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Pique Fabric: Quilted Textured Stitched Fabric for Sportswear

Mar 28, 2024
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Pique fabric belongs to heritage fabrics. Heritage fabrics are rare to find these days. Specialty lies in these products in making different things. One of the things is cloth diapers.

Any fabric that makes the wearer stay cool is appreciated. Pique, that is why, is the timeless choice for many. It has its origin in France. The fabric adapts to fashion trends. The fabric adds a touch of elegance to any apparel, home furnishing, or accessories making. 

What is Pique Fabric?

Pique fabric refers to the cotton knit fabric. This cotton knit fabric has a textured pattern covered. The fabric is durable. There is a knit construction named ‘The Cross-Tuck Knit’. This construction creates an effect of cellular to make a subtle texture.

Pique is versatile due to the nature of being woven. It has a tiny and textured pattern sequence. That is why, the appearance seems quilted. The fabric offers a specialized weave with the creation of small bumps on the surface area. 

Pique Fabric Origin

Pique fabric traces its origins back to the century of 18th. The fabric appears as the developed one from the north side. The Lancashire cotton industry is the one that brought this fabric. The roots of this fabric are known as Marcella. 

At that time, the fabric went through a technique that made it a woven double cloth. The cloth offers an enclosed cording weft as well. The fabric becomes a key material in the fashion of Men by the mid-20th century.

What is Pique Fabric made of?

Cotton is the general material to make pique fabric. Because of this cotton, the fabric gains softness with optimum breathability. For warm climates, it is an ideal deal to make the fabric an excellent choice. Although cotton is the material in this fabric, the fabric can be both tough and durable. The level of strength makes the fabric suitable for sportswear. 

The pique fabric can be cotton, mixed cotton, or chemical fiber. The English translation of this fabric is PQI. PK is another name of pique cotton. It is made of circular woven form to give the surface a resemblance of honeycomb. 

Manufacturing Process

In the honeycomb weaving pattern, pique fabric achieves a quilted texture. There is the use of special looms. Two groups of yarns come into use. One is the warp and the other is the weft. 

In the weaving process, these warp and weft threads get alternated. Their alternation creates small bumps on the fabric surface. Bumps happen due to the tight and loose weaving process. The process overall creates a pique quilted texture with features. 

The entire process of making this fabric is given below:

Pique uses cotton. Sometimes, it requires a blended version of cotton and polyester. The fabric is lightweight and tough due to these fabrics. The process of manufacturing starts with the selection of appropriate yarns. 

These yarns get woven together. The weaving process is done on a loom using the method of warp knitting. In this process, two layers of fabric knit together and create a waffle-like or honeycomb texture. 

The next step is dyeing where the fabric gets the desired color using treatments. Dyeing enhances the properties of the fabric. Pique then gets cut and sewn into a couple of products of apparel. 

Types of Pique Fabric

Pique fabric  offers a few common types. They are:

Baby Pique: Baby pique is soft and lightweight. The selection of yarns are cotton and polyester blends. This fabric goes through the dobby loom to knit with ribbing patterns. 

This fabric is breathable because of its parallel cords. These cords run along its length. Baby Pique is ideal for making baby products- rompers, and dresses. They are convenient to wear during hot summer days. 

  • Double Pique: It is a heavy type of pique. The fabric types help in making polo shirts, skirts, and other apparel items. Double pique is affordable. Price is within range because of the blend of expensive and less expensive threads in the manufacturing process. 
  • French Pique: A premium type is a French pique. This fabric is full of long staple fibers, made of cotton. The fabric feels silky and durable. It has drape abilities with a lifted ribbed texture. Blouses, shirts dresses are some products that involve French Pique. 
  • Micro Pique: Micro pique comes with a smooth texture with a silky appearance. It has used fine yarns. The material used here is polyester. The fabric can absorb sweat. The moisture absorption ability of this fabric makes it ideal for golf shirts. 
  • Swiss Pique: Swiss is a high-quality fabric. Solid cotton fibers make this fabric woven together. This type of fabric involves both weaving and knitting. These features make it stretchable. Swiss fabric tends to last longer. That is why, sportswear is their most application area. 
  • TC Polyester Cotton Pique: This type of pique consists of 55% of polyester and 45% of cotton. The approximate GSM tends to be 180-200 GSM. This type has high strength and elasticity. Polyester fiber makes sure the fabric has superior abrasion resistance. Meanwhile, cotton improves abrasion resistance with great durability.

Properties of Pique Fabric

Fabric NamePique, Marcella 
Fabric CompositionCotton, The blend of cotton and polyester
Fabric BreathabilityHigh
Fabric DurabilityHigh
Fabric Washing TemperatureLow Setting
Moisture Absorption AbilityHigh
Fabric Color FastnessHigh
Fabric ShrinkageLow
Fabric GSM (Gram per Square Meter)Varies between (120-320)
Fabric ElasticityGood
Used forApparel, Automotive, Upholstery

Pique Fabric Features

Pique fabric is a classic choice and a must have in your wardrobe. It holds a sophisticated look that ensures flexibility. Here are some features that stand pique comparatively. 

The Weaving: The fabric comes with a weave similar to cotton yarn features. The weave is popular because of the fine ribbing pattern. It gives the material a close-up texture. Subtle patterns and textures both vary to some extent. 

Some of the piques come with cord structures and a few ones with waffle structures. There is also a bird's eye pique weave The waffle structure is also known as honeycomb stitch.

This stitch traces its roots back to France. The name ‘Pique’ is a French term with the meaning of ‘stitched.’ All these textures are different. The difference happens during the manufacturing process. Besides, the textured weave can hide perspiration stains.

