Piqué in the Pictionary

Marcy Petrini

October, 2018

I learned about piqué from a workshop by Donna Sullivan who had just written her book, Pique: Plain and Patterned. While some fancy fabrics require more shafts, on four it is possible to weave plain piqué, also called ribbed, with either a loose-back or a fast-back. 

The Pictionary now has a piqué page, but here is some of the information. There are two warps; the first forms a balanced cloth by interlacing with a weft of the same size; they are called the face warp and weft, in the picture below in yellow. 



The orange warp is a stitcher warp, tensioned separately and tightly, which causes the characteristic puckering of the fabric. The ridges are made more prominent by using a stuffer weft, the beige fluffy wool, only visible in the back of the fabric shown below. 



With two warps and two wefts, the piqué is called loose-back – because it is! In the fabric above, however, there is an additional weft, orange, which interlaces with the stitcher warp, making the fabric a fast-back piqué; even the fast-back is not totally stable, but it would be suitable for any fabric whose back is not exposed, a pillow, or a lined jacket. 

In summary: ribbed or plain piqué has always two warps, face and stitcher; the loose-back has two wefts, the face and stuffer; the fast-back has three wefts: face, stuffer, and the stabilizing weft interlacing the stitcher warp.  


Pictionary Update 

  • All of the Convergence® entries are in the Pictionary now, in addition to the few added since:
    • piqué in October,
    • canvas and (corrected) crepe in September,
    • crepe twill in August,
    • ribbed twill in July.
    • More will be added with time, including shadow weave.  
  • Meanwhile, here is a quick test whose answers are in the Pictionary:
    • Is tabby another name for plain weave? 
    • What is a fancy twill? 
    • Do I need to rethread my overshot to change from star to rose fashion? 
    • What’s the difference between “paired x’s” and “paired o’s” in summer and winter? 
    • Can I weave waffle weave on four shafts? 



Happy weaving!

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