Over 35 years ago, Rupert, Gibbon & Spider, Inc. was created by the Katz family and business was conducted out of their garage. Starting out as a distributor for Deka products, Rupert, Gibbon & Spider, Inc. transformed in the late 1980’s when they started manufacturing their own art supplies under the brand name, Jacquard Products. Inspired by the silk painting trend, President, Michael Katz introduced Red Label Silk Color dyes as Jacquard’s first product. Red Label Silk Color continues to be a staple of professional silk painters. This initial success invigorated Jacquard Products to produce more textile art supplies.
Jacquard Products continued to expand their product lines with Textile Color, Dye-Na-Flow, Lumiere and Neopaque fabric paints. Green Label Silk Colors, Procion MX, Acid Dye, Concentrated Vinyl Sulphon fabric dyes and Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments were then created to address the needs of specific artists and crafters. Jacquard acquired Versatex, a screen ink company, in 2002 and developed their own line of professional screen ink, Jacquard Screen Printing Inks. Jacquard also developed Airbrush Colors, Piñata alcohol inks, Tee Juice Fabric Art Markers and iDye, a high quality washing machine dye with a dissolvable dye packet. Jacquard is known for their innovation and excellence.
Realizing the lack of quality art kits on the market, Jacquard developed a line of kits in the early 1990’s. The Large Tie Dye and Funky Groovy Tie Dye Kits were the first professional-grade Procion MX dye kits available to the non-professional artist. The Silk Colors Kit was an introductory kit for silk painters, and the Hoop Painting Fun Bag was designed to give kids a taste of the technique. Other successful kits during this time included the Dip-n-Dab Tie Kit, Velvet Scarf Kit, Createures and the Doll Pin Kits. The Mehndi Henna Kit and Nail Art kits addressed the growing interest in body art, and recently Jacquard introduced the Glitter Body Art Kit in that category. Jacquard has three silk screening kits: the Versatex Screen Printing Kit, Jacquard Screen Kit for Light Fabrics and the Jacquard Screen Kit for Dark Fabrics. Some of the newer kits include: the Indigo Dye Kit that introduces the dyer to an age-old process, two-color Jewel Tones Tie Dye Kits (available in seven color combinations) and a Camo Tie Dye Kit.
Jacquard Products now manufactures over 20 color lines. Their products are sold in art and craft stores all over the world and are available in standard and bulk sizes, sets and easy-to-use kits. Jacquard is committed to meeting the needs of artists and crafters everywhere with excellence and value.
Jacquard also has two sister companies: Jacquard Inkjet Fabric Systems and silkconnection.com. Silkconnection.com is an online store for imported silks and other fabrics that are prepared for dyeing. The silks and fabrics are sold by the yard and in a wide variety of scarves. In 1999, realizing a need for inkjet printing on fabric, Michael Katz developed a coating for fabrics and a paper backing allowing them to go though any printer – residential or commercial. After the success of that product, Katz created Jacquard Inkjet Fabric Systems. The company sells fabrics, inks, steamers and printers. It also custom-coats and paper backs fabrics for use in wide format printers by other designers and artists.
The business name has an interesting story. People often call asking for Mr. Rupert, Gibbon or Spider, but there is no one in the company by those names. Actually, pet primates and a neighbor inspired the title of the company. Through a set of quirky circumstances, Michael Katz’s father received Gibbon apes and a Spider monkey as a gift while the business was being created. They were a constant, mischievous presence in the Katz household. Rupert was a neighbor down the street who caught the primates in his have-a-heart traps each time they escaped. Discussions around the kitchen table lead to the new company name – chosen from the unique characters in their lives – Rupert, Gibbon & Spider, Inc.