Texture means the surface quality of an object- how it looks, feels and performs. Texture describes the surface or tactile quality of a material, its degree of smoothness or roughness. The word texture describes the nature of the surface. The word ‘texture’ comes from the latin word meaning to weave. In fashion designing texture refers to the surface of fabrics or trimmings used in the garments. It is the most important element of design because people first get attract by the colour of the garment then automatically reach out to the texture whether they will feel comfortable or not. Texture is also define as a visual and tangible structure of a surface or substance. Texture appeals to not just one, but three of our senses ; touch, sight and hearing. Texture affects the look of a garment, the feel, influence the appearance of the person wearing the garment. Texture , basically connected to the weave of the fabric.
Factors affecting texture in textile
All the fabric textures, from the purest chiffon to the bulkiest fleece to the solid canvas, depend on variations of only four factors :-
Fibre content –
Fibre content is the generic or family name like, wool, nylon, rayon, polyester etc.. They are the substance from which the yarn and fabrics are made. The length, chemical composition, shape and performance are characteristics of a fibre which greatly influence the final texture. Natural fibres such as – cotton, wool, silk etc; man-made fibres and synthetic fibres such as rayon, nylon, polyester, acetate, olefin etc. Long filament fibres such as silk and synthetics give shinier, smoother and cooler touch and sometimes stronger fabrics. Short staple fibres such as cotton, wool etc, give relatively duller, rougher, fuzzier and warmer touch and sometimes weaker fabrics. Some fibres or combination of fibres contributes to static electricity which results in clinging garments. Functional qualities such as- resiliency or elasticity, absorbency, heat conductivity, shrinkage control, resistance to fire, insects acids, alkalies etc all depends upon the fibre.
Yarn structure –
Yarn is the intermediary state between fibres and fabrics. Fibres have spun into yarn in the next step of making fabrics. The fibres have spun and twisted in either ‘S’ or ‘Z’ direction to form a yarn. The amount of yarn twisted influence the surface and hand. High twisted yarns contribute to hard-surface, smooth, strong and somewhat elastic fabrics. The soft-surfaced yarns results from the low-twisted yarns. The direction of the twist is also important ‘S’ or ‘Z’ twist. The number of strand a yarn has twisted together influences the textural thickness and strength. Generally, the higher the strands, the stronger the yarn is. The thickness of the yarn influences how many strands can be used and consequently the fineness or coarseness of a texture. Novelty yarns create interesting surface. Elastic and high bulky yarns introduce other tactile effects and performance.
Fabric structure –
Fabric structure is the way fibrous yarns are interlock into a flat fabric. Varieties in fabric structure provide the most dramatic most easily seen difference in the texture. The structure cause by film, felt, or made of various fibres bond directly to each other without first being spun, it could be net, lace, braid, knit or woven. Weaving generally gives the strongest and most stable fabric structure.
The direction of the yarn, also called grain, both woven and non-woven fabrics have grain. Woven fabrics or grain,with lengthwise and crosswise yarns straight, and interwoven at right angles, lace,net and felt lack this flexibility of grain, but hold crisps shapes better. Grain is critical to shaping and draping effects.
Combination of fabric structure –
These create new textural potential but need caution. If two fibres are bonded or laminated together, they produce a thicker, stronger texture but their joining must be permanent on grain and their care and performance quality is compatible. They rarely serve well in garments destined for stress and strain.
Chemical or mechanical finishes which use heat, pressure and/or chemicals may either affect the fabric surface or penetrate the fibre. Some finishes are primary for appearance, such as bleaching, embossing, flocking, glazing etc. Some finishes affect both visual and tactile qualities such as singering, napping, shearing, puckering and seizing. With their advantages, finishes may also create undesired side effects which the industry constantly strives to reduce.
What words describe texture ?
Loopy, fuzzy, furry, soft, shiny, dull, bulky, rough, crip,smooth and sheer.
Why texture is important in fashion ?
It can increase or decrease the body size, it can draw added attention to a design.
Sometimes we can add texture to the fabric by adding stitched details, pin tucks and embellishments as well. While choosing texture do give in the tests – tactile and visual, some texture can only be felt, but commonly textures can be distinguish visually. Not all textures that are visually appealing can be worn. To wear or drape attires you have to be alert about the feel of the texture – if you are not comfortable wearing a certain texture.