Where did the baby name Qiana come from in the 1970s?

Qiana television commercial

The baby name Qiana, which was very trendy during the late 1970s, can be traced back to a silk-like nylon fabric called Qiana (pronounced kee-ah-nah).

DuPont developed the fabric over a period of “20 years at a cost of $75 million,” and, during that time, referred to it simply as “fiber Y.”

In 1968, DuPont finally put the fabric on the market under the name “Qiana.” The company told Time that Qiana’s exotic-sounding name was just “a computerized combination of random letters.” (In fact, DuPont had started with a computer-generated list of 6,500 five-letter non-words and, after a full year of research and testing, finally settled on “Qiana.”)

Qiana first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1970:

  • 1972: 9 baby girls named Qiana
  • 1971: 16 baby girls named Qiana
  • 1970: 6 baby girls named Qiana [debut]
  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: unlisted

It didn’t become trendy until the second half of the decade, though.



Qiana was a popular fabric for disco clothing, especially faux-silk men’s shirts. According to one writer, “Qiana materialized disco…as flannel materialized grunge.”

Remember John Travolta as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977)? The black shirt he wore beneath that iconic 3-piece white suit was made of Qiana.

So, as disco peaked, so did the usage of the fabric — along with the number of advertisements that mentioned the fabric, which is important. And as the usage of the fabric peaked, so did the usage of the name. In fact, “Qiana” was boosted into the girls’ top 1,000 in 1977 and stayed there for five consecutive years:

  • 1982: 96 baby girls named Qiana
  • 1981: 159 baby girls named Qiana [ranked 939th]
  • 1980: 209 baby girls named Qiana [ranked 789th]
  • 1979: 331 baby girls named Qiana [ranked 556th]
  • 1978: 370 baby girls named Qiana [ranked 509th]
  • 1977: 251 baby girls named Qiana [ranked 649th]
  • 1976: 115 baby girls named Qiana
  • 1975: 88 baby girls named Qiana
  • 1974: 50 baby girls named Qiana
  • 1973: 25 baby girls named Qiana

A number of spelling variants (including Quiana, Quianna, Qianna, Quiona, Quionna, Queana, Quiyana, and the one-hit wonders Qiuana and Qiona) also appeared in the data in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Qiana? (Do you like it more or less than the homophone Kiana?)


Image: Screenshot of a TV commercial for Qiana

41 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Qiana come from in the 1970s?

  1. my name is Qiana and i was born in 1981. i never found anyone to have my name, but in recent years, i have come to know more and more Qianas and they are around my age. it’s sooo weird to hear my name being called and it not directed towards me.

  2. My name is also Qiana. I was born in 1979. I didn’t start to meet other Qiana, Kiana, Kyana, Kianna or Keyona’s until I became a teenager. Its still very strange to hear my name being called in reference to someone else. I didn’t learn to appreciate this name until adulthood. It was always difficult for people to pronounce and spell and I have been called Keanu too many times to count!

  3. I was born in 1975. Growing up, I rarely bumped into another Qiana. During the mid- 1980s it became a popular name. Sadly, most of the younger Qiana’s do not spell it correctly or even know that it is a fabric !

  4. I am a 1979 Qiana. My mother, a lover of fabrics and sewing, found my name at 7+ months pregnant while shopping for fabrics. I love my name–it’s unique and kind of spunky. But I can’t count the number of awards, certificates, etc that my name was misspelled. Let’s not even begin to talk about the difficulty people have with pronouncing it.

  5. I am a 1978 Qiana. My mother actually named me from a commercial she saw on television for Qiana Men’s Dress shirts. For the longest time she told me it was a polyester shirt until I was old enough to do the research myself. I too have people misspell my name no matter how many times I physically spell it out and I have lost count on the mispronouncing of Qiana!!

