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Jacquard Fabric

Ever wondered where the fabulous upholstery fabric styles that grace your home come from? Oh, sure, if you have fabric handwoven by a weaver, it's not hard to figure out the mystery. But what about the modern fabric that features those amazing double-sided complex designs and a variety of bright colors? While you may have heard of jacquard fabric and the looms that are used to make this upholstery, you probably don't know the history of jacquards.

What Is Jacquard Fabric?

Jacquards are a type of woven upholstery fabric known for their complexity, intricate patterns, and textured designs. They're made using a jacquard loom and are often used for upholstery, decorative accessories, and drapery.

KOVI Fabrics is the top retailer that sells a variety of jacquard fabrics. Order your jacquard fabric today!

Jacquard Fabric History

Upholstery fabric had always been the terrain of the hand-weaver who used a loom to create intricate designs. Even today, handwoven silks, linens, and cotton fabric are popular in niche markets. However, the process of weaving by hand (even with the aid of a loom) is tedious, and the resulting product is quite expensive.

So how do we get beautiful fabrics at a more affordable price? It's all thanks to the invention of the jacquard mechanism or jacquard system by Joseph Marie Jacquard. At the turn of the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution saw the creation of mechanized looms; while they could create woven cloth at speed, they could only do so with a single strand of yarn.

The result was that fabric had to be dyed after the weaving, limiting colors and patterns. Silkscreen printing allowed for more delicate prints to be printed onto the woven fabric, but these would rub off and fade with time.

Joseph Marie Jacquard saw a need in the textile market. With the invention of player pianos, which were pianos that played a predefined piece of music using punch cards (with the piano key positions marked on per song), the punch card system inspired Jacquard to invent a type of loom that was capable of weaving individually colored yarns to create woven patterned fabrics.

The term jacquards refers not so much to a single pattern or color as it does to a weaving process. Using a jacquard loom allows manufacturers to produce machine-woven fabric with intricate patterns, complexity, and detailed finishing. The fabric is even reversible.

How Is Jacquard Fabric Made?

How does it work to create a jacquard upholstery fabric? By using a jacquard loom! As with any mechanized loom, the yarns are spun into warp threads that create the structure the fabric is woven onto. Over these warp threads, we find lateral or horizontal threads called weft threads. Often, manufacturers will call the weft threads the "fill" of the fabric, which is what the designs are made of.

Loom machines only weave a single yarn. However, a jacquard loom or jacquard system can integrate intricate colors by using multiple yarns. This is accomplished with a punch card system, where the loom machine is programmed with specific positions for different yarns.

Jacquard fabric can be made of any type of textile, from silk, rayon, linen, wool, and cotton to polyester. The individual strands can be solution dyed instead of printing dyed patterns on the surface. Jacquard fabric is then more environmentally friendly as fewer dyes are required.

Can Jacquard Fabric Be Used for Upholstery?

Yes, Jacquard fabric can be used for upholstery. It is a type of durable and versatile fabric that is suitable for upholstering a variety of furniture, such as sofas, chairs, and ottomans. KOVI Fabrics is the top upholstery retailer with a massive jacquard selection. Order your next fabric today!

Are There Different Types of Jacquard Fabric?

Depending on the punch pattern used for the jacquard loom, a variety of upholstery fabrics can be created. These fabrics each have unique properties that make them suitable for home and decor projects. You can find all these patterns and more at KOVI Fabrics, your top upholstery retailer! Order your jacquard upholstery today!


While brocade isn't traditionally a decor fabric, its raised surface with detailed threading from the loom can create interesting elements in curtains and light-use upholstery fabrics. Brocade can be an ideal fabric to use for your next sewing project to create that special item for your home decor.


If you are looking for a reversible upholstery fabric with lots of versatility, damask is your best bet. You can choose between similar tones or tone-on-tone (where the same tone is used to create a pattern with different threads) or even multi-tone fabric. Damask makes for excellent curtains and upholstery too.


Paisley upholstery patterns require no introduction with their characteristic teardrop design and floral integration. Jacquard-woven paisley remains a staple for more interior decorators and with the unique ability of tone-on-tone jacquard to create a sheen. While paisley has been popular throughout history, the traditional paisley pattern has been given a modern revamp.


Machine quilting has also got its origins in the many humble jacquard looms. With the addition of padding, a quilted effect can be created to emphasize the patterns of simple thread on and through the upholstery. Jacquard fabrics have advanced to include intricate quilted effects using different tones of the same color, thanks to the Jacquard machine.

Matelassé remains a popular choice for curtain fabrics, and the resulting raised pattern offers unique applications and versatility for duvet covers.


Tapestry upholstery fabric also has its roots in the jacquard looms of history. Instead of having to painstakingly create tapestry and novelty designs by hand, the jacquard machine and looms allow for a particular pattern to be woven right into the textile. The added benefit of this method is that tapestry fabric has more stretchy qualities and a better texture.

Perhaps the biggest bonus is that you can buy quality jacquard tapestry fabric at a lower price per yard than having to commission or sew your own.

