What is Jacquard Fabric: The Comprehensive Analysis

The fabrics you encounter and use most frequently are typically printed to showcase appealing designs. However, jacquard fabric goes beyond that, allowing patterns to be woven into its fibers. It boasts a storied history and has enchanted artists and designers for centuries. In this blog, you will witness the allure of jacquard fabric, allowing it to bring you timeless elegance and beauty. 

What is Jacquard Fabric?

Jacquard fabric is a luxurious and intricate textile celebrated for its exquisite patterns. Unlike ordinary printed fabrics, its designs are raised, allowing them to be felt through touch. The name “jacquard” originates from the Jacquard loom, a mechanical weaving machine invented in the early 19th century. The fabric utilizes a distinctive weaving technique. It can achieve intricate patterns by precisely controlling the warp yarns through a jacquard loom.

Where Does Jacquard Fabric Come From?

The History of Jacquard Fabric

Jacquard fabric is often believed to have originated in France in 1801, as its name is associated with the Jacquard machine and its inventor, Joseph Marie Jacquard. However, archaeological evidence has confirmed that jacquard fabric had already appeared in China’s ancient Shang Dynasty (1600 BC – 1046 BC).

During the Eastern Han Dynasty(25 – 220), people developed a loom “Huaben” style Jacquard loom, also known as “Hualou”. (“Huaben” is a program that stores the pattern information on a jacquard loom.) It represented the highest achievement in ancient Chinese weaving technology. 

This type of jacquard loom required two people to work together: one person sat on top of a three-foot-high Hualou, manipulating the warp yarns, while the other controlled the weft yarns through foot pedals.

“Huaben” Jacquard Loom

It wasn’t until the 6th and 7th centuries that the jacquard machine and the waist machine cross-stitching method were introduced to Europe. It enabled the production of magnificent jacquard fabrics.

Joseph Marie Jacquard’s Jacquard machine was officially patented in 1804. This machine was an improvement based on the Chinese Hualou and the previous works. It had a weaving speed 25 times faster than the old manual jacquard machines, paving the way for the widespread popularity of jacquard fabrics.

Today’s Jacquard Fabric

Nowadays, jacquard fabric has realized large-scale mechanized production. Its unique raised patterns are created by controlling individual warp yarns through punched cards or computerized mechanisms. 

Modern jacquard fabrics no longer necessitate complex manual operations or extensive labor to weave intricate and exquisite designs, yet they still exude an undeniable elegance. Their beauty entices individuals to incorporate them in various aspects. These fabrics can adorn your clothing and living spaces, thereby enhancing aesthetics and infusing artistic flair into their surroundings.

How is Jacquard Fabric Made?

Professional weaving designers translate the required design patterns of the fabric into weaving drafts. These drafts specify the colors, positions, and operations for each design unit. Suitable yarn materials are selected, typically including silk, cotton, and others. After dyeing and pre-processing, ensuring the color consistency of the yarn, it can be used for weaving.

Jacquard looms control the weaving process through digital programming. The design patterns are translated into a series of instructions that determine how the jacquard machine should adjust the interlacing of the yarn using hooks, shuttles, and latches during the weaving process, forming the desired patterns.

Once the weaving is completed, the fabric undergoes finishing and processing to ensure its smoothness and pleasant touch. Finally, after undergoing strict quality checks, it becomes the material for the products you design or use. 

What Type of Fabric is Jacquard?

Jacquard fabric comes in a variety of types, and in everyday life, you may encounter some of them, such as brocade, brocatelle, and others. Additionally, they can also be categorized based on the materials. By reading the following content, you can gain a better understanding of their characteristics. So you can choose the right type of jacquard fabric in the future.


Originating from ancient China, brocade was initially produced on the draw loom, the precursor of the jacquard loom. Brocade is typically adorned with intricate and beautiful patterns, such as dragons, phoenixes, and elaborate flowers. It was traditionally worn exclusively by the nobility. Today, brocade is woven on a jacquard loom. It boasts a wider range of patterns and a variety of materials.


Similar to brocade, brocatelle exhibits more pronounced raised effects and clear textures. It can be woven using various yarns and often incorporates different colors and metallic threads to enhance the patterns.


Renowned for its complex woven patterns, damask takes its name from the city of Damascus, which was a prominent location along the Silk Road, known for silk production and trade. It features reversible designs and is woven on jacquard looms to create contrasting patterns with a high level of detail.


Derived from the French language, it means “padded”. Matelassé fabric is created using a jacquard loom or a quilting machine to produce a raised and textured surface. It is typically made from cotton or a blend of cotton with other fibers. The fabric is renowned for its thickness, luxurious appearance, and distinctive texture, with the same pattern present on both sides. It is well-suited for crafting sheets, bedspreads, pillowcases, and more. 


