Power Play With Piqué


Pump up the power of your promotional apparel with the latest types of pique fabrications. This traditional sportswear favorite has evolved from the 100% cotton “tennis” shirt (dating back to the 1920s) to a modern wardrobe staple that goes from golf course to executive office thanks to the addition of man-made fibers and performance enhancements.

Designers at Tri-Mountain have extended their pique offerings significantly to include comfort technology and provide wash-and-wear appeal. “We offer a lot of performance blends, like our cotton/poly-blended yarns – such as in the #095 Element series – for easier care. We also now offer polyester pique fabrics that include moisture-wicking,” says Danny Tsai, Tri-Mountain’s vice president of merchandising.

Ash City USA also has a wide range of piques in different fiber contents, such as 100% cotton, 100% organic cotton, 60/40 cotton/polyester blend and 100% performance polyester pique. One of its best-selling polos (85080) combines moisture-wicking and antimicrobial functions. Recently, Ash City introduced an even more advanced option: the Dolomite pique polo (88658) with the company’s UTK coollogik technology. “This polo uses Ash City’s proprietary fabric technology with cooling yarns on the back of the fabric that provide a ‘cool to the touch’ experience against your skin to keep you cool and comfortable,” says Wendy Fraser, communications manager for Ash City.

When shopping for pique garments, pay attention to weave construction. Here, too, you’ll find choices. “If you examine pique fabric, you will notice tightly raised cords, which can either be four-sided, giving the appearance of a diamond, or six-sided, giving the appearance of a hexagon,” Tsai explains. “With a ‘baby pique,’ a tighter knit construction is used, where the fabric holes are smaller compared to a traditional pique.”

Keep three quality markers in mind when comparing pique fabrics: tight construction, smooth finish and a soft hand. Says Tsai, “These things generally mean you’re going to have less pilling and that you’re dealing with a garment that will be more durable and comfortable.”