Different Textiles Used for Jacquard Prints

While jacquard upholstery fabric can be woven into different style fabric types, the fiber used can also influence the overall quality and durability of the end result. KOVI Fabrics is the top upholstery retailer, and we sell all these fabrics and more. Order your next fabric today!

Cotton Jacquard Fabrics

Using the highest quality Egyptian cotton fibers, any jacquard upholstery fabric can be woven using jacquard looms. The benefit of using cotton fibers is that cotton can be dyed any color and offers an easy care, more environmentally friendly option.

Silk Jacquard Fabrics

Silk is one of the best types for a more traditional jacquard style. In addition, the natural sheen of silk matches perfectly with the tone-on-tone method with jacquard looms. Add solution-dyed yarns, and the bleed-through effect that so often comes with silk-printed upholstery fabric is no longer a concern.

Wool Jacquard Fabrics

The application of jacquard looms extends to knitted jacquard upholstery fabric, too, when wool fibers are used. Create stunningly durable fabric using wool or olefin fibers such as Sunbrella and stretch-resistant drapes.

Polyester Jacquard Fabrics

Polyester is the fiber of the modern era, and the synthetic qualities of the superfine fibers make for a great choice when selecting a jacquard upholstery fabric. Depending on the type of jacquard chosen, a moderate stretch with jacquard looms can be woven into the fabric.

What Are the Common Uses of Jacquard Fabric?

The common uses of Jacquard upholstery fabric include:

  • Upholstery: Jacquard fabric is often used for upholstering furniture types such as sofas, chairs, and ottomans due to its intricate patterns, durability, and elegant style.

  • Drapery: Jacquard fabric is commonly used for creating luxurious and stylish window treatments, adding a touch of sophistication to the room.

  • Decorative accessories: Jacquard fabric is perfect for decorative accessories such as cushions, throws, and blankets, adding a touch of luxury and texture to the decor.

Benefits of Choosing Jacquard Fabric for Your Home Decor

So why should you use jacquard upholstery fabric for your home decor? Several benefits can't be beaten, and we'll always be thankful to Joseph Marie Jacquard and Jacquard Looms for leaving his legacy on the textile industry and allowing us to create stunning fabrics that meet the demands of a dynamic textile market. 

Better Color Than Printed Fabrics

Jacquard upholstery fabric allows for a much more intricate pattern and design than a regular printed fabric does. Each strand is individually dyed, allowing for color richness and anti-fade properties that are better than other fabrics.

Richer and More Complex Patterns

With jacquard upholstery fabric technology, patterned fabrics, such as brocade, have enjoyed a revival in design and richness. With the advances in double-sided fabric, the options for curtains and drapery fabric types have increased.

Softness of Weave

Jacquard upholstery fabric has a dense weave, which builds the structure, creating a softer feel. Jacquard fabrics are also more plush than other fabrics, and given the quality of the dyes, it's easier to wash these patterns and colors without fear of bleaching your colors or fading.

More Light Control

With the dense weave of jacquard upholstery, curtains and drapery fabrics have become denser without needing to add a second layer. When woven over a central core, jacquard fabric can provide great light and climate control.

What Makes Jacquard Fabric Unique Compared to Other Fabrics?

Jacquard upholstery fabric is unique compared to other fabrics due to its complexity, woven patterns, and textured designs, such as brocade.

Unlike printed fabrics, jacquard fabrics are woven on a special loom that allows for more complex patterns to be created with different colored threads.

This results in a raised or textured design that gives the jacquard fabric a luxurious and elegant appearance. The intricate patterns of jacquard fabric make it highly versatile for use in upholstery, drapery fabric, and decorative accessories, adding a touch of sophistication to any interior space.

How Durable Is Jacquard Fabric?

Jacquard fabric is known for its durability, making it suitable for various upholstery and decorative products. The durability of jacquard fabric is often measured in double rubs, which indicates how many rubs the fabric can withstand before showing signs of wear.

How Do I Care for and Clean Jacquard Fabric?

Caring for and cleaning jacquard upholstery fabric is essential to maintain the beauty and durability of its weave patterns. Here are some general tips for caring for and cleaning jacquard fabric:

  • Vacuum: Regularly vacuum the jacquard fabric upholstery or drapery to remove dust, dirt, and debris. Use a soft brush attachment to avoid damaging the fabric.

  • Spot cleaning: For small stains or spills, gently blot the affected area with a clean, damp cloth. Avoid rubbing the fabric vigorously, as this can spread the stain.

  • Professional cleaning: For larger or stubborn stains, it's best to seek professional upholstery cleaning services. Professional cleaners have the expertise and tools to effectively clean jacquard fabric without causing damage.

  • Avoid harsh chemicals: When spot cleaning, avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the fabric, causing it to wrinkle and affect the color and texture.

  • Sun protection: If using jacquard fabric for drapery or decorative accessories, protect it from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight to prevent fading and deterioration.

  • Follow manufacturer's instructions: Always refer to the manufacturer's care instructions for specific guidelines on cleaning and maintaining the jacquard fabric.

Remember that different jacquard fabrics may have specific care requirements, so it's important to follow the care instructions provided by the fabric supplier.

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