Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jacquard – Complex Patterns for Beautiful Fabrics

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From among the decorative fabrics, jacquard fabric holds a very important place. Jacquard is a very beautiful fabric with unique patterns woven into the fabric itself. Jacquard is, in fact, one of the various types of fabric weaves which is used to make complex fabric patterns on the specially designed jacquard looms.

The Jacquard Loom was invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1801 which was controlled by punchcards. Many cards were strung in a continuous row to develop a pattern. These mechanical Jacquards were smaller in size and could control independently only a few warp ends and thus the process had to be repeated many a times across the loom width. The larger capacity machines and multiple machines allowed relatively greater control and also needed fewer repeats. The electronic jacquard looms, introduced in 1983, had greater capacity which could handle more than 10,000 warp ends simultaneously. These computer-controlled machines significantly reduced the time wasted in changing punched paper designs. But they were viable for those factories only which manufactured jacquard fabric with specialized designs, due to the cost involved in installing these machines.

Jacquard weaving uses many types of fibers and fiber blends and create complex patterns on fabrics. The jacquard loom can be programmed to raise each warp thread independently of the others giving a very high level of warp yarn control. There are many types of jacquard fabrics that are used for fine jacquard clothing and upholstery. The examples of jacquard fabrics include brocade, damask, matelasse and tapestries etc.
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