  6. I am a 1977 Qiana… My mother named me from store called Qiana Knits…
    My mother used to design clothes and make them

    I never knew my name was so popular and yes everyone spells it wrong lol

  7. I was born in 1977, and my mother is also a lover of fabrics. For myself my name became popular over the last 10 years, but I have seen it spelled so many ways, and unless you know the true meaning of the name it is not spelled like QIANA. I cannot tell you how many times growing up people would argue with me about my name being spelled worng because it didn’t have a “U”. I named my youngest son QION pronounced Key-On, and now he is experiencing the same thing. I often tell my husband we were ment to be because his oldest sisters middle name is Qiana, but of course is spelled different. He also has a tie made from the fabric QIANA with the name on the back of the tie, that he had before we ever met.

  8. Hello to all the Qianas. I am the mother of Qiana, January 25th, 2009 (well unless there is another Qiana that named her youngest son Qion. When I was about 14-15 years old, I did modeling for a department store. I came across a women’s top that felt silky smooth and when I looked at the label it had the name Qiana and it described the fabric’s characteristics as silky and soft. I vowed that I would name my first daughter Qiana (I actually kept the tag that was on the garment). As Qiana grew up and people had difficulty spelling her name I would always say “Q without a U iana.” That would help people know it was no U after the Q. It was after Qiana graduated college that I learned the background of Qiana fabric. I had called a company to order a baby book after the birth of Qiana’s child (I think it was the first child…she has three now) the book was like the one I used for Qiana when she was born since it was a baby book that would take her through all the events in her life. When I told the representative on the telephone to mail it to Qiana, she knew how to spell the name. I was surprised and it was at that time the representative told me her father worked for DuPont and that was how she knew about the name and the fabric.

    Over the years I heard the name more often but it was spelled differently. A few people that spelled it the same actually knew the background, those who did not, I shared it with them. Interesting to learn that 250 other mothers named their daughters Qiana in the same year (1977). A lot of people liked the name when she was younger especially Qiana’s teachers. I really liked it because it matched Qiana’s personality and she was baby soft when she was born and I also like names that end in the letter “A” for girls from having two years of Spanish since “A” is feminine.

    Thanks to the designer/originator of the Website. I visited it before when my daughter first came across it. What a unique idea and I enjoyed reading your story.


    Qiana’s Mom

  9. I just realized I erred at the end of my comments. I thought this was the Qiana Website and after I pressed submit, I noticed it was Nancy’s Baby names.

    Qiana’s Mom

  10. Hi..my name is Qiyana with a “Y” and never with a “U” I always knew the meaning of my name before the internet ever existed and I knew of one Qiana who was born in the late 70’s with the same last name as mind…I never knew any Qiyana’s that spelled their names with a “Y” and before I got on the internet I could count the number of Qiana’s who spelled their name with a “Q.” In closing, I just want to thank all the moms who named their daughters “Qiana” with a “Q” and no “U”


  12. of course, my name is Qiana also, born in 1979. I still have only met 1 or 2 people with my exact name. I have always loved it, different and unique. But along with everyone else, noone ever seems to spell it right! I constantly have to say, ” Q, NO U, I, A, N, A. My mother worked in a clothing store when she was preggers, and dealt with items made from the fabric. I love my name because not only is my first name a fabric, but my last name is too!

  13. Hello to all. My name is Qiana and I was born in 1984. My mother worked in a fabric store called “Piece Goods” during her pregnancy with me. She used to hold the Qiana fabric in her hands and I guess it gave her some comfort. She said that is why she named me Qiana. Everyone insists on folloeing the “Q” with a “u”, but then, the name would be pronounced kwee-ah-nuh…. right? :)

  14. In June 1976 my daughter Qiana was born. I got the name from the fabric too. When I was about 7mos., I went shopping with my brother to buy him shirts. He bought 3 shirts with “QIANA” on the label. I thought that was so unique and it sounded so elegant, I thought I would give that name to my daughter. At first I wasn’t pronouncing it correctly. But, being a seamstress and a master of fabrics, my mother corrected me. I started looking in the catalogs(JC Penny’s) and saw the shirts that was made from that fabric. I knew I had to give my daughter that name and thought she would be the only one in St.Louis with it. After Qiana was born, my sister’s friend wondered why I named her that. She said I was high on the drugs they gave me and didn’t know what I was saying, because she never heard that name before. When I took Qiana to the doctor for her well baby check up, there was another lady there with a baby with the exact same name,(first & last). And here I was thinking my Qiana was the only Qiana around. My girlfriend’s daughter middle name is Kieona. And through the years I’ve ran across a few Qiana’s. And some do spell it different. My daughter’s nickname is QiQi.

