Jacquard Fabric – Everything You Need To Know

Jacquard fabric, known for its intricate patterns and textured feel, holds a prominent place in the textile industry. This fabric is named after Joseph Marie Jacquard, the inventor of the loom that revolutionized its production in the early 19th century. The Jacquard loom introduced the ability to automate complex pattern weaving, which was a significant technological leap at the time.

The allure of Jacquard fabric lies not only in its aesthetic appeal but also in its historical significance. It represents a pivotal moment in the industrialization of textile manufacturing, making elaborate designs accessible to a broader market. Today, Jacquard fabrics are synonymous with luxury and sophistication, used extensively in fashion, home decor, and special occasion attire.

As we delve into the details of Jacquard fabric, we will explore its properties, how it is made, and the various applications that make it a sought-after material in the world of textiles.

What is Jacquard Fabric?

Jacquard Fabric-1

Jacquard fabric is distinguished by its complex patterns woven directly into the material, rather than printed or embroidered on the surface. This weaving technique allows for the creation of intricate designs, such as florals, geometrics, and detailed imagery, which are often raised above the background fabric to create a textured effect. The fabric can be made from a variety of fibers, including cotton, silk, wool, and synthetic blends, each adding its unique properties to the finished textile.

Unlike basic weaves that are straightforward and limited in design, Jacquard weaving uses a special loom that manipulates each warp thread independently. This flexibility means that designers can create almost any pattern imaginable, which can vary widely in complexity and size. The Jacquard loom, a precursor to computer programming, uses punch cards (similar to those later used in early computers) to control the pattern. This method of using punch cards to control the loom’s pattern is what made Jacquard a revolutionary technology in the textile industry.

In comparison to other types of weaves, such as plain, twill, or satin, Jacquard fabrics are unique in that the weave actually forms the pattern and texture, making them inherently more durable and suited for intricate designs. This weave is not limited to any particular type of fiber, and the end result is a highly textured and patterned fabric that stands out for its sophistication and elegance.

The History of Jacquard Fabric

Jacquard Fabric-2

The story of Jacquard fabric is inseparable from the story of the Jacquard loom, an invention that revolutionized textile production. Developed by Joseph Marie Jacquard in the early 1800s, this loom introduced the ability to automate the creation of intricate woven patterns. Jacquard’s innovation was a milestone in the industrial revolution of the textile industry, as it significantly reduced the labor and time required to produce complex textile designs.

Before the Jacquard loom, such detailed patterns were produced by skilled artisans who manually controlled the warp and weft threads, a time-consuming and costly process. Jacquard’s loom used a series of punch cards with holes to control which threads were lifted during the weaving process, allowing for repetitive and intricate patterns to be created more efficiently and with fewer errors.

This technological advancement had a profound impact not only in France, where Jacquard was from, but across the global textile industry. It democratized the production of high-quality patterned fabric, making these materials accessible to a broader segment of society. Previously, elaborate textiles could only be afforded by the wealthy elite, but Jacquard’s invention changed this dynamic, contributing to the proliferation of fashionable textiles among the middle class.

Jacquard fabric quickly became a symbol of luxury and sophistication, used in everything from clothing to furniture. Historical uses of Jacquard fabric include elaborate Victorian gowns and the rich, detailed upholstery favored in 19th-century Europe. The fabric’s ability to be both decorative and durable ensured its place in the annals of textile history, a legacy that continues to this day.

How Jacquard Fabric is Made

The process begins with the design of a pattern, which is often created using modern computer software. This design is then translated into a format that can be read by the Jacquard loom. In Jacquard’s time, this was achieved using punched cards. Today, electronic systems have replaced these cards, allowing for more complex and precise designs.

Modern Jacquard looms are sophisticated machines equipped with electronically controlled mechanisms that manage the lifting of each thread individually. These looms can handle hundreds of threads simultaneously, giving designers unparalleled control over the fabric’s texture and pattern complexity. The threads can be lifted in various sequences to weave the intricate designs characteristic of Jacquard fabric.

Step-by-Step Process from Thread to Fabric

  1. Preparation of Threads: The yarns used in Jacquard fabrics, which can vary from silk to polyester, are first prepared and loaded onto the loom.
  2. Programming the Loom: The pattern design is programmed into the loom’s computer, which controls the lifting of the warp threads according to the pattern.
  3. Weaving: As the weft thread is passed over and under the warp, the loom selectively lifts and lowers warp threads to form the pattern. This process is repeated, building up the fabric layer by layer.
  4. Monitoring and Adjustment: Throughout the weaving process, the fabric is continuously monitored for any defects. Adjustments are made as necessary to ensure that the pattern remains consistent and the quality meets standards.
  5. Finishing: After weaving, the fabric is treated to enhance its texture and appearance. This may include processes like washing, dyeing, and pressing to set the design.

