This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Nankeen" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2007) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Nankeen trousers circa 1818
Material typePale yellowish cloth

Nankeen (also called Nankeen cloth) is a kind of pale yellowish cloth originally made in Nanjing, China from a yellow variety of cotton, but subsequently manufactured from ordinary cotton that is then dyed.[1]

The term blue nankeen describes hand-printed fabric of artistic refinement and primitive simplicity, which originated on the Silk Road over three thousand years ago.

Hand-carved stencils, originally made from wood but now from heavy paper, are prepared and a mix of soybean flour and slaked lime is applied through the openings of the stencil onto the 100% cotton fabric. When dry, the fabric is then dipped numerous times into the large tubs containing the indigo dye. After the desired color is achieved and the fabric has dried, the paste is scraped off, revealing the white patterns on the blue cloth. The fabric is then washed, dried, and ironed before fabrication.

Derived uses

Nankeen also refers to:

See also


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary