Jacquard fabric is simply a type of fabric featuring an elaborate pattern woven onto the backing warp on a specially designed mechanical looms and not printed on the opposite side. It was a French master weaver, Joseph Francois Jacquard, who first invented this new technology in 1801, so the Jacquard fabric itself was named after him as well. The basic technique for its production involved sewing a strip of fabric, called the "Jacquard thread", onto the backing which was then stitched onto the main fabric. This was repeated over again to create a weaving pattern, which is then cut into various layers. Each layer usually corresponds to a particular part of the furniture design, such as a button or a zipper.
Jacquard textiles became extremely popular in the 18th century due to the "Jacquard Culture", which was the creation of a fashionable French occupation that centered on clothing manufacturing. The term "Jacquard" had originally been used to describe any type of fabric that was woven, but it soon became synonymous with high quality textiles. These textiles were commonly used for ornamental items such as curtains and tablecloths. In addition to their highly decorative properties, they also exhibited a sort of softness and were very comfortable to wear.
Jacquard textile fibers are made from natural plant fibers extracted from animal skins, with the most commonly harvested fibers being wool, cotton, sisal and jute. Jacquard fibers may be treated with bleaching to create a white color, or treated with an acid wash to produce a bright, vibrant color. The synthetic fibers most commonly used in production of Jacquard fabric are polyester and acrylic, but some manufacturers have developed fiber blends that exhibit similar qualities as natural Jacquard fiber. Since the manufacture of synthetic fibers has considerably reduced the amount of animal skins required to produce Jacquard fabric, environmental impact is reduced significantly.
Jacquard is often used to create products that feature both high fashion design and a distinct environmental conscience. Some of these include cashmere sweaters, cashmere blankets and bedspreads, and jute T-shirts, hoodies, slippers and scarves. Jacquard is also frequently combined with other textiles such as cashmere and Georgette to create high fashion garments such as pashmina scarves and cashmere sweaters. These types of products are particularly popular in countries such as China, India, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, where traditional Jacquard fabric makes up a large part of the clothing industry.
Jacquard patterns are generally developed by sewing two fabrics together using overlapping seams to create a pattern. These patterns are then stitched onto plain backgrounds to create elaborate designs and artworks that can be worn as tapestries or were given as gifts. Jacquard embroidery is most commonly used to make Jacquard tapestries, although the same fabric can be used to make curtains and tablecloths. Many tapestries that feature Jacquard fabric patterns originated in countries such as India.
Two types of natural Jacquard fabric are commonly used in the construction of clothing. The first is virgin Jacquard, which is made from the fibers of a cotton origin plant. The fibers used to produce this fabric are woven delicately, making it highly delicate and soft to the touch.
The second type of Jacquard fabric is calico weave, which is the most commonly used Jacquard fabric in the production of calico upholstery fabric. This type of Jacquard fabric features a heavier weight than virgin Jacquard, which makes it ideal for heavy duty garments. It is often used for upholstery items such as tablecloths, napkins, and curtains. Unlike virgin Jacquard, calico is not dyed and is typically white. As with other types of Jacquard, it is typically available in dark shades of blue and black.
Jacquard loom is a form of quilting, where fabric is placed over a stiff backing then stitched together with threads pulled through tiny holes in the fabric. This technique is commonly used to make curtains and tablecloths. Jacquard fabric uses an interlocking design to create a sturdy weaving fabric, much like Jacquard cloth. The main difference between the two is that Jacquard fabric has been processed to create a more durable product than quilted material, such as calico, which is only processed to create the design. Jacquard looms can be either vertical or horizontal in nature.