Joseph-Marie Jacquard

Meet Monsieur Jacquard


One of the first objects to enthrall me in the Cooper-Hewitt collection was a small double portrait which I casually dismissed as “just another engraving.” When I learned that this meticulously detailed image of French inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834) and the machine he created was, remarkably, a woven piece of fabric…I was hooked. It was Jacquard himself who developed the technology used to weave the portrait: his eponymous loom, patented in 1805, was the world’s first automated machine for weaving intricate images into silk.
Joseph-Marie Jacquard, jacquard weaving, Michel-Marie Carquillat