Versatile: This material has some excellent qualities. For instance, it is breathable, easily cared for, and long-lasting. The nature of breathability makes the wearer stay cool. 

Comfortable for Longer Periods: This is the benefit of using a pique. Pique can stay cool and comfortable. There is an open texture. This texture allows air in the process of circulate throughout the fabric. Also, air circulation helps to regulate the body temperature. Moisture accumulation is also possible because of the texture of this fabric.

Sustainable: Pique is an eco-friendly alternative. It depends on the production and application. Cotton is the material that produces pique. The cotton is not a blended option here. Directly, organic cotton gets used. That is why, the material hardly has any chemicals and waste generation. 

Besides, cotton is a biodegradable option that is useful. It degrades naturally without any pollution cause. 

Printing: Pique fabric is up for printing. The fabric is favored for screen printing, faultless screen printing, fine print, and others. Printing ensures a smooth surface. This fabric does not fray away. But the fabric offers a high quality to absolutely fine end in the results.

Dobby Loom Attachment: Pique has more advantages compared to similar fabrics. One of the advantages is the dobby loom attachment. This dobby loom makes the fabric breathable. It has a kind of weave that is airy. The loom also makes sure the fabric gets additional ventilation.

The ventilation makes the fabric a comfortable choice for outdoor sports. The ultimate objective is to make the wearer feel comfortable even in the extreme heat. 

Less Sweat: Pique has a different texture and weave. Polo shirts, made of pique, tend to hold sweat better than jersey fabrics. This is a huge benefit for Pique. 

What is Pique Fabric used for?

Pique fabric has the most uses in making polo shirts. Lacoste brand makes the fabric a popular one. That is why the stitch of pique tends to be similar to the name Lacoste. Here are some areas where pique comes into great use. They are-

  • Apparel: Sportswear, cotton shirt making, polo shirt for golfing purposes, dress shirt, casual summer jacket, waistcoats, pants, shorts.
  • Home Furnishing: Bedding, Home Furnishing, towels, Bathrobes
  • Accessories: Ties, Scarves, Handbags, Sheets, Pillowcases.
  • Automotive interior and Upholstery are also some of the demanding areas. 

Pique Fabric Care Instructions

Taking care of Pique at home with easy instructions is possible. No ironing is needed. However, a cycle of tumble dry keeps the fabric intact. It is also convenient to use a home laundry to remove stains and odors effectively. Wash this fabric in cold water. Gather clothes with similar colors only. If you dry the clothes on the machine, keep the setting low. 

How to Sew Pique Fabric?

Pique is a popular choice for making clothes. Its textured surface and breathable nature make Pique perfect for making polo shirts. However,  sewing with pique can be a challenging task. So, here are some tips and tricks:

  • Choosing the Right Niddle: Pique fabric requires a stretch needle. It is easy to penetrate without causing any damage to the fibers. The needle size depends on the fabric weight.
  • Using the Right Thread: Polyester thread use can have some stretch to the fiber, Polyester thread helps the thread move with the fabric. It does not break. It is better to avoid cotton thread as it breaks easily. 
  • Adjusting the Tension: Adjusting the tension on the sewing machine prevents the fabric from getting out of shape. 
  • Using Stabilizer: Stabilizer use makes the knit interfacing. It strengthens the fabric from being stretched. 
  • Practicing on Scraps: Before sewing on garments, practice sewing on scraps of the similar fabric. It will help to understand the tension. Also, it would be better to test the needle and thread preferences as well. Practicign will help avoid making mistakes on the final garment. 


How Does Pique Different from Jersey Fabrics?

Pique fabric has a textured ribbing. This cording or ribbing makes the fabric different from other fabrics. Jersey fabrics or products made of jersey materials lack texture. Besides, pique fabric is waffled and woven. One of the appealing matters is their waffle and weave-like structure. 

Is it possible to compare pique with ordinary woven fabric?

Pique fabric, compared to woven in general, is more breathable. It can be dried, as well as more washable. The main feature precisely would be the texture of the pique. The texture helps customers to recognize the fabric among others. Sometimes, pique is known as pineapple cloth. 

Other features that differentiate pique from ordinary woven are the honeycomb pores. These ports remain on the surface of the pique. The pore makes the fabric breathable. 

Is Pique a hard fabric?

Hardness is better for pique fabric. Pique is usually not robust if the material is cotton. However, the blend of cotton and other fibers may make the fabric a rough or hard one. 

How to identify Pique and Lacoste Fabrics?

It becomes difficult to identify pique and Lacoste fabric. Some argue that both fabrics are derivatives of single jerseys. Pique fabric is completely for sportswear. Pique  looks like the alphabet V from the front side. Meanwhile, V letters are there in each wales that go down in rows. The inside of the pique is similar to the face side of the interlock fabric. 90% of polo shirts are pique-made.

However, Lacoste fabric has loops on the face side of the fabric. Lacoste fabric seems to be a beehive. Mostly, they are available in hexagonal shape. Lacoste fabric is not renowned compared to pique. The inside of the Lacoste is similar to the back side of the single jersey fabric. 


Pique fabric has both durability and versatility. These features do not make pique less than cotton in any area. The fabric is unique and the structure is woven. The weaving pattern makes it perfect for sportswear, upholstery, and home decor essentials. 

The waffle-like texture of pique is mostly common. This structure is the only criterion that separates itself from cotton. Meanwhile, the fabric holds its strength and resilience to be a practical option for everyday wear.

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