Tactile toolkit

I remember an interaction with my then-girlfriend in high school. “I’m very textile.” “You mean tactile?”  She asked.

Yes, tactile. Whenever I’m in a fabric store, I spend more time touching than looking. I love the sleekness of silk, the fuzziness of fleece, the ridges on corduroy.

As someone with Sensory Processing Disorder and high tactile defensiveness, the materials I find irritating have the ability to set me on edge.
The materials I love have the potential to calm and soothe me.

I was talking to my occupational therapist about this recently, and she saw the look on my face and suggested that I include fabric scraps as part of my sensory toolkit.

So, while visiting my love, we went to a reclaimed art supply place and I found my first scraps of fabric and ribbon. He also gave me a wine gift bag he didn’t want anymore – with soft fabric and tassels!

I think the most soothing part of this bag for me are the tassels

I think the tassels are the most soothing part of this bag for me

fleece thingy

Soft fleece!

This yarn is so soft.  It feels softer when bunched up together like this.


I was just at a craft fair (as a vendor, and I browsed, too) and added this scrunchie – it’s a combination of chiffon and silk.

chiffon scrunchie

I’m hoping to gather more so I have a variety to choose from. I never know when I might need to take a time out to feel the soft textures of these pieces.

fabric assortment

It’s like my own portable fabric petting zoo!


One response to this post.

  1. Eons ago, my therapist asked me to make a “Self-Soothe First Aid Kit”. I was supposed to put at least one thing for each of the senses in a box and keep it handy for when I was in distress and needed to calm myself. For touch, I knitted tiny swatches out of a variety of yarns.

    My therapist loved the kit, but it was so impractical. The place where I felt the most distress was at work, and I couldn’t carry items into the building with me.


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