Saturday, July 23, 2011


The Jacquard loom is a mechanical loom, invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801, that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with complex patterns such as brocade, damask and matelasse. The loom is controlled bypunched cards with punched holes, each row of which corresponds to one row of the design. Multiple rows of holes are punched on each card and the many cards that compose the design of the textile are strung together in order. It is based on earlier inventions by the Frenchmen Basile Bouchon (1725), Jean Baptiste Falcon (1728) and Jacques Vaucanson (1740)

A complete working Jacquard loom configured to weave 18 ribbons
Berlin Technological Museum (Gessler Photo)

One of two Jacquard heads, each controlling nine ribbon harnesses.

Rear view of the harnesses showing fancy threads.

Jacquard head and cards. Note pleated storage on the right.

Jacquard cards engaging square reading drum on the right.

Behind the harnesses are spools of fancy threads.

Shuttles and finished fancy ribbon.



  1. Hi! Thanks for the great post!!

    I'm a product designer (mainly furniture, decor, accents) and I am currently researching Indian fabrics, specifically jacquard for use in a current design project for a collection of spa products.

    This is great info for a historical perspective.

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