This section is from the book "The Practical Book Of Interior Decoration", by Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Abbot Mcclure, Edward Stratton Holloway. See also: The Victorian House Book: A Practical Guide to Home Repair and Decoration.
Texture is the arrangement or disposition of the material composing a substance and results in that substance having such qualities as heaviness and lightness, smoothness or roughness, fineness or coarseness, opacity or transparence, stiffness or flexibility. The subject is one of great interest to the decorator and as regards textiles is fully gone into in Mr. Hunter's book: here a few hints of practical application will be sufficient.
Warning is usually and rightly given against the employment in close proximity of substances which war in their texture, and this must always be considered not only in respect to textiles but in the whole field of decoration - a rough-cast wall, for instance, would make a poor background for delicate satinwood furniture and airy draperies scarcely accompany pieces of Jacobean oak. It will, however, render clearer to the reader the importance of, and the reason for, this avoidance if we lay emphasis upon the handsomeness or unhandsome-ness of such substances resulting either alone or com-binedly from material and texture. Crash is rough and so is cut-velvet, but it is the commonness of the one which unfits it for the use of the other rather than the roughness. A considerable diversity of texture is not only allowable, and really necessary by reason of the uses' of various furnishings, but advisable for the avoidance of monotony: rugs are usually of heavy wool; with them silk damask furniture coverings may be employed; while the Chinese lamp may be of the finest porcelain; and yet we do not feel a discrepancy at their use in one room, though each, is different both in material and texture, providing all be similarly handsome. But - if we put down an evidently cheap cotton rug, or a wollen one so rugged as to put it in a lower degree of elegance, we immediately feel the in-appropriateness. The unhandsomeness of the one is caused by inferiority of material and that of the other by great divergence of texture.
A practical effect of decided texture is the appearance it gives of weight - a smooth, unpatterned silk stretched over a large sofa might look thin and flimsy, whereas a brocade of really no greater heaviness might give a perfectly satisfactory appearance of weight and richness.
Local colour is greatly modified by texture
The Colour-effect of a strongly textured piece of goods viewed at the usual distance may be quite different from what a close inspection shows the actual colour to be. This is due to refraction of light, and various angles often give different colour-effects.