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A fabric with complex motifs which owes its name to the automatic loom used for its production, itself conceived in Lyon in 1801 in the workshops of Joseph-Marie Jacquard. A unique combination of three previous innovations (Basile Bouchon’s perforated paper tape, Jean-Baptiste’s continuous loop of perforated cards and Jacques Vaucanson’s cylinder, also perforated), the Jacquard loom revolutionised the sector and was capable of doing the work of five people. A development deemed unpopular by competitors (the famous Lyon weavers known as the “canuts”) who rose up in 1831 and tried to destroy Jacquard’s machines by striking them with clogs (sabots in French). But while we might owe the word “sabotage” to the canuts’ revolt, the industrialists chose to support Jacquard and his loom took the place of other older techniques. A predecessor to the computer (because the perforated cards are programmable), the Jacquard loom has today grown considerably and now produces almost all patterned fabrics used for clothing, furnishings and domestic linens.
This superior wool, originating in Australia and New Zealand bears the same name as the breed of sheep that provide it. Bright, warm and light, it is distinguished by the extreme finesse of its fibres, three times thinner than those of classic wool (which varies 30 to 50 microns, while Merino oscillates between 17 and 25). It is known as ‘Extrafine’ when the thread thickness is less than 19 microns.