"The British in India in 1857 were forced by casualties to dye their red tunics to neutral tones, initially a muddy tan called khaki (from the Urdu word for 'dusty' as the tan matched the local dust). White tropical uniforms were dyed by the simple expedient of soaking them in tea. This was only a temporary measure. It became standard in Indian service in the 1880s, but it was not until the Second Boer War that, in 1902, the uniforms of the entire British army were standardized on this dun tone for battledress."
Fra afsnittet "Military camouflage" under Camouflage på Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camouflage
(I 1857 gjorde store dele af indien oprør mod den britiske besættelse)