The origin of pique.
Ever wondered where pique came from? No? To be honest, me neither. Until today. It actually is a pretty interesting history. Let me take you back to an upper class setting in England some centuries ago.
Pique fabric was first introduced in England at the end of the 18th century. Back then, pique was also known as marcella fabric. Marcella referred to the French city Marseille. Pique was an imitation (or actually an improvement) of the ‘boutis’ or ‘Provençal quilting’ technique, which was produced in Marseille at that time.
The purpose of this newly invented 18th century pique fabric was to make the front of shirts for upper class white tie occasion stiffer than ever before. You could say it was a genuine high tech fabric of that time. In fact, well ahead of its time. About 250 years later, you can still see this marcella fabric being used in classic full-dress white tie shirts, bow ties and waistcoats.
It’s ironic that a fabric that was invented for stiff formal events, ended up being considered one of the most comfortable fabrics available. The great French tennis player René Lacoste was one of the first to recognize this. After his career as a tennis player, he started a fashion brand in 1933 (yes, the one with the crocodile – after the nickname of René Lacoste). He introduced the famous tennis polo shirt made of pique fabric. It was considered a high tech sports innovation everyone wanted to wear at that time.
Over the past decades, pique fabric has been further improved and new techniques have been developed. It comes in various patterns (such as birdseye, waffle and honeycombe) and structures. Each with its own characteristics, look and feel.
With our innovative and high quality pique shirt, we combine the upper class white tie origin of the pique fabric with the style and comfort of a convenient modern smart casual shirt.