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What is texture? 



We refer to the surface of a solid item as the outside part or uppermost layer of the object.  

A biological surface is described as the interface between a living organism or organelle and its environment, such as the membrane cell. 

Surface engineering is a materials science sub-discipline dedicated to the study of the surface of solid matter and the development of techniques by which to modify the surface of solid materials. 

Surface area, the total area that the surface of the object occupies is an important factor in materials science. The presence of bumps and ridges increases the surface area when compared to a flat/ smooth surface but can reduce access to the trough and valley regions of the surface. Whether these textural features are micro or macro scale, their impact on the properties of the surface are significant.  

Texture in biology 


Texture in textiles

The texture of surface is a key factor in textile design; the quality of a surface as determined by touch i.e. how rough or smooth, is fundamental to the assessment of the quality and behaviour of a fabric. 

Surface manipulation of textiles is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of techniques applied to finished textiles, from embroidery to printing, pleating, and smocking aimed at altering the texture of the original textile. However, the texture of a fabric is also determined by the choice of fibre, yarn, and construction method.  


Texture aids

Resource Efficiency


Resource Longevity

Consider the surface of a

lotus leaf…  

The lotus plant (Nelumbo nucifera) is a symbol of purity in many Eastern cultures. This is attributed to the plant partly because of its remarkable ability to remain clean despite its muddy habitat. The mechanism behind this attribute was only discovered when the surface of the lotus leaf was studied under a microscope. This revealed that epidermis, or cuticle, of the leaf is rough. The surface is covered with microscope bumps, or papillae and each of these are topped with an epicuticular wax crystalloid – a wax structure that resembles a cone with a rounded tip.  

Although the epicuticular wax is naturally water repellent (hydrophobic) it is the structure and positioning of the papillae and wax structures that is responsible for its cleaning function. First, the specialised texture design combines with air to create a composite low energy surface that prevents water droplets from spreading. 


Instead, spherical droplets of water form which roll along the surface of the leaf. Second, the distance between wax crystalloids is smaller than the surface of the particles of dirt meaning the dirt can only sit on the tips of the wax crystalloids and away from the surface. Therefore, as the water droplets roll along the leaf’s surface, they pick up the dirt and carry it away keeping the lotus leaf clean.  

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