  15. Hello! My name is Qiana and I was born in 1979. My mom is an avid sewer and thus named me after the fabric. Like so many other Qiana’s, when I spell my name for people I also say Q “no u” iana! My maiden name is Lindsey and I would always have to tell people that it’s with an “e” not an “a”! My married name is Byrd and now I have to tell people that it’s spelled with a “y” not an “i”. I can’t win! But I love, love, love my name I always get compliments on it and will probably name one of my daughters Qiana as well.

  16. Hello to all my fellow Qianas.. I was born in April 1981… and boy i tell you having a Q with out the U has been a struggle but I absolutely love my name!!! So much i named my daughter Qiarra (Ke air ra) to keep the Qi no U going.. I am often told how gorgeous my name is and it feels good…


    Qiana, never getting tired of saying Q no U iana.. :)

  17. Hello to all Qiana girls and their Moms/Dads

    My husband had a favorite Qiana Nylon shirt that he always wore, I also worked in the garment district in NY. I often came across this fabric. It had a smooth and silky feel. In late 1979, I gave birth to my first child, a girl, this beautiful soft bundle, I loved the name Qiana, not everyones name began with a Q. The first picture I have was a proud father holding his soft baby girl in his favorite shirt. The second was my Qiana with the fabric name tag over her blanket. I also still love to say the name. If you’re named after the fabric, It is unique! Guess we should all thank DuPont, Huh?

  18. WOW!! so many Qiana’s!!!!
    I am a 1982 Qiana. Of course, mine is the same story, my mom was in love with fashion, not knowing any other Qiana’s until high school. And yes, we were all around the same age. Interestingly enough, most people don’t have a problem pronouncing the name. It’s those that try to spell it. I sometimes say, “It’s spelled like ‘Diana’ but with a ‘Q'”. I can’t believe I haven’t thought to say “Q, no U, iana”.

    I love that my name is unique, and any one that spells it any other way is not a “true” Qiana! (lol). I know this is a baby names website, but i’m glad i found it. I feel like I’m a part of a Qiana Sisterhood!!

    Go Qiana’s!!!


  19. I’m a 1979 Qiana. My mother likes different names. Before I was born she had a co-worker have a girl Tiana and she had heard about the fabric Qiana. I was her lucky first girl. Over the years I have seen my name spelled differently but have not meet anyone with the same spelling yet.

  20. My name is also qiana i waz born in 1997! it is kinda annoying when people dont say my name right butt i just correct them. i only know one other qiana until i found this website!!

  21. My name is Qiana and I was born in June of 1977 to a couple who was in love with disco :-) As a child I liked my name (nic name NaNa) until teachers began telling “I was spelling it wrong” Lol. By the time I became a young teen I grew to adore my name and realized how unique it was from the spelling, the meaing & pronunciation. I’ve met numerous Qiana’s in the last 15-20 yrs, all spelling their names differently. All and all…Thanks mom & dad…job well done ! My name “Qiana Ina_______” is the best :-)

  22. My Qi’ana was born July 1971. I was about five or six months pregnant and saw the DuPont commercial for Qi’ana Nylon. I decided then that was what I was going to name my baby if it were a girl. If memory serves me right the original spelling was Qi’ana which is how I spell my daughter’s name. When she was actually born I was getting phone calls from folks I didn’t even know because of this unique name. They had nieces, friends, sisters, cousins etc., that were pregnant and liked the name. After Qi’ana was born I ran into my high school English teacher. We had a debate over the spelling because she insisted a “U” should have followed the “Q”. My Qi’ana is Qi’ana Marie _______. I love the name and have run across many Qi’anas over the years. I always tell my Qi’ana she is one of the original Qi’anas because she was born in 1971.

  23. I am also Qiana, I was born January 1971. My father actually wrote a letter to DuPont asking what they thought about him naming his daughter after their fabric. The president actually wrote my dad back and was so flattered that they an article was placed in the paper, they also sent my dad a tie and a scarf made out of the fabric, and an album with beautiful classical music with my name on the cover. I believe we still have these items somewhere around the house :-) Funny, in my second marriage my husband had a niece that was named Qiana, spelled exactly the same way as me, her mother told me she named her that after reading the article that was written about me…crazy huh. :-)

  24. @Quiana (born Jan. ’71) – Do you happen to remember which newspaper it was, and the date? I often post turn old newspaper articles about baby names into blog posts, and I’d love to post about yours as well, if I can find it.

  25. I will check with my dad, he may actually have it in his old photo albums. I will keep you posted.

  26. Hello to all Qiana’s. I’m Qiana born in 1974. Growing up I rarely heard of anyone else named Qiana but in early adulthood I heard the name more & more although few were spelling it correctly & most people didn’t seem to know the name’s origin. I’ve always known the name history… my mom used to work in a dept store & became familiar w/the fabric & became quite fond of it’s quality as well as the name. I do agree that it is a beautiful name but I must admit that it has come with much frustration because people are always either mis-spelling it or mis-pronouncing it which is something I have yet to get used to & is one of my biggest pet-peeves.

  27. Hello to all my name twins!

    Qiana here. I was born in 1977 (one of the 251). Until recently I didn’t meet anyone with my name. I’m happy to know all of you exist. :)

  28. My name is Qiana as well. And yes to get others to spell it w/o the U is tiring. And not only that some pronounce it as Queeana, not Qiana. I was born in 78, and no I don’t like the idea of being named after fabric. I have a friend with he exact same name and spelling. All QIANA’S UNITE!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Qiana here as well, September 1977. Didn’t appreciate my name until adulthood, however have always known the origin. However it wasn’t until reading this site that I learned of the DuPont Company connection. So here’s what’s working for me…I tell people Qiana is spelled “just like Diana, except with a Q”. People get it. I dropped the Q, no u, iana because I grew tired of the condescending lesson in English grammar! Anyway, love my name now, it’s kind of authentic. When people ask me the meaning, I say “silky smooth” & orient them to the fabric related origin. Admittedly though, I go by “Q” at work & “QiQi” to those closest. — Q

  30. Hi Qianas, I am a Dec 1970 born Qiana, and my mother loved fabric. I still have a problem with mis spellings of my name although people have definately gotten better over the years. I had to laugh because @work I also go by Q…

  31. Hello all. I’m a 1980 Qiana. This is such an interesting site. My mom owned a dry cleaner for a very long time and she too saw the fabric in her work and thought the name was unique. I love my name, however I can definitely identify with the comments about the spelling and mispronounciation.

  32. I was born in 1997 and I don’t know anyone who’s name is spelled like mine. I know other Kianas but not Qiana. I love having my name so unique

  33. Hello, this is very interesting. My name is Qiana and I was born Jan. of 1978. I really thought that my name was rare and I have only met one other Qiana in my town that is around my age. I have seen other spelling’s of the name but I enjoy the uniqueness of my name. My mom used to sew and that is how she found this name for me. Most people just call me Q now and I was QiQi as a child.

  34. My name is Qiana Ewing I was born October 25,1979 . And I love my unique name and the way it’s spelled….such a blessing huh??????;)

  35. I’m a 1979 Qin a I have a,7 year old Daughter whow I also named Qiana … I just recently met another Qiana with the exact spelling as i for the first time

  36. Hello all! My name is Quiana. I am one of the 50 born in 1974. I had never heard of anyone with my name(spelled either way) older than me…so I thought I was the oldest until now lol! I see there is someone born in March and I’m June. My name ended up with a “u” because the nurses at the hospital I was born in told my Mom that in the U.S. all Q’s must be followed by a U. so there ya have it. I wish mine didn’t have a U because I think it looks more exotic and unique without it.

  37. Kiana:

    I named my daughter Kiana, after going through the alphabet with all of the iana’s, that was in 1988. The name Kiana kept ringing in my head. I love the name and wanted to have a name that was unique. I knew about the fabric since high school in the 70’s. Now, my Kiana is the national representative for the Miss Tourism Queen of the Year USA pageant and will be representing the country in Malaysia in December, 2015. Her full name, Kiana Dominique Harris…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.