Khiton

The khiton is a sleeveless tunic that developed from a garment worn under armour as padding and to absorb sweat and prevent chafing. From its association with wealthy armoured troops it became an upper-class and semi-formal garment, though not so formal as the encumbering himation.

A khiton is made usually of fine cloth, sometimes sheer, textured (crepe, seersucker), or even lace, and usually brightly coloured or decorated with batik, printed patterns, wicked dyes, or embroidery. A length equal to twice the wearer's span is folded around the body under the left arm and gathered with stitchery or buttons on the shoulders leaving holes for the head and arms in the top. The opening under the right arm is sometimes sewn up and sometimes not. The khiton is their gathered at the waist with a girdle, and sometimes gathered into the chest with a cord around the shoulders and crossing the back.

Soldiers wear their khitons short and bloused up through the girdle. But as a semi-formal garment it is worn longer, sometimes down to ankle-length.

The khiton is unusual in being one of the few Gehennese garments that is sometimes worn with another garment: soldiers sometimes wear a khlamys over a khiton.

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Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.