Saturday, 15 October 2011

Touching experience

tactile book
I am apt to embarrass in the company of something tactile like sheepskin, fur, velvet  or silk. I have this terrible urge to reach out and feel it and it can lead to some odd exchanges....

I have been thinking about a comment made by a mother to a nine year old daughter about to be ensnared to fashion in a recent family comedy on television. She asked her if she wanted to be someone who spent all morning looking for tops. Now bearing in mind the script was written by two men and it was a dig at women who shop and the stereotype of a predilection for clothes, she had  a point. But is it just about buying clothes? What about that tactile experience that is wandering around racks of clothes sampling so many different textures, rolling it between finger and thumb, savouring its friction, its shininess, its depth, its sheerness. Well that is what I do when I get into a clothes shop. And probably why I can't resist a quick pat on the head of passing dogs too [love the ones with those soft ears!]  And then what about all those gorgeous tactile books now available to children? Perhaps it is us grown ups who get the most out of them? I had a go at making one once and had huge fun.

But it is not all positive. Some things make me squirm. The soft wallpaper they called Novamura that felt like living flesh...and I won't say what kind of flesh it reminded me of for fear of further embarrassment... [not that in its place that is unpleasant I hasten to add!] I know we are not all the same. My mother in law cannot bear anything furry because she hates feeling her hand disappear into it and I am not quite so happy about felt making though others devote their lives to it. Life is full of touching stories...


  1. On FB Heather said: My husband is constantly telling me off whilst shopping, as I touch everything I pass! I just love all the different textures and couldn't enjoy shopping if I couldn't touch anything. Gerry gets particularly cross when I caress shiny cars!

    Eileen said: Brought back memories of me, in a shop as a little girl - I could be found in ladies lingerie, thumb in mouth, holding on to the silk or satin undies! Still can't resist shiny cars, babies' heads, smooth wood (hate new wooden spoons, sponge foam, cotton wool and flock paper though!). Thank you Susan :)

  2. Fascinating. I've never had the urge to touch things like that. The only time I feel an item is to make sure it's not got wool in it because that makes me itch!