The Jacquard loom: the biggest revolution in the world of textile industry

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The Jacquard loom has been the most important invention for the textile industry.
With time we have forgotten how one man’s intuition has completely changed and improved a specific industrial department.

Today we want to tell you something about this invention, starting from its history.

Now have a seat and make yourself comfortable, let’s discover together everything about the Jacquard loom.

What is the Jacquard Loom?

It takes its name from its inventor, the French Joseph-Marie Jacquard and it is a device applied to a normal fabric.

Its main characteristic is the capacity of executing complex geometrical and multicolor drawings, in a faster way than before. This is possible thanks to the machine that is added to the loom and that let you move automatically the single warps.

It is the most important invention of all time in textile world because it lets you produce complex fabric with the work of a single weaver.

Now let’s take a step back in the past, to understand how revolutionary this idea was.

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The history of the Jacquard loom

The Jacquard loom officially sees the light in 1801, but how did weaving work before?

As you can imagine, technology and tools were very different and less efficient than the ones we have today.

The looms were simply activated by the hands of people. There was an helper that worked next to the weaver and who moved certain knobs to raise up the healds to let the weft threads get through.

These were called heddle looms.

This method was expensive and slow, in fact only a few centimeters of fabric were completed every day. Mr. Jacquard decided to try to create a new machine that could make the execution faster. Knowing that this would have meant an increase in fabric quantity.

The biggest merit of the French inventor was the fact that he has elaborated the machine taking inspiration from three previous projects. His invention is based on three important news:

  • Utilization of needles and perforated paper for containing the drawing
  • Substitution of the continue paper with cartons linked among them
  • Accommodation of a mechanical cylinder over the loom

More than 200 years later this invention is still fundamental for the textile world.

If today we are able to work fabrics with complex drawings in short time it is thanks to this invention.

But this history doesn’t end here.

You need to know that 400 years before this, a weaver from Catanzaro, in south of Italy, called Giovanni the Calabrian, had been the first one to design this kind of loom.

His invention was boycotted by some laborers of textile industry because they feared this invention could reduce their work, leading to an increase of unemployment.

So the French Joseph-Marie Jacquard improved Giovanni the Calabrian’s prototype. 

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The Jacquard motif

It’s not just the loom to take its name from the French inventor.

The Jacquard motif represents those fabrics with complex colored patterns, classificate also as “Norwegian motifs”.

These stand out because of their multicolor fabric, often overworked, in which the drawing is incorporated and not embroidered. Every geometric drawing represents a different knitting.

This processing method is very precious and elaborated. Despite the years, it is still highly requested.

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Conclusions

We’ve discovered together the history of this incredible invention.

Without the creation of the French inventor today the textile world would be certainly different.

The Jacquard loom allowed to increase the work and its speed. Moreover it made the composition of complex geometrical drawings possible.

Do you enjoy wearing garments with complex or geometrical drawings?

Tell us your experience with a comment below!