- Jacquard is the name of an elaborate woven design found in tablecloth damask, bedspreads, and brocades. The weave gets its name from the Jacquard loom, on which flower designs or even pictures of men and women can be woven. The name Jacquard is also used for a type of knitting that requires a machine somewhat like the Jacquard loom to make changes in color or design.The invention of the Jacquard loom by Joseph Marie Jacquard (1752-1834), born in 'Lyons, France, simplified weaving, but it also cost thousands of silk workers their jobs. There was much turmoil, and Jacquard on one occasion was seized by an angry mob and barely escaped with his life. The problem subsided when Napoleon purchased the loom and declared it to be the property of the French state. The purchase hastened the lowering of silk prices, which, in turn, greatly improved the market for silk, and thus helped the reemployment of workers in that industry. In 1819 Jacquard was awarded a gold medal and the Cross of the Legion of Honour. The use of his loom spread to England in the 1820s and from there virtually worldwide.The loom was so constructed that each warp thread could be raised or lowered. It thus became the first practical machine to weave intricate patterns. It was operated and controlled by punched cards, forerunners of those used with the modern computer. Jacquard is a fabric woven by the Jacquard method.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.