What is jacquard? Jacquard fabric is a type of textured fabric that is woven in complex and distinctive patterns. The color and patterns of this fabric are incorporated into the weave rather than being printed, embroidered, or dyed on top. This makes it different from other patterned materials.
What is Jacquard
Designers can explore their skills with this fabric to make simple or complex jacquard designs. Besides the design, multiple color threads are used to make a jacquard weave and give it complex patterns and gradations.
The weaves can be combined with different types of threads to give bold patterns and soft color tones. In addition, this fabric is more stable and stretchy when compared to other fabrics that are created using the conventional weave technique.
What is Jacquard - History
The jacquard fabric was named after Joseph Marie Jacquard. Jacquard was a French weaver and was renowned for inventing the jacquard loom technology in 1804. Jacquard began as a draw boy, and his work was to climb on top of the loom and lift about 30 pounds of weaving reeds. Joseph had a strong desire to find a better way after most of the draw boys were crippled from the bad working conditions.
During the late 1700s, machines were used to produce simple patterned fabrics. In 1801, Jacquard invented his first concept fabric using stiff punch cards. This made Napoleon invite Jacquard to Paris to perfect his concept. By 1804, Jacquard invented the machine connected to the looms, which helped to perfect the production of the jacquard patterned weave. The programmed jacquard looms worked by arranging punched paper cards to create certain patterns.
Punch paper cards became more popular for running electronic computers until digital input was invented in the mid 20th century.
What is Jacquard - Modern Looms
Today, the jacquard loom has greatly evolved thanks to computerization. Rather than using a series of punched paper cards, textile manufacturers now use computer programs to operate jacquard looms.
The modern Jacquard looms are known as computerized jacquard looms. These looms don’t use punch cards but can have thousands of hooks threaded with several yarns. Unlike the traditional looms, these modernized looms lower the need for human input, making them more efficient and affordable.
Modern looms are also quality-intensive and less time-consuming since the computerized process automates the entire designing process. What’s more, it is easier to create complex designs now more than ever. Furthermore, these machines can handle a larger capacity, and this reduces the number of repeats.
Although jacquard fabrics are more cost-effective to produce than before, there is no denying that they are luxurious. Jacquard fabric is not very common for apparel production but can be found in high-end furniture and homewares like drapes, curtains, and duvets.
What is Jacquard - Manufacturing Process
To understand what is jacquard fabric better, let us first understand how it is created. The loom is a device that has been used to create jacquard and other fabrics for centuries. The advent of the computerized jacquard loom has made it efficient to produce jacquard fabrics.
- Fabric manufacturers spin the fabric material into the yarn to achieve different thickness options.
- Once the manufacturers have the textile yarn of choice, they then program the computerized jacquard loom. By choosing a program, the loom will get ready to weave the yarn into a certain pattern.
- The yarn is then fed into the loom from the top. The jacquard loom will arrange the yarn into a complex web to get the desired pattern.
- Most textile manufactures choose to expose the finished fabric to post-production treatments to increase their heat resistance or durability.
What is Jacquard - Types
There are several jacquard weave fabrics and they may appear similar to most people. However, these fabrics have distinctive features. Here is what you need to know about what is jacquard and its variations.
Brocade is a patterned raised fabric that is heavy and rich. The fabric is woven with multicolored threads and is ideal to produce garments for special occasions like skirts, dresses, coats, and jackets.
Damask is a reversible patterned fabric that is woven in silk, cotton, linen, and viscose. The fabric can be tone-on-tone or featuring multicolored threads, meaning that the background colors and pattern can reverse from front to back. It has a smooth and lustrous feel and is finer than brocade.
Tapestry fabric is thicker and heavier than brocade or damask. However, it has similar properties to Damascus and can reverse colors.
This fabric has a jacquard weave with a blistered or puckered effect. It imitates tapestries and is usually available in wool, silk, or cotton blends.
