10 cool free textures

Smooth and shiny has outstayed its welcome, so here's Paul Wyatt with a collection of textures to give your work more tactile character.

The sterile, shiny and ridiculously reflective world of Web 2.0 design is fortunately suffering a backlash.

Design is becoming tactile again. Texture, grime and grit is now where it's at. High quality texture images abound on the web. Most of these are free and easily applied to any design using one of the blending modes in Photoshop. For best results use "