Sample of clothes or furnishing fabric, blue colour, with nested hexagonal motif surrounded by circles, made by Barlow & Jones Ltd., Manchester, England, 1950-1951. Based on the X-ray crystallographic pattern of the haemoglobin molecule. From a collection of 83 samples designed for the 1951 Festival of Britain.
To the untrained eye, this pattern is a series of hexagons surrounded by circles. The design is actually based on the pattern of a haemoglobin molecule produced by x-ray crystallography. The structure of haemoglobin was found using this technique by Max Perutz (1914-2002), a British biochemist.
The textile samples were made for the Festival of Britain in 1951 by the Festival Pattern Group. The Festival of Britain celebrated the centenary of the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace as well as the best of Britain’s art, design, technology and science. The Festival Pattern group was a collaboration between x-ray crystallographers, designers and manufacturers. These samples are just one of the fabric designs created. They are shown here with the same design reproduced in a range of different colours.