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You might be familiar with Jacquard, a group of intricately decorated woven fabrics that feature embossed prints, particularly that of elaborate florals. Jacquard first became popular in Britain in the 1820s — the same Regency fashion era when Bridgerton takes place — and it's currently making a comeback for spring 2021 thanks to our favourite fashion brands and Instagram's style enthusiasts.
For spring 2021, we saw decadent Jacquard prints at Simone Rocha, Erdem, Fendi, and JW Anderson. At Simone Rocha, the Regency-inspired print was used to add opulence to puff-sleeved mini and midi dresses. Erdem had a similar approach, using the woven fabric to add romance to khaki green puff-sleeved coats and co-ordinated sets, which take reference from Regency menswear innovator Beau Brummell. At Fendi and JW Anderson, Jacquard was used to add subtle details to playsuits and silk suits.
Off the runway, we noticed Jaded London's Woven Vintage Floral Slouchy Fit Jeans (£65) taking off on Instagram and on London's quiet streets. Paired with the announcement of Bridgerton's second series, and we expect to see Jacquard prints make a major comeback this spring.
Traditionally, Jacquard is not a type of fabric but a method of creating intricate woven fabrics like brocade, damask, and matelassé using a Jacquard machine. Today, Jacquard is more generally used to refer to this group of fabrics. But the origins of the fabric and how it has shaped modern technology might surprise you.
The origins of the Jacquard that we are familiar with dates back to beautiful brocade pieces made with coloured silks, silver and gold threads, worn by nobility in ancient China, Persia, and India. During the Renaissance, Italy began trading heavily with these textile-savvy countries, and around the same time brocade became a statement look in French courts. Because brocade and similar silk embroidered fabrics were handmade and extremely labour intensive, a French weaver named Joseph-Marie Jacquard was credited for the creation of the Jacquard machine in 1804 — that surprisingly inspired the technology behind the modern-day computer. While Jacquard has been worn for centuries around the world, it first gained popularity in Britain in the 1820s and became a defining print of the Regency era.
Keep reading ahead for where to shop modern Jacquard clothing online.