History Mesh

The Jacquard Loom (1801)

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 by punched 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.

Relation to Textiles:

The Jacquard loom was the next big step in weaving technology; previously, only simple designs had been possible, but the introduction of punched cards to store the patterns meant that new, complex designs were now possible with only a single warp (the lengthwise threads through which the weft is woven).

The Jacquard loom is not actually a separate loom type; instead, it was a new type of head that was put onto existing looms, meaning that installing them in factories was not as expensive as it could otherwise have been. Jacquard heads are still in use today, though they are now controlled by computer rather than by punched cards.

Read more about the Jacquard Loom on Wikipedia.