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I’ve acquired a long, unused swatch of a Tibor Reich furnishing fabric called “Atomic”. It's 1.7 metres long by 50 cm wide, approximately. It is printed in four shades of yellow.

In 1960, when launched at the Design Centre, “Atomic” was innovatory and was the subject of a three page review in “Design” magazine. During the 1950s Tibor Reich had set to work on experimenting with patterns deriving from photography, leading to his patented process, ‘Fotextur.’ A pattern was produced by taking a photograph of a natural object, making positive and negative prints which were re-arranged to make a design.

‘Atomic’ derived from one of the first photographs ever taken of an atom-splitting experiment. It was unique for its use of colour: ‘Atomic’ came in fourteen colourways each colourway containing four tones of a single colour. There were three principle colour groups and each tone within each group of colour both contrasted and worked together. (Adapted from Wikipedia).

The selvedge repeats the title, designer’s name, and the manufacturer.

The Victorian and Albert Museum has a collection of "Atomic" swatches in different colours. I do not know if it is complete. Online, I did not see the yellow/ochre one.

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