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On Summer May 2023

Achieving peak breathability with the piqué knit

In our endless quest to stay and look cool in summer, few options are as effective as the piqué knit. Stylish, sure. Comfortable, yes. Airy, absolutely. With a structure that optimizes airflow and a texture that reads as polished but interesting, it is an easy choice.

A short history
Coming from the French ‘piquer’ meaning ‘to quilt’, piqué knit fabric was originally created to replicate the luxurious quilts in Marseille at the time. It’s also why you might sometimes hear the weave referred to as Marcella. It has a three-dimensional ‘honeycomb’ structure, always machine-made to ensure a refined finish. The piqué knit as we know it wasn’t popularized until the 1920s, when it was adopted as a sportswear material for polos on the tennis court – this was thanks to that unique structure which was (and still is) durable, breathable, and great at soaking up perspiration. Better still, the raised texture has the added benefit of not showing those sweat stains, so it is easier to care for too. It’s those same qualities that make it an excellent choice today when the weather heats up. Although the piqué knit is still perfect for a sporty polo, it’s equally beautiful in a popover or button-up shirt. These days, your options for fibers in this knit are evolving too. Let’s take a look at our options for summer.

Pure cotton piqué knit
There’s your cotton piqué knit, a favorite of the traditionalists and perfect for layering. Combining a piqué construction with a 100% cotton fiber doubles up on your breathability, making the fabric perfect for summer yet still wearable year round. We offer an organic version from Portuguese mill, Tintex. The material is not only lightweight but surprisingly soft and comfortable for a pure cotton, which as a fiber can sometimes edge towards stiffness when first produced. It does still have a certain crispness to the quality that feels quite refined. This particular option also features some natural stretch and a special anti-static finish, which helps the material to fall well and sit nicely on your body. We’ve just welcomed two new colors with a mélange effect to our already pretty extensive range of 19 colorways of both solid and mélange options.

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Wool-lyocell piqué knit
We’ve only recently added this contemporary blend to our collection. It is just as elegantly draped as the classic but with added softness and a subtle sheen. Crafted by Reda, it combines ZQ mulesing-free certified wool, the most ethical option available when it comes to wool, and Lyocell, a fiber extracted from sustainably grown wood in an environmentally responsible closed loop process. The fibers each offer something different to your garment. The merino wool brings breathability and excellent thermo-regulation, as well as feeling very soft on the skin. This is largely in part to Reda’s careful sourcing from well-loved sheep in New Zealand and the fine S120 yarn produced in the process. The Lyocell also has a pleasant, comfortable feel and gives the fabric its natural luster and smooth drape. Importantly for summer, it also performs on breathability and moisture management. You can choose from olive green, light gray, and three versatile blues, with more to come in 2024.

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Whichever piqué you pick, you’ll end up with a refined-yet-relaxed shirt you will want to wear every day. Still not sure what to create? Chat to your style advisor to find out which will be best for you.

Piquéd your interest?

Start browsing your options in the private store or book an appointment with a style advisor to create your made-to-measure shirt.