
Classic Vintage Twill Pants
For a classic and “retro” look that maintains the modern sensibilities of chino cloth, you can try a more formal pair of twill pants like these Classic Vintage Twill Relax Fit in Navy. Like the other twills, it’s made from 100% cotton. The difference here? These classic vintage option have more of the “southern” twist you might be going for.
Avoiding Twill Myths
If you already know you enjoy your twill, head on over to one of our twill pages or browse the trousers listed above. But if you want to learn a little more, make sure and avoid some of the more common myths about twill you’ll read online:
- Twill is not the same as tweed.
- Twill and denim pants are both made from cotton
- You can make twill from other types of fabrics, including twill wool, but cotton is far and away the choice for chino cloth and formal twill trousers.