Texturely Speaking: the role that texture plays in a design

What role does texture play in your creations?

Do you consider the texture of an item before adding it to your work?
Texture is an exceptionally strong element, as it speaks to two of our senses: perceived visual aesthetic, as well as tactile experience. Just like our sense of taste is highly intertwined with our sense of smell, texture requires dual-sensory interpretation by the brain.  

I think that, after color, texture was what originally allured me to beads. I find that smooth and rhythmic feeling you get when you run your hand over a strand of beads to be very therapeutic and soothing. It is this same feeling that comes from the repetition in using mala beads to recite mantras or prayers.  How often do you see a woman playing with the tassel on her necklace, or running her hands down the strand of beads she's wearing? Jewelry not only serves as visual stimulation, but as tactile stimulation as well.

I have always loved the richness that comes with combining textures when I create, and it's part of what I love about orchestrating visual flatlays for the WomanShopsWorld Instagram account.  I find the combination of multiple textures to be as visually stimulating as they are tactually satisfying. Offering a combination of textures for the eye to perceive, even on a screen, creates a richness that satisfies and inspires my inner maximalist.

(Speaking of maximalism, have you read my blog post on Minimalism vs. Maximalism?)

Visual Texture Inspiration from WomanShopsWorld
This texturally rich flatlay of WomanShopsWorld goods is a perfect example of how a combination of textures can come together to create a visually stimulating textural experience. As a texturally-stimulated person, I want to reach into this photo and pick up these items. It is my hope that by creating these images, I encourage my customers to have the same reaction. 

The round acai beads are smooth and shiny.  The Pom-Tassel Charms are made of soft cotton with smooth tassel and a plush pom pom. The Raffia pom poms have a matte finish and are crinkly. The bone beads are linear and smooth.  The Baker's Twine tassels have a visually striped appearance, but are smooth to the touch. The Rwandan basket is ridged and patterned. The snake skin and cactus skeleton are rugged, natural additions to the scene. There is so much going on, yet there is an underlying textural theme that creates cohesion.

The next time you're stuck in a creative rut, try experimenting with textures you don't often create with. Trade in your smooth, silky tassels for jute or raffia or swap out the smoothness of polished bone beads for some grooved rudraksha beads. I bet you'll be endlessly inspired by the freshness of a new tactile experience.

I think that the textural shift (both in nature, and in the design world), is one of the reasons that the change of seasons is such an inspiring time.  In summer, green leaves are shiny and waxy; in Fall, as these same leaves turn colors, they become crisp and brittle. In the interior design world, in summer we see lots of cotton and linen; smooth, lightweight fabrics with finer textures.  In the winter we see heavier plush and rich fabrics; velvet, wool, and fur all create a texturally cozy atmosphere. 

We also notice a seasonal shift in the textures that we sell here at WomanShopsWorld. In the warmer months we sell a lot more short cotton tassels, whereas in the winter, we sell more long silky tassels. There's something luxurious and rich about the sway of a silky tassel that is more appealing and bold in the colder months.

What textures speak to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on your tactile experience as a creative.  Feel free to drop a comment below!


Want to create your own textural magic? Download The Art of Mala Making today!

Download your free visual tutorial: The Art of Mala Making

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post