It is typically created using a hand-weaving technique on a loom, resulting in intricate and detailed designs. This craft involves skillfully manipulating the weft yarn to weave exquisite images on the warp yarn. Due to their delicate nature, tapestries are often hung and displayed, commonly featuring depictions of historical events, mythological scenes, religious stories, and more.

Jacquard Knits

They are knitted fabrics produced using the jacquard knitting technique. Unlike traditional knitting with a single yarn, jacquard knits incorporate multiple yarns of different colors or textures. By employing various stitch patterns and techniques, they offer a wide range of color combinations and visual effects.

Silk Jacquard

Silk has been a popular material for brocade since ancient times. Its smooth and lustrous surface, combined with intricate jacquard patterns, gives it a high-end and sophisticated look. Silk has excellent dye absorption, resulting in vibrant colors. Silk jacquard retains its lightweight and breathable characteristics, creating a comfortable environment for you.

Cotton Jacquard

It is a gentle type of fabric that provides a pleasant experience for your skin. The good moisture absorption and air permeability ensure that your body stays dry. Additionally, it is an environmentally friendly choice as natural fibers are biodegradable.

Wool Jacquard

It possesses excellent insulation properties, and the jacquard weaving technique does not compromise its softness, providing you with a luxurious texture. Wool fibers have a natural protective layer, giving wool jacquard a certain degree of water resistance and stain resistance.

Synthetic Jacquard

Synthetic fibers typically offer good durability and resistance to wear. They are less prone to wrinkling compared to natural fibers. Commonly used synthetic jacquards, such as polyester and viscose, can provide qualities similar to silk. Synthetic jacquards are easy to care for and have quick-drying properties, making them convenient to carry even during travel.

5 Properties of Jacquard

  1. Exquisite designs.
  2. Good durability.
  3. Reversible surface texture.
  4. Luxurious appearance.
  5. Versatile applications.

What is Jacquard Fabric Used for?

In the early days, jacquard fabric was renowned for its intricate patterns and elaborate designs. It was primarily favored by the nobility for clothing and accessories. As lighter and more comfortable printed fabrics emerged, the use of jacquard fabric in clothing gradually declined. 

Nevertheless, on formal occasions, wearing and incorporating jacquard fabric can effortlessly make you the center of attention. Whether it’s a striking jacquard shirt or an elegant casual jacquard dress, they have the power to make a bold statement.

Today, the most prevalent application of jacquard fabric lies in the realm of home decor. Many interior designs necessitate the inclusion of jacquard fabric to infuse color and elegance. It can be an opulent curtain, a decorative throw pillow cover, or a seat cover. Moreover, jacquard fabric can be employed as a captivating tapestry, adding a touch of storytelling and whimsy to your home.

Jacquard Pillow Cover

How Much Does Jacquard Fabric Cost?

The jacquard fabric needs to undergo a complex weaving process. While the advent of jacquard looms has lowered production costs, it generally remains pricier than regular woven fabrics.

Furthermore, you should also take into account factors such as the fiber type employed, the intricacy of the design, and the brand. These aspects can all impact the final price of your purchase.

How to Care for Jacquard Fabric?

To preserve the delicate patterns of jacquard fabrics and prevent damage, it is recommended to clean them through dry cleaning or hand washing methods. It is important to avoid using harsh detergents. After cleaning, store the fabric in a cool and dry place to protect it from moisture.

These are general guidelines for fabric care. It is advisable to follow the specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer for optimal results.


What is Jacquard Fabric Like?

Jacquard fabric is known for its exquisite patterns and textures. It showcases a wide range of beauty through weaving, including intricate floral motifs, geometrical designs, meaningful scenes, and various graphics. The fabric often exhibits a three-dimensional effect, adding an intriguing element to your designs.

What is Jacquard Made of?

Similar to regular fabrics, jacquard fabric can be crafted from natural fibers, synthetic fibers, or a blend of both. The natural jacquard fabric possesses unparalleled qualities. And the synthetic jacquard fabric offers affordability as an advantage. Blended fibers strike a balance between price and characteristics, providing a combination of both.

What is the Difference Between Brocade and Jacquard Fabric?

Brocade has a long-standing history predating the use of the term “jacquard” to describe fabric. Brocade typically refers to silk fabric adorned with raised patterns, whereas jacquard fabric encompasses a broader range of materials and styles. With the advancement of the textile industry, brocade is now recognized as a type of jacquard fabric. It is also produced using jacquard weaving techniques on a jacquard loom. 


Jacquard fabric is a testament to the art of weaving. From the origins of ancient civilizations to modern production methods, it has captivated people with its tangible beauty of design. Whether you need decorative fashion pieces or everyday household items, jacquard fabric is sure to fulfill your needs. At Sinosilk, you can find the finest silk jacquard fabric, immersing yourself in the charm that transcends time.

More Resources:

What is Twill – Source: Sinosilk

What is Satin – Source: Sinosilk

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