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What Is Pique Fabric?

By ShirtSpace | Feb 20, 2019 |  Updated Aug 15, 2023

Pique polo shirts are a timeless wardrobe staple, and since the birth of the first standard polo shirt in 1926, they have continued to be a must-have for men, women, and kids alike. When wading through all the different types of fabrics in the blank apparel industry, you’re sure to stumble upon pique. But what does that mean? Is a pique polo shirt cotton, polyester, or both?

How is Pique Fabric Made?

Dobby loom creating pique fabric
Image credit: pkripper503

Pique fabric is created using a dobby loom attachment. It is typically woven or knit and has patterns of fine ribbing or cording. Pique fabrics are typically medium-weight and are most often made using 100% cotton, 100% polyester, or cotton-polyester blends. One advantage of the patterns created using the dobby loom attachment is that the weave is airy and provides additional ventilation. This is particularly nice for knit pique polo shirts that are worn in warm summer months! But, on the other hand, if you do sweat heavily, a pique shirt can show perspiration stains somewhat easily. 

What Does Pique Fabric Feel Like?

The collar of a mint green pique polo shirt.
Imaged credit: Namepic from Getty Images

A pique polo differs from your standard jersey t-shirt as it oftentimes has a textured, waffle-weave look on one side and a smooth finish on the other. Whereas in comparison, jersey tees have smooth, flat surfaces on both sides. Woven piques usually have parallel cording running the length of the fabric, and knit piques oftentimes feature ribbing or waffle weaves.

Benefits of Wearing Pique Clothing

Light green, black, orange, red and white pique polo shirts hanging on a rack. 
Imaged credit: ConstantinosZ from Getty Images

Pique knitting produces polo shirts that are generally considered more formal than their jersey polo counterparts. The main reasons why pique is so great as a shirt material is that it is durable, has dimension and texture, shows sweat less, and comes available in styles with a variety of added features. Some premium pique polos even have moisture-wicking abilities, pre-shrunk fabric, or a pocket to store small items. There are even long-sleeve pique polos for colder temperatures.

Where to Wear Pique Polo Shirts

Massage therapist wearing a yellow pique polo as her work uniform.
Image credit: pixelshot

Ultimately, opting for a pique polo shirt is a great way to achieve a more formal look without being forced to dust off your long-sleeve, formal button-up. Pique polos are sophisticated, but not stuffy. Wear your pique polo out to dinner, while golfing or playing tennis, or for your daughter’s dance recital. A pique polo also makes a fantastic option for staff uniforms for a variety of industries, including hospitality, food service and more!


Core 365 CE112 Fusion ChromaSoft™ Pique Polo Collection

Popular Core 365 polo shirts and t-shirts in adult unisex, men’s and women’s cuts.

Shirts pictured (left to right): CE101W women’s colorblock polo, CE101 men’s colorblock polo, CE111W women’s t-shirt, CE111 adult t-shirt, CE111L long-sleeve adult t-shirt, CE112W women’s polo, CE112 men’s polo, CE112L long-sleeve adult polo

Men’s CE112
Women's CE112W
Tall CE112T
Long-Sleeve CE112L

Jerzees 443MR Adult 6.5 oz Premium 100% Ringspun Cotton Piqué Polo

Jerzees 443MR Adult 6.5 oz Premium 100% Ringspun Cotton Piqué Polo in “J Navy”
Polo shirt pictured: Jerzees 443MR

Men’s 443MR
Women’s 443WR

Port & Company Core Blend Pique Polo

Port & Company Core Blend Pique Polo collection for men and women.

Polo shirt pictured: KP155 AND LPK155

Men’s KP155
Women’s LKP155

Sport-Tek ST650 Micropique Sport-Wick® Polo Collection

Sport-Tek ST650 Micropique Sport-Wick® Polo Collection for men and women 
Polo shirts pictured: ST650 and LST650

Men’s ST650
Women’s LST650
Tall TST650

Drawbacks to Wearing Pique Apparel

Green, red, navy and white pique polos hanging on wood hanger

Imaged credit: ConstantinosZ from Getty Images 

In terms of downsides to pique, be mindful that it tends to wrinkle a bit more than standard jersey knits. If you are worried about wrinkles, consider wrinkle-resistant pique polos. Some people find some pique to be slightly scratchy, but this is not true for all pique fabrics. 

Now That You Know All About Pique

You’re a pique pro now! So go ahead and shop pique and feel the difference between this double-woven fabric and standard polo materials. Do you have a favorite pique shirt? Tell us which pique polo is the winner in your eyes! 

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