Brocatelle is more like brocade but with more complex patterns. Its patterns feature raised, puffed surfaces and can only be produced with a jacquard loom.
This fabric has a raised quilted effect and is woven in solid colors. It often comes in cotton, wool, silk, and viscose. Also, this fabric comes in various designs like floral motifs and graphics. It can be hand-stitched or easily produced using a quilting machine or jacquard loom. Matalasse is commonly used to produce pillow shams and coverlets.
Wool jacquard fabrics are great for making tapestries. They are also commonly used to make cold-weather garments like gloves and sweaters thanks to their insulative properties.
Jacquard fabrics that feature cotton are made using jacquard looms. They are the most affordable fabrics that are made using this method. Cotton is also less complex and a great alternative for linen jacquard fabrics.
Silk is the most luxurious jacquard fabric. Jacquard fabrics that feature silk are often used to make more complex tapestries and brocade patterns.
Synthetic jacquard is an affordable alternative to cotton, silk, or wool. However, despite being affordable, this fabric is low-quality and can negatively impact the environment.
Where is Jacquard Produced?
Wondering what is jacquard’s largest producer? As aforementioned, several textile fibers like wool, cotton, silk, and synthetic are used to make jacquard. China is the largest producer of finished cotton, silk, and synthetic fibers, making them the largest jacquard producer.
India is the world leader in raw cotton fiber production while Australia is the biggest producer of wool. Nonetheless, the country usually sends their raw fibers or yarns to China for finishing.
What is Jacquard vs. Jacquard Knit Fabric
Are you wondering what is jacquard and how it is different from jacquard knit fabric? Well, the difference between these two lies in how they are produced. While jacquard can be created from any type of yarn, the jacquard knit fabric can only be made on a knitting machine.
The jacquard knit fabric features several intricate designs and can either be single or double knit. Jacquard knit fabric is great for creating sweaters because of its warm and structured texture.
What is Jacquard - Environmental Impact?
Wondering what jacquard’s impact on the environment is? Well, the environmental impact of this fabric varies with the textile fiber in it. For instance, jacquard that contains synthetic fibers is not environmentally friendly. This is because synthetic fibers contain toxic chemicals.
On the other hand, jacquard fabric that is made using wool and silk fibers is environmentally friendly. However, wool production that engages animal cruelty and soil erosion may not really be environmentally friendly.
Although cotton is biodegradable, it can be cultivated using organic and sustainable processes. When shopping for jacquard fabric, make sure that it is sustainable, organic, and natural.
What is Jacquard - Laundry Instructions
What is jacquard, and the best way to care for it? Jacquard is made from different types of fibers. Hence, the care instructions will depend on the type of fabric used. For instance, there are jacquard fabrics that do well with washing, while others require dry-cleaning.
If the jacquard you hold in your hands is strong and sturdy, you can hand wash or machine wash at 30 degrees. However, do not use any bleaching agents as this may damage the fabric. On the other hand, delicate jacquard fabrics prefer dry cleaning. This is also true for fabric that features metallic yarn, beadwork, or ornate decorations.
It is also advisable to dry your fabric on a hanger away from direct sunlight. You can also lay it on a table to dry. Just make sure not to wring it. Moreover, care should be taken when you press jacquard. A good tip is to press on the wrong side of the fabric to avoid damaging the fabric.
What is Jacquard - In Conclusion
Now that you know what is jacquard, there is no reason why you should not try it. With popular designs and patterns, there is no denying that jacquard is a beautiful fabric. Jacquards are perfect for those who want to stand out and for fashion designers that want to explore their skills. If you want something lightweight, cotton and silk jacquard fabrics will do.
You can wear a jacquard dress for a casual look or a cotton jacquard suit for a business look. An embroidered jacquard is great for a social event while wool matelassé makes perfect apparel for winter. With so many ways to rock this fabric, there is no reason you shouldn't add it to your wardrobe.
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