From TheChels.info - The Chelsea Football Club Wiki
- See also club badges and shirt sponsors.
For a gallery of Chelsea home strips see home kits.
Since formation, Chelsea have always played in blue. Now synonomous with royal blue, the club's earliest shirts were a lighter shade (known as Eton blue), based on the racing colours of the local landowner; the Earl of Cadogan. By around 1912 the familiar royal blue had been adopted, which has remained more or less ever since, though a slightly lighter shade was worn in the late 1990s. Until the 1960s the kit had generally featured white shorts and black socks (with various trim), but under Tommy Docherty blue shorts were adopted, giving Chelsea a distinctive strip, as no other major side used that combination. Blue shorts were first adopted in the 1964-65 season and have remained ever since. A few seasons earlier, white socks had been introduced, and this tradition has also remained, save for the 1967-68 season and a period from 1985 until 1993.
For a gallery of Chelsea change strips see away kits.
In contrast to the relatively consistent blue home shirts, Chelsea's change colours have varied wildly, including the style and pattern. Since the 1970s a third strip has also often been produced, though rarely used. The most common colour for away strips has been yellow (ranging from mustard to near-luminous), and in recent years black shirts have been common. Perhaps surprisingly for younger fans, Chelsea have also sported red away shirts for a number of seasons throughout their history, though not since 1994. Other unusual and rare combinations include a white, green and red shirt in 1974-75 and a notorious "graphite and tangerine" strip that was worn in the mid-1990s. Among the designs of change shirts there have been horizontal and vertical stripes, diamond designs and many other variants.
Chelsea have mainly partnered with three kit manufacturers since branded shirts were introduced in the 1970s. The player's shirts were manufactured by Umbro from 1973 until the early 1980s, when Le Coq Sportif took over for the first half of the decade. Unusually, in the 1986-87 season Chelsea produced their own kits, under the name the Chelsea Collection. Umbro then returned as the club's kit manufacturer, until 2006 when Chelsea bought out the remainder of the contract for £24.5m , before agreeing a deal with Adidas . This deal was later extended until 2018. 
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