Designing fractal line pied-de-poules: a case study in algorithmic design mediating between culture and fractal mathematics

Loe M.G. Feijs (Corresponding author)

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Millions of people own and wear pied-de-poule (houndstooth) garments. Thepattern has an intriguing basic figure and a typical set of symmetries. The originof the pattern lies in a specific type of weaving. In this article, I apply compu-tational techniques to modernize this ancient decorative pattern. In particular Idescribe a way to enrich pied-de-poule with a fractal structure.Although a first fractal line pied-de-poule was shown at Bridges 2015, a numberof fundamental questions still remained. The following questions are addressedin this article: Does the original pied-de-poule appear as a limiting case whenthe fractal structure is increasingly refined? Can we prove that the pattern isregular in the sense that one formula describes all patterns? What is specialabout pied-de-poule when it comes to making these fractals? Can the techniquebe generalised?The results and techniques in this article anticipate the future of fashion wheredecorative patterns, including pied-de-poule, will be part of our global culture,as they are now, but rendered in more refined ways, using new technologies.These new technologies include digital manufacturing technologies such as laser-cutting and 3D printing, but also computational and mathematical tools suchas Lindenmayer rules (originally devised to describe the algorithmic beauty ofplants).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-266
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Humanistic Mathematics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


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  • A novel line fractal pied de poule (houndstooth)

    Feijs, L. M. G. & Toeters, M. J., 2015, Proceedings of Bridges 2015: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture, Baltimore, MD, USA, July 29 - August 1, 2015. Delp, K., Kaplan, C. S., McKenna, D. & Sarhangi, R. (eds.). Phoenix: Tessellations Publishing, p. 223-230 8 p. (Proceedings of Bridges: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture; vol. 2015).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

  • Textielpatroon (fractal line pied de poule)

    Feijs, L. M. G., 21 Aug 2015, IPC No. Modelrecht ("design patent"?), Patent No. 40315-00, Priority date 8 Jun 2015, Priority No. 85809-00

    Research output: PatentPatent publication

    Open Access

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