Promotional polo shirts are made from different knits, which each provide unique advantages and disadvantages to best meet the needs of various consumers. The most common knits include pique, jersey and rib knits.
Probably the most common polo shirt knit is pique. Pronounced pee-kay, this knit makes a medium to heavy weight fabric. Pique is a small and tight weave that has several common patterns. These patterns include birdseye, waffle, honeycomb and wales. Birdseye patterns are a small diamond shaped pattern. Waffle patterns are small square shapes. Honeycomb patterns have a hexagon shaped pattern. Wales, which is also called cord weave, has either a horizontal cord or lined pattern or a vertical lined pattern. Pique polo shirts are durable, and wash well. They don’t show perspiration stains readily, so pique polos tend to be preferred by athletes. Unfortunately, they tend to show wrinkles more than other knits, unless they have been specially treated to make them wrinkle-resistant.
Jersey is the next most common promotional polo shirt knit. Also called the stockinet stitch, plain stitch or felt stitch, the jersey knit was named after the island named Jersey, off the English coast where it was first used. Jersey knit polos have a different texture between the inside and outside of the shirt. The outside has a smooth texture, while the inside has a more uneven yet uniform texture. Jersey knit shirts are more elastic than pique, which provides a shirt that is more flexible. It is a durable knit that also washes well and is naturally wrinkle-resistant. This makes it a good choice for corporate polos.
Rib knit is less well known, but is also used for promotional polo shirts. Rib knit material is a double-knit fabric that has vertical ribs that alternate between the inside and outside of the shirt. This keeps the same look and texture for both the inside and outside of the shirt. Rib knit polos are more elastic than pique, especially in the direction opposite of the ribs. They also have a kind of “memory” that allows them to hold their shape better. Although rib knit material can be used to make the body of a polo, it is more commonly used for other areas of a shirt such as sleeve bands, neck bands and collars. Rib knit polos are more durable and tend to fit the body better than other knits.
Although these are the most popular knits for polo shirts, they are not the only ones. But these knits offer a variety of advantages for a variety of purposes that make polos the ideal choice for promotional polo shirts and corporate polos.