Texture refers to how things look and feel. They may be shiny or matte, smooth or rough, soft or hard, lightweight or heavyweight. Think of a woolen shawl – it might be matte, soft, with a boucle or cabled texture. Simple concept, right? Now let’s see how this works on the human body and face.
This is another exercise you can do right along with me. First we examine the surface quality of the skin and hair.
- Plain smoothness refers to a smooth flawless skin and straight smooth hair of one color.
- Patterned smoothness refers to skin and hair that feel smooth but are visually textured: skin may have freckles or other variations in pigmentation, and hair may be salt-and-pepper or have natural highlights.
- All-over textured quality refers to skin with surface depth, say from wrinkles or pock-marks, and hair that is anything other than smooth, regardless of its color.
- If your hair falls into one category and your skin into another, you have combination of smooth and textured. You also have a combination if your skin and/or hair is smooth in some areas and textured in others.
Then we look at textural weight. There is a neat chart in the book to help with this, pictures included as usual. Columns are light-, medium-, and heavyweight. For each item, you mark the appropriate column.
- thickness of hair shaft: fine, medium, or thick (coarse/wiry)
- length of hair: short (above chin), medium (chin to shoulder length), or long (below shoulder)
- fullness of hair: close to the head, moderate volume, or voluminous
- density of hair: thin and airy (you can really see the scalp), medium (some air space between strands), or thick/compact (can’t see scalp)
- hair color relative to skin: light, medium, or dark
- skin opacity: translucent (visible veins in wrists, temples, and eyelids), opaque, or leathery
OK, now count the marks in each column. The extremes cancel each other out and make a medium. For example, my hair is medium thick, short, with moderate volume and density, dark in color relative to my skin, and my skin is translucent. The short hair cancels its darkness so I have 1L, 4M, and 0H points. Possible results are all light-, all medium-, or all heavy-weight, combination light- and medium-weight, or combination medium- and heavy-weight.
So today I’ve learned that I have a surface quality that is a combination of smooth and textured because my skin is smooth and my hair is slightly wavy (when it’s long enough). My textural weight is a combination of light- and medium-weight.
I wonder how far I can push the textured bit, considering that it’s only the slight wave of my hair that brings it in. Does that mean my best bet is mostly smooth with only a touch of texture, like the cardigan on the left above? Or does the heathered yarn give it more visual texture than it would otherwise have? Compare and contrast with the solid-colored all-over textured wrap on the right – what do you think?
Well, that’s it for the exercises in the book. The next task is to put all the findings together and form a sewing plan for a fall mini-wardrobe that will address at least some of them. I’m already looking forward to it.
See you soon!