You don’t have to be a fabric designer or a naturally tactile person to have an affinity for certain textures. You know when you like the feel of something and when you don’t. Which is why you probably wouldn’t choose to wear a sweater made out of burlap but would choose a cotton or cashmere one. (Or you might not, according to this article or this one.)
As a crafter, I work with a lot of yarn. Since many projects take hours and sometimes days to complete, I would rather work with softer yarns. Easier on the hands. I love alpaca yarn [photo at the right], because it is very soft. But it is expensive, so polyester is often the go-to.
Take a look at the photos below. You can just about tell, even without touching the yarn, which one(s) might be the softest. What is your guess?
In case you’re wondering, the softest ones are 1, 3, and 5. Yarns like this are used to make blankets and clothes for babies, because they are suitably soft for their delicate skin. Think about a blanket you had as a child and how it felt.
Last week, I had a conversation in Target with a husband and wife who shopped for pillows. I couldn’t help asking them what made them choose a pillow with the jaw-dropping price of $85. (The last pillow I’d purchased was $3.99.)
The wife said the pillow’s memory foam was what sold them. They loved its smooth as well as soft/firm combination.
The husband said, “Go on and touch it! You know you want to!”
So I did. It felt incredible. “Sweet dreams are made of this,” as Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics sang.
He pointed down the aisle. “The mattress is great too.” It was almost $600!
“Get back, foul tempter!” I wanted to scream, knowing I could not afford either. Rather than touch it and set myself to longing after it, I bid a hasty retreat.
Textures! They have a huge impact on clothing and home interiors and our moods. Think about the fabrics or textures throughout your home—why they were chosen, and how they make you feel. According to this article,
[W]e turn to certain types of fabrics when we have different emotional requirements.
People turn to smooth and soft textures when they are in need of some emotional reassurance.
There’s probably a link to childhood and the way some textures made us feel. Whenever I was sick as a child, I wanted a soft blanket to curl up in and fuzzy slippers on my feet. I still do. But when I’m driving a car, I want a firm, no-nonsense fabric on my steering wheel, because it gives me a sense of stability. (My mother, however, prefers a soft covering for her steering wheel.) I’m not quite sure of the childhood tie-in to the steering wheel however. The closest I can think of is a rubber duck I used to have when I was a toddler. No matter what I did to that thing, I couldn’t tear a hole in it. It made me feel I would have that duck forever. Though I don’t know where it is at present, surely that duck is still around somewhere.
Any thoughts on fabric textures and how they make you feel? Feel free to comment below.
Alpaca yarn from contoocookalpaca.com. Classic rubber duck from Amazon. Other photos by L. Marie.