Jacquard’s invention helped not only the textile industry, but helped in the advance of technology. The Jacquard loom not only cut back on the amount of human labor, but also allowed for patterns to now be stored on cards and to be utilized over and over again to achieve the same product. The jacquard loom allowed to ‘save’ patterns on cards that could be archived and re-used, cutting on time, labour and costs. The system followed a mathematical algorithm, and some have argued that the jacquard loom holds many similarities with computers: both machine work by storing and organising information.

How Does a Jacquard Loom Work?

The Jacquard mechanism, invented by Frenchman Joseph Marie Jacquard and first demonstrated in 1801, simplified the way in which complex textiles such as damask were woven. The mechanism involved the use of thousands of punch cards laced together. Each row of punched holes corresponded to a row of a textile pattern. This modification not only introduced greater efficiency to the weaving process, allowing the weaver to produce, unaided, fabrics with patterns of almost unlimited size and complexity, but also influenced the future development of computing technology.

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