Many types of shirting fabrics are used in women's wear and menswear, each of which provides its own distinct look. One such fabric is pique, a popular material often used for casual clothing.
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Pique (pronounced "pi-kay" or "pee-kay") can refer to either a woven or a knit fabric, although it is most commonly associated with knits. In both instances, the fabric is characterized by having a visible texture due to the way the fabric is made. Woven versions are created on a dobby loom, and knits use a special kind of needle and stitch structure that forms the design.
Unlike other shirting fabrics that may have a smooth appearance, pique's textured surface can present itself as raised ribs (seen mainly in wovens), or "waffle-like" patterns (seen mainly in knits). Other types of knits, such as jersey, have a flat appearance, whereas pique has a dimensional quality. The textured pattern gives the fabric somewhat of a fine, quilted look.
Most often seen in polo shirts, pique knits are a comfortable and stylish choice. These polo shirts, also known as golf shirts, vary in weight depending on the type of fiber used, however they are generally considered to be medium weight. In addition to polo shirts, woven pique fabric can be used for blouses, dresses and even home interiors. Pique shirts and other garments are also commonly seen in children's wear.
Pique shirts can be found at a variety of price points depending on the brand and retailer.