Jacquard is a general term for fabrics where intricate patterns and artworks are incorporated directly into woven textiles. The jacquard loom was invented in the early 19th century by French silk merchant and engineer Joseph-Marie Jacquard, and used and early form of data programming.
With the mechanic jacquard loom – invented by French weaver, silk merchant and engineer Joseph-Marie Jacquard in the early 19th century – it became possible, on a larger scale, to incorporate intricate patterns and artworks directly into woven textiles.
Through an early form of data programming, the pattern design was copied from paper to a series of punch cards that controlled the weaving loom; each hole in the card corresponded with an individual thread being raised or lowered, which allowed for complex patterns and varying surfaces within the fabric.
Jacquard is a general term for fabrics produced on such a loom, brocades and damasks being two common examples, often but not always woven from silk and featuring floral or geometrical motifs. Some fabrics are completely reversible while others have a distinct face and reverse.