This methodical process allows Jacquard fabrics to maintain a high level of quality and intricate design that is difficult to replicate with other weaving techniques. The ability to control each thread individually gives the Jacquard weave its distinctively textured and detailed appearance, making it a favorite for applications requiring decorative elegance and durable functionality.

Properties of Jacquard Fabric

Jacquard fabric is renowned for its distinctive and intricate patterns, but its appeal extends beyond its visual aesthetics. This fabric possesses several physical properties that make it a versatile choice in various applications.

Durability and Texture

One of the hallmark properties of Jacquard fabric is its durability. The interwoven nature of the patterns, where the design is integral to the fabric itself rather than printed or embroidered on top, contributes to its robustness. This structural integration helps the fabric resist wear and tear, making it ideal for items that will undergo frequent use, such as upholstery and everyday clothing.

The texture of Jacquard fabric can vary significantly depending on the materials used and the tightness of the weave. Typically, the texture is slightly raised, giving the fabric a dimensional quality that is pleasing both to the eye and to the touch. These textures can range from very subtle to highly pronounced, allowing for a variety of sensory experiences.

Variety of Patterns and Color Capabilities

Jacquard looms allow for a virtually unlimited variety of patterns, from simple geometric shapes to complex floral designs. The ability to weave different colors into the fabric further enhances the design possibilities, making Jacquard fabric a popular choice for designers seeking to make a bold statement.

Typical Weight and Uses Based on Composition

The weight of Jacquard fabric can vary widely, influenced by the type of yarn used and the density of the weave. Lightweight Jacquards are often used in fashion for garments like dresses and shirts, where the fabric’s flow and drape are important. Heavier Jacquards are preferred for decorative home furnishings, such as draperies and furniture coverings, where extra weight contributes to a sense of luxury and durability.

These properties collectively contribute to the versatility of Jacquard fabric, enabling its use across a spectrum of applications, from high fashion to sophisticated home décor. Its ability to combine beauty with functionality makes it a perennial favorite in the textile industry.

What different types of jacquard fabric are there?



Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made with colored silks and sometimes with gold or silver threads. The patterns, often floral or ornate, are created by a secondary non-structural weft, which makes the pattern appear to be embroidered on the fabric. Brocade is typically thicker than other fabrics, making it ideal for upholstery, heavy drapery, and evening or historical costumes. Its opulent appearance is popular for decorative purposes in home decor and for crafting luxurious garments.


Jacquard Fabric-4

Damask is a reversible fabric featuring patterns that are woven into the fabric using a combination of plain and satin weaves. This technique creates a subtle contrast between matte and shiny areas. Traditionally made from silk, damask can also be woven from linen, cotton, wool, or synthetic fibers. It is widely used for table linens, upholstery, draperies, and wall coverings due to its elegant appearance and reversible patterns, which extend the fabric’s usability and aesthetic appeal.


Matelassé is a textile that appears to be quilted or padded but actually results from a weaving process that gives the fabric a puckered or raised surface. The technique involves using multiple sets of yarns and a double-cloth construction. Matelassé is primarily used in home furnishings for coverlets, decorative pillow covers, and upholstery, as well as in apparel, particularly for jackets and vests that benefit from a textured, thick look.


Tapestry is a heavy, often hand-woven fabric featuring complex, multicolored designs. It’s traditionally used for wall hangings, upholstery, and draperies. Tapestries are typically woven on a loom and involve interweaving warp and weft threads to create a detailed and pictorial design. The resulting fabric is dense and sturdy, making it suitable for pieces that require durability in addition to an aesthetic appeal, such as in decorative arts and historical reproductions.

Double Cloth

Double Cloth refers to a type of woven textile made by interlinking two layers of fabric, which can be either the same or different. This allows for a reversible fabric with potentially two different patterns or colors on each side. Double cloth can be quite thick and heavy, making it ideal for winter clothing or more robust home furnishings. It is appreciated for its versatility and the unique ability to create intricate designs that are functional and visually appealing.


Piqué is a weaving style typically characterized by raised geometrical designs. The weave creates a fine ribbed or waffle-like texture, which is both durable and breathable. Piqué fabrics can be made from cotton, synthetics, or blends, popularly used in summer apparel such as polo shirts, dresses, and bed linens. The fabric’s textured surface is excellent for hiding wrinkles and sweat, making it a favorite for casual wear and sports attire.

