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Jacquard - A Magic Loom

As a kid, my mom always tried to explain to me a how a weaving loom works. My grandparents were weavers and my mom always told me stories about how their life revolved around weaving and looms. But I never got that opportunity to be around looms or see one until I decided to study textiles.


So here is a short introduction to weaving and my journey with its wonders.


Weaving is a technique of interlacing yarns to make a fabric. To understand how a loom works, we need to understand the components of a woven structure. There are warp yarns which are longitudinal and are fixed on the loom and there are weft yarns (filler) which are added in as we weave. The warp yarns are lifted according to the design while the weft yarns fill in.


We all love the buttas and intricate floral patterns on our woven saris and materials. Did you know it takes a special kind of attachment to make such beautiful fabrics?


Here's how they are made:

They are woven on handlooms or power looms with an extra attachment called JACQUARD. It was invented by a French weaver and merchant, Joseph Marie Jacquard in the 1800s. It simplified the process of weaving intricate designs.


But does that mean there were no intricate woven fabrics before it?


No. If you look at olden Chinese silks, they had a system where a person would sit on top of the loom to pull up warp threads and make these designs, this was known as a draw boy loom.


Indians arranged these extensive mechanisms on handloom too. In places like Banaras it is called jaala and down south in Kanchipuram it is called adai. We can still see some weavers in India use these age-old techniques.


Let's look at how a jacquard loom works,


The jacquard attachment works due to something called hooks. These hooks are connected to the individual or required warp threads. When these hooks are lifted, the connected warp threads lift to make the design. The no. of hooks required on a jacquard attachment depends on the intricacy of the design required. It could vary from 100 hooks to even about 1200 hooks.

First the design is made on a graph sheet or square sheet. The no of squares used will be according to the no. of hooks available on the jacquard attachment.


The design sequence is then punched onto jacquard cards which are then stitched together and fed into the jacquard attachment. The result is a mesmerizing woven fabric.


Lately, there have been incredible new improvements in technology which has given birth to electronic jacquard machines which weaver faster and are more efficient.


Flora, fauna and nature in general inspire the designs of these fabrics which are a treat to our eyes.


You can get your own beautiful jacquard fabrics from our store, here: Jacquard Fabrics

Own a Banarasi Fabric and flaunt it in style, buy: Banarasi Fabrics