Thursday, 4 April 2013

Fibonacci Tartan

My quest for a Fibonacci Tartan started in mid-2012 when I met with friend Annas Alamudi.

I told him about Numberphile - and my new obsession with numbers.

Annas confided his recent plan to create a tartan based on the Fibonacci sequence.

He'd wanted a Fibonacci-inspired kilt for his (Scottish) wedding and created a design.

But alas the cost of making a kilt had thwarted his plan.

With Annas' blessing, I vowed to make such a tartan become reality.

Things started well and a firm in Scotland agreed to weave the tartan.

The original plan was that I'd travel north to film its creation.

Communication slowed over Christmas but a tentative filming date was discussed for March 2013, subject to confirmation.

Then things changed.

The company informed me they'd independently decided to make their own tartan based on the Fibonacci sequence.

Fair enough - no-one "owns" the Fibonacci numbers.

But unfortunately I was also told they no longer wished to make my tartan (at least until they made their own independently thought-up version).

I think they were concerned it would affect their commercial plans.

(I was going to pay for the work - and I'd have thought being showcased to my 400,000-strong subscriber base of number enthusiasts might have been beneficial, but who knows?)

Thankfully a second company - House of Tartan - came to the rescue.

They were brilliant and assigned an excellent designer to help finalise my plans.

And so the "Numberphile Tartan based on Fibonacci" was created and produced.

The stitches are based on the start of that famous and infinite sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89).

The colours are based on the Italian flag - a nod to Fibonacci (pictured).

Its details are 1 green, 1 white, 2 green, 3 white, 5 green, 8 olive brown, 13 sienna red, 21 dark green, 34 light green, 55 dark green, 89 black.

232 threads in total for the repeat = 6 inches at approx 40 epi (threads/ends per inch)

There was no time (or resources) to fully "weave" the tartan, but it was printed on fabric and looks amazing.

The guys also sent me ribbon adorned with the pattern which looks fantastic.

And in a nice twist, the ribbon's white band is deliberately placed at a golden ratio distance from the fabric edges.

I've not decided what to do next with the fabulous fabric and ribbon samples - but watch this space!


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