jacquard fabrics, jacquard loom

Jacquard Fabric: A Merchandisers Guide

Jacquard fabric guide

During the 1700s, weaving a brocade fabric was an intense and laborious task.

In order to weave two square inches of finely woven fabric, it would take a weaver and a draw boy one single day.

These brocades create intricate patterns on fabric, and it was possible by lifting threads at certain points in time.

The draw boy is usually the one that does this work.

The weaving master will signal the boy to lift which threads to lift and when.

These boys are usually young as this task requires climbing on top of the loom.

It was a back-breaking task for the kids.

Maybe this was the reason Jacquard loom was invented.

Table of content:

  1. What is Jacquard fabric?
  2. How jacquard fabrics are made?
  • Preparing the yarn
  • Programing the jacquard loom
  • Weaving
  • Finishing
  1. What are the different types of Jacquard fabrics?
  2. How to care for Jacquard fabric?
  3. Jacquard fabrics online in India
  4. Conclusion


What is Jacquard Fabric?

joseph marie jacquard

Jacquard fabric is a fabric that is woven on a jacquard loom.

The jacquard loom was invented in 1804 by the French textile artisan Joseph Marie Jacquard.

Remember the young kids that worked as draw boys at the weaving mill?

Jacquard also worked as a draw boy in his early days.

Even though many great minds were working towards developing a machine to make weaving patterns easier, it took a draw boy to make it happen.

It was recorded that draw boys often became handicapped later in their lives because of the hard work they do in their prime ages.

“In 1801, Jacquard’s initial concept was appreciated by Emperor Napoleon and it is him that commissioned to make the Jacquard loom to perfection.”

The number one thing that made jacquard looms possible was the ‘punch cards’.

Inspired by piano players and musical boxes, the punch card had a similar programming system which was later inspired by the invention of the world-first computer by Charles Babbage and other binary code systems.

Unlike normal printed or dyed fabric, the patterns on the jacquard fabric are deeply engraved on the fabric itself.

This is the most distinguishing characteristic of the jacquard fabric.


How Jacquard fabrics are made?

punch card for jacquard loom

The invention of jacquard looms made it possible to weave intricate patterns and offer them for a fraction of the price at which it was sold earlier.

With time, jacquard looms also got better and more computerized.

Still, programmed looms are still called jacquard looms.

It is possible to make jacquard fabric using a variety of fibers from cotton, silk, polyester, etc.

Production of jacquard fabrics include:

  1. Preparing the yarn

Any type of natural and synthetic fiber yarns can be used for the manufacturing of jacquard fabrics.

Yarns are also available in various sizes, spins, etc.

So depending on the client requirement or based on technical feasibility, yarns are sourced or internally produced for the production of jacquard fabric.

  1. Programing the jacquard loom

Jacquard looms can create a variety of patterns on fabric based on their programming.

There are manufacturers that use punch cards as well as computerized programming to prepare the loom.

In both of these cases, several types of patterns can be woven.

  1. Weaving

Once the loom is ready with the program, it is time for the weaving process.

This is an automatic process these days with little to no supervision.

The modern jacquard looms commonly feed the yarn into weaving apparatus from a central location at the top of the loom.

It then arranges this yarn into a complex web to produce the desired pattern.

Today, some jacquard looms are even capable of producing more than one piece of fabric at a time.

  1. Finishing

The fabric is then treated with post-production finishing processes.

This adds extra functionality to the fabric in terms of smoothness, colorfastness, durability, etc.


What are the different types of Jacquard fabrics?


Jacquards fabrics have their origin in brocade fabrics.

From the 6th century, brocade was considered a luxury and most elites were able to acquire them.

These fabrics were suitable for emperors, kings, and other people with power and wealth.

Technically, any fabric that is made using the jacquard loom is called a jacquard fabric.

But based on a closer look, we can further divide jacquard fabrics as below:

  1. Brocade:

Brocade fabric is a patterned raised cloth.

It often has multiple color yarns.

Brocade fabric is usually used for making special occasion garments that are heavy and rich.

It is a non-reversible fabric often made with metallic threads for spark.

Popular types of garments are Skirts, jackets, and coats.

  1. Damask:

Damask fabric is a lighter version of the brocade fabric.

It has a smooth and luxurious feel to it.

It is often made using cotton, silk, linen, viscose, etc.

Damask fabrics have the colors of the background and the pattern reverse from front to back.

Popular types of garments made are dresses, skirts, blouses, tops, coats, ties.

  1. Matelasse:

A matalasse fabric is normally a solid-colored fabric with a raised quilted effect.

It contains a wide range of floral motifs and graphics.

Outwear jackets, coats, dresses, skirts, and handbags are mostly made using this fabric.

  1. Cloque:

Cloque fabric is a type of jacquard fabric that has a puckered or a blistered effect on the material.

It is made using cotton blends, wool, and silk.

It is used for the manufacturing of dresses, skirts, blouses, and jackets.

  1. Tapestry:

Tapestry fabric is a heavier alternative to the brocade or damask fabric.

It is used for making coats and outerwear jackets.

  1. Brocatelle:

Brocatelle fabric is a type of fabric that is similar to a damask fabric, but it is distinguishable due to its tightly woven, raised, and embossed patterns.

This fabric is used mostly to create Haute couture wear.

All the jacquard fabrics have a raised surface except silk.

Silk yarns are really thin and soft that these patterns are hardly felt under the fingers.


How to care for Jacquard fabric?

Jacquard fabrics are made using a variety of fabrics.

These fabrics also have various finishing treatments done.

So it is not possible to outline generic care steps, but following the below will be useful.

Useful link: Everything you need to know about care labels.

  1. Delicate, or rich and ornate jacquard fabrics are better when dry cleaned.
  2. Avoid using bleach on these items
  3. If possible hand washes at 30 degrees Celsius.
  4. While pressing, do it from the opposite side to avoid damaging the pattern.


Jacquard fabrics online in India

At Dinesh Exports, we are manufacturing a variety of jacquard fabrics. If you have any requirements, please contact us.



Jacquard fabrics are a piece of art. It represents beauty, art, and luxury.

Having them in your product offering can target the type of customers that are looking for such taste.

Do you have jacquard fabric products in your product offering?

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