When you walk into a clothing store, you can find a large variety of fabrics, from traditional cotton and wool to synthetic fabrics like polyester.
But have you ever heard of pique fabric? This type of material has a finely ribbed texture that doesn’t just create an individual look but also feels different
In this article, we find out what pique fabric is, where it comes from and what you can use it for.
What Is Pique Fabric?
Pique fabric is a type of fabric that has a fine ribbing or raised parallel cords. Pique refers to this particular texture and pattern, instead of the specific material
You can usually only see the pique fabric texture when you look at the material up close. The knitting is very fine, and it can vary depending on the type of pique knit.
In addition, the density of pique fabric can vary from a heavy-weight waffle knit to a light knit. This depends on the type of clothing, garment or accessory that the pique is used for.
The Origins Of Pique Fabric
The pique knit, also known as Marcella, was developed in North England during the industrialization in the 18th century.
As mechanized weaving improved, more and more complex wefts could be made with machinery.
Pique was originally intended to replicate the French corded quilts traditionally made in Marseille. However, pique fabric was much cheaper because it could be mass-produced.
This led to its success in the 20th century, when pique fabric became the most popular material for men’s fashion.
For example, in the 1960s, fashion designer Ralph Lauren discovered the benefits of pique fabric for his menswear.
His famous “Polo” collection introduced in 1968 was one of the very first men’s fashion line that combined comfortable clothing with a luxurious feel.
The Characteristics Of Pique Fabric
Pique fabric is defined by its fine ribbing or raised parallel cords that give the material a slight texture.
Pique material is a very durable fabric that can be used for many hard-wearing garments. It’s breathable and easy to keep clean.
While pique clothing can feel a little heavier than other fabrics, the texture knit gives this material a luxurious feel.
Clothing manufacturers also like pique fabric because it is a little stiffer making it easier to work with and shape.
What Is Pique Fabric Used For?
As the pique knit in a material isn’t always obvious, it can be difficult to spot pique fabric immediately.
This being said, pique material is used in a great variety of garments, including traditional polo shirts.
As pique fabric is incredibly versatile, fashion designers and manufacturers use it for a range of shirts, from casual cut polo shirts to traditional long sleeve formal shirts.
As pique cotton fabric is very absorbent and cooling, it is ideal for any sports shirts. Plus, the waffle knit hides any respiration stains very easily.
The Different Types Of Pique Knits
As pique fabric is all about the weaving technique of a certain material, there are some distinctive pique knits that you can find across different clothing ranges.
French Pique Knit Fabric
French pique fabric is particularly stretchy. It also has the classic raised ribbed texture that is typical for pique material.
French pique knits are made of different diamond-shaped patterns.
This creates the excellent stretch and allows designers to use the French pique for shirt dresses, blouses and knit skirts.
In addition, French knit pique clothing is also more comfortable thanks to its stretching properties.
However, French pique fabric is more expensive than other knits, so it isn’t typically used for daily wear clothing.
Double Pique Knit Fabric
The double pique knit is the oldest pique technique to brings together two types of threads.
This knit is designed to create garments for all seasons, from light spring blouses to heavy winter polo shirts.
Manufacturers usually use double pique knit to reduce manufacturing costs. Plus, they can also use a cheaper thread, and still make the garment look more expensive.
The double pique fabric is not only cheaper for the manufacturer but it often also looks more appealing in the final garment.
Swiss Pique Knit Fabric
The Swiss pique knit is a type of double knit. It is made as a honeycomb pattern that uses different welting and knitting methods.
The advantage of Swiss pique knit fabric is that it is a tight knit. This means that there is very little space left between the threads.
However, Swiss pique fabric is still elastic and stretchy. Unfortunately, this often leaves it deformed after washing.
Baby Pique Knit Fabric
The baby pique fabric is made with a Dobby loom. It has the usual fine pattern of ribbing and raised cords.
One great benefit with baby pique knit fabric is that it’s medium-weight, so you can use it for polyester and cotton clothing.
Thanks to the way this knitting pattern is produced, baby pique knits are always breathable. This keeps the wearer cool during the warmer months.
As its name suggests, baby pique fabric is often used to make baby clothes because it is extremely durable.
Micro Pique Knit Fabric
Micro pique knit is the type of fabric that is typically used for athletic clothing and golf shirts. Made from polyester, these garments are super soft and they absorb sweat very well.
However, micro pique fabric isn’t easy to stitch and many designers and manufacturers prefer to use a simple design for these garments.
They often use a no-show mesh that supports the fabric and shapes to the wearer’s body shape.
Is Pique Good Fabric?
Yes, pique fabric is a great material that you can use for a variety of clothing. It’s durable and breathable which makes it perfect for t-shirts and other garments.
Pique fabric allows wearers to stay cool and the ribbed texture doesn’t show respiration stains so easily.
Pique fabric has a classic ribbed texture that is fine and luxurious. It can be made of almost any material, including pique cotton.
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