11 June 2011

piqué for a Duchess


she wore white piqué.

etymology : from the French, literally 'backstitched', past participle of piquer

a ribbed  fabric where two fabrics stitched together to make a pattern, or a single fabric imitating this effect
 the weave can be seen in this photograph
Piqué, or Marcella, refers to a weaving style, normally used with cotton yarn, which is characterized by raised parallel cords or fine ribbing. The weave is part of white tie, and some accounts even say the fabric was invented specifically for this use. It holds more starch than plain fabric, so produces a stiffer shirt front. Marcella shirts then replaced earlier plain fronts, which remain a valid alternative. Marcella's use then spread to other parts of the dress code and it is now the only fabric used in the tie and waistcoat of white tie.
Marcella weaving was developed by the Lancashire cotton industry in the late 18th century as a mechanised technique of weaving double cloth with an enclosed heavy cording weft. It was originally used to make imitations of the corded Provençal quilts made in Marseille-

the manufacture of which became an important industry for Lancashire from the late 18th to the early 20th century. 

The Duchess of Cambridge's dress-reminiscent of a Georgian riding habit.

The Sharpe Family by Johann Zoffany, 1779-1781

 a close up of the Sharp family with ladies wearing their riding habits

there is No doubt, She has style, and this fitted riding habit jacket style is one she obviously favors-



  1. love the correlation and pique!

  2. Thank you thank you!
    I wore white cotton piqué for my wedding dress in 1970 and have never heard that expression in the 40 years since. Now I can compare myself to royalty :)

    Even more interesting is the historical link. I had assumed cotton piqué was a very modern (of the 1950s and 60s) invention. Marcella weaving was actually developed in the late 18th century as a mechanised technique!

  3. Patricia, I do have that.glad you liked this one.

    Hels- I love piqué, I had several things of that in the same era as did my mom. We reminisced about them today, and really that is what it's about, I think. I always appreciate your comments, a fellow lover of all the historical links, that's what it's about too. pgt

  4. I love beautiful, summery piqué - and had not seen the Duchess in that wonderful riding-style coat [on the balcony] until now. I wonder who designed it?

  5. Barbara, Isn't that a beautiful portrait really-what a great shot for the photographer. I love pique too as is obvious from the post. hope you are enjoying your day-I owe you an email.pgt

  6. They look gorgeous together! What a great example they are!

  7. I thought Kate's outfit was fabulous. I love how the weave of the straw of her hat echoed the weave of the piqué.



Related Posts with Thumbnails