Restoration of a jacquard loom card press

9 September 2015

This was capable of printing the cardboard cards to produce fabric designs in one action

The Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC) has completed the restoration of a jacquard loom card press, manufactured by A. Triquet during the second half of the 19th century in Lyon, France. The initiative involved taking apart all the pieces of the device, followed by a process of thorough cleaning, including mechanical cleaning of the metal parts. The machine was very dirty on the surface, because of a buildup of dust, grease and traces of linseed oil.

In order to take advantage of the process, the overall device was completed by means of the reconstruction in cedar wood of the original box which contained the remnants of cardboard from the perforated cards. This reconstruction, which is quite different in appearance because of the lack of patina, was undertaken in order better to understand the object.

Triquet was the surname of a family of mechanics and textile machinery manufacturers in the Lyon region. Their activities are known of since 1812, and they were actively involved in various manufacturing exhibitions between 1855 and 1879. This type of press, invented in 1818 by Mr. Berly (the nephew of the inventor Jean-Antoine Breton), could punch holes in the whole cardboard card in one action, without deforming it. These cards were then use on the jacquard looms to create automated and programmed designs on the fabric. The press has 26 rows of 8 needles, and so corresponds to the early jacquard system known as the "200".

The perforated cards of jacquard looms are considered the direct predecessors of the punchcards used in IT systems until well into the 1970s.