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A Bit of History

Visitors to TRI may have noticed a rather dull picture in the library. It has been here for decades, back to the time when TRI meant Textile Research Institute. The picture was made by master weaver Michel-Marie Carquillai in 1844 to commemorate an event in 1841 involving Le Duc d”Aumale. The picture is of woven silk using a Jacquard loom. Joseph Marie Jacquard took a loom an invented an automated way of weaving intricate patterns using punch cards in 1801. Punch card technology was used in computing until the 1980’s. Only black and white threads were used by Carquillai but he packed them closely enough to suggest grayscale shading. If you are interested to know more about this technology, this 3.5 minute video from the Victorian and Albert Museum, London is a good start: https://youtu.be/K6NgMNvK52A. Recently, Southerby’s auction house sold such an article in London for some $60,000. These are rare articles with only a handful existing today hence we are keeping a keen eye of our own because it is excellent condition.

An example of a Jacquard Loom

The picture in TRI’s library

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