These articles may be of assistance:The Bhikkhus' Rules: FAQs by Bhikkhu AriyesakoQ.1: Why does a monk wear the robe? Why do some wear brown robes and others wear yellowish brown?
A: The Lord Buddha gave this reflection about why a monk wears a robe:
Properly considering the robe, I use it: simply to ward off cold, to ward off heat, to ward off the touch of flies, mosquitoes, simply for the purpose of covering the parts of the body which cause shame.
In the Lord Buddha's time, 2,500 years ago, clothing was made without complex machinery. (Although simple 'sewing-frames' are mentioned in the texts, which the monks would have used at robe-making - Ka.thina - time.) So the pattern of the robe is very simple and designed so that it can be made up out of patches of cloth, for discarded rags were often used after washing and dyeing. This 'yellow robe' is considered the banner of the arahant and emblem of Buddhism. For the ordinary Theravaadin bhikkhu it is a privilege to be able to wear this robe, continuing the tradition and practising to be worthy of it. There are rules as to the robes' size, colour, how they are sewn, type of cloth used, etc., and how bhikkhus can acquire them.
The colour of the robes depends on the dye used. Until very recently, this would have been natural vegetable dye found in the jungle from roots or trees. (In NE Thailand, for example, we used the heartwood of the jack-fruit tree.) Nowadays chemical dyes are more used and sometimes give that more vivid orange colour that one sees in Bangkok. The colour white is used by Buddhist devotees to show their commitment to keeping the Precepts -- usually the Eight Precepts -- on Observance Days. (White robes are also worn by the anagarika, or postulant before he becomes a monk.)http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebsut042.htm Clothing – the Robe
The basic clothing that the Buddha originally suggested for a bhikkhu was made from discarded cloth ('rags') sewn together and dyed. After sewing the pieces together, they were just large rectangular pieces of cloth worn wraparound style. In the beginning, it seems that there were two robes: a sarong skirt-like robe (antaravaasaka) tied with a belt, and a robe to cover the upper part of the body (uttaraasa"nga). When the cold weather required more protection, the Buddha allowed a third robe, which was a double-thickness outer robe (sa"nghaa.ti).
Some rules limit the size of robes because cloth in India in those days was expensive due to the simple methods of spinning and weaving. Also, so that the robe would not be worth stealing, the cloth always had to be cut into panels that were then sewn together based on the design of paddy fields seen from a mountain:
After having received an offering of white cloth and having properly cut and sewn the panels together, the bhikkhu must dye it to produce the 'yellow robe.' Traditionally, vegetable dyes were used in this process. Different plants and woods when boiled up will produce slightly different shades of dye color — the Paali text calls the standard color kaasaaya or kaasaava, translated as 'dun-colored dye-water' — so there is some variety. When bhikkhus from different communities come together, their different shades of 'yellow'-dyed robes makes this very noticeable. (The destruction of the South East Asian forests has led to chemical dyes being used more frequently, so that cloth offered nowadays is often pre-dyed and brighter in color.)
Slightly varied styles of wearing the traditional set of three robes have developed over the years in different countries. But basically, the rectangular shaped robe is put around the body and the two vertical edges are folded or rolled together. Then either it is tucked in and secured with a belt (for the skirt-robe) or, for the larger outer robes, the edge is 'thrown' or flicked over the left shoulder and pinched under the left arm so that it will not slip off. There are various techniques for this. (It needs some practice!)
In the Lord Buddha's time, it was a sign of respect to bare one's right shoulder. Therefore when in the monastery the bhikkhu will normally wear his outer robe with the right shoulder visible. On leaving the monastery for inhabited areas he must cover both shoulders.
In addition to this required set of the 'triple robe,' which every bhikkhu must have and look after, there are extra cloths that can be used occasionally.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... l#clothing