Cotton Jacquard

Cotton Jacquard Fabric
Cotton Jacquard Fabric

Cotton Jacquard fabric is woven using cotton fibers, which allows for a breathable, soft texture that retains the intricate patterns typical of Jacquard. It offers a comfortable feel, making it ideal for everyday wear and home textiles such as bedding and table linens. Cotton Jacquard is also favored for its durability and ease of care, as it can generally be machine-washed and dried.

Silk Jacquard

Silk Jacquard Fabric
Silk Jacquard Fabric

Silk Jacquard is prized for its luxurious sheen and smooth texture, bringing an elevated level of sophistication to any garment or textile product. The natural properties of silk add a lightweight, fluid drape and a distinctively smooth touch, making it perfect for high-end fashion items like evening gowns, scarves, and ties. Silk Jacquard is also used in upscale home décor, including draperies and cushion covers.

Wool Jacquard

Wool Jacquard utilizes the natural warmth and breathability of wool, making it especially suitable for winter apparel and heavy draperies. Wool’s natural crimp helps it to hold air, thus providing excellent insulation. The Jacquard patterns woven into the wool can range from simple to complex, adding texture and visual interest to the fabric. Wool Jacquard is often seen in outerwear, throws, and heavy blankets.

Synthetic Jacquard

Synthetic Jacquard Fabrics
Synthetic Jacquard Fabrics

Synthetic Jacquard fabrics, made from polyester or acrylic, offer high durability and vibrant color retention with the added benefit of lower maintenance. These fabrics can mimic the look and feel of natural fibers but often come at a lower cost and with greater stain resistance. Synthetic Jacquard is commonly used in both fashion and home décor, where high wear and easy care are priorities, such as in children’s clothing and outdoor furnishings.

Jacquard Knit

Jacquard knit fabric is knitted using Jacquard techniques, which allow multiple colors of yarn to be knitted into complex patterns. This type of fabric is stretchy, with a soft hand and a more casual look compared to woven Jacquard. It’s used extensively in apparel where comfort and fit are important, such as in sweaters, dresses, and athletic wear. Jacquard knit fabrics can also be used for cozy home items like blankets and throws.

Applications of Jacquard Fabric

Jacquard fabric’s unique properties make it an ideal choice for a variety of applications across different industries. Its versatility is showcased in its use in fashion, home décor, and special occasions.

Fashion: Use in Clothing

Jacquard T-shirt

In the world of fashion, Jacquard fabric is prized for its elaborate patterns and rich texture, making it a popular choice for high-end and couture designs. It is frequently used in the creation of dresses, skirts, jackets, and blazers that require a structured yet elegant appearance. Accessories like handbags and ties also benefit from the fabric’s robustness and distinctive look, allowing designers to incorporate complex patterns and vibrant colors.

Home Décor: Curtains, Upholstery, and Bed Linens

Jacquard’s durability and textural beauty extend its use to home décor, where it serves both functional and aesthetic purposes. Curtains made from Jacquard fabric not only add a touch of sophistication to a room but also offer excellent durability and light-blocking capabilities. For upholstery, Jacquard is a favored material due to its ability to withstand wear while maintaining its shape and intricate designs. Additionally, bed linens, such as duvet covers and decorative pillows, often feature Jacquard weaves to introduce luxury and comfort to the sleeping environment.

Source Jacquard Fabric

Jacquard fabric is produced by a number of countries known for their textile industries. Italy and France are renowned for their high-quality and innovative Jacquard fabrics, often featured in luxury fashion and high-end decor. China, with its extensive manufacturing capabilities, also produces a wide range of Jacquard fabrics, offering both traditional and modern designs at various price points.

Being close to major fabric markets, such as the Zhongda Fabric Market in China, offers manufacturers several advantages. These markets provide access to a vast array of raw materials and the latest trends in textile design and technology. This proximity allows for faster production cycles, lower transportation costs, and the flexibility to respond quickly to market changes or customer demands.

For businesses like Valtin Apparel, located near these resources, the benefits extend to the ability to offer clients low minimum order quantities and fast sample delivery times, as these aspects are crucial for staying competitive in the fast-paced world of fashion. Leveraging these advantages can significantly enhance a company’s ability to meet diverse client needs while maintaining high standards of quality and innovation.

In conclusion, sourcing Jacquard fabric requires a thoughtful approach that balances quality, cost, and sustainability. By choosing the right suppliers and taking advantage of local resources, businesses can effectively meet their fabric needs while upholding their brand standards.

Picture of Raymond Lau
Raymond Lau

Hey, I’m Raymond Lau, the senior account manager of Valtin Apparel.
In the past 12 years, we have helped 20 countries and 50+ Clients to bring their designs ideas to life by managing their sup.

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