Textiles and textile design are very important
in the art world. The designs and fabrications have changed from culture to
culture, artist to artist, expressing history and experiences throughout
generations. In today's technologically generated world, fractal designed
textiles have become the next wave for new ideas in design. Fractals are
incredibly beautiful designs which can be enjoyed for their color and amazingly
infinite detail. Designing with fractals really came into its own with the
advent of the computer. Since the mid 70's, the theory of Fractal Geometry was
developed by Benoit Mandelbrot who used the word "fractal" to
describe irregularly-shaped objects in nature. The study of fractals has
expanded so greatly in such a short time that it is used in over 200 fields of
art and design as well as mathematics. In industry, fractals are used to
compress images by reducing data redundancies, creating a perfect platform for
Fractal textiles have been used for decades now to refer to textiles featuring a fractal pattern. Keep in mind though, that it does not necessarily imply that the fractals were computer generated using a fractal algorithm. In ancient times many textile patterns showed elements of fractals, due to the appeal of self similarity. These designs were made with little complexities, leading to the survival in the evolution of decorative design. Fractals are mathematic equations, which set out to integrate the design process beginning with a design created with mathematics of fractal geometry. These fractal geometric images are then scanned into a computer's CAD systems program which creates the artwork. The artwork is based purely on mathematics, using the latest computer programs, generating new textile designs.
By the 1980's, pictures of the Mandelbrot Set became very popular, this led to many articles in home craft magazines covering fractal crafts. It was usually cross stitch or quilting technics which were used as a display for fractal imaging. The fractals were then generated through the computer, then transferred to the textile medium. The fractals worked by themselves or became inspiration for new design ideas and technics.
Just think of it, fashion and mathematics together. A well known textile artist who uses computer generated fractals for her designs is Jhane Barnes. Using a handloom in her early design years accelerated when she discovered the design capabilities of math and a computer. Jhane redefined fashion textiles, using weaving and textile software to decide how the design will be woven into fabric. Fractal computer generated designs exploded within the boundaries of her own creative mind, revolutionizing the world of textile designs. These fabricated textiles are created for men's wear, footwear, as well as carpets and home dcor. Jhane's extensive use of computer design has even caught the attention of the world of mathematics. She was even featured in a chapter of a McDougal Littell textbook entitled 'Sequences and Series: Fractals for fashions. She is touted as one of the formost American designers today and is part of the Ohio Math Works, which prepares ninth grade math students for real-world applications of their math studies.