In 1804, the innovative French merchant and weaver Joseph-Marie Jacquard patented his invention of the use of cards with small punched holes which held weaving instructions to create a pattern on the Jacquard Loom machine, used to weave fabrics. Each card contained a different combination of punched holes, corresponding to the pattern they represented. The Jacquard Loom mechanism used pins to locate the position of the holes on the card. The location of the holes in the card determined which warp threads (vertical threads attached to the loom) are raised to allow the weft thread (horizontal thread) to pass under them.


  • Title: Jaquard Loom Punched Cards
  • Creator: Joseph-Marie Jacquard
  • Date Created: 1804
  • Location: Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester, UK)
  • Rights: Jacquard loom on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, England (07/06/2005). Source: GeorgeOnline via Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:GeorgeOnline). Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps