Pixels in oriental patterns

Pixels, the abbreviation for picture elements, form the base for most of the computer graphics. This “picture elements” finally consists of mathematical coordinate and a colour value. Because of this mathematical nature it is characteristic for pixels that they have no fixed size and extension.

Pixels can be found not only in digital images but also in the much older oriental tradition. Rugs or in mosaics also do have their pixels, speaking their discrete basic units.

this is not zoom on a computer image but a detail from a graphic in the "topkapi scroll"


So the rugs also have a resolution: The rug's density, or number of knots per square inch, can be a useful indicator of the fineness and durability of the rug -- the more knots the better.

The grid of a rug can be considered also as grid with a certain scale in which the strings as pictures elements fit.

persian & turkish knots: the grid defines the "pixel" size and the resolution of a carpet


The basic discret units of a mosaic are the small ceramic pixels: the tessera or tiles. Tesselation and tiling are also methods which play a role for rendering in computer graphics.


Patterns in mathematics & biology
Math Forum about tiling & tesselation
Mathworld about tesselation

oriental ornament: simple but complex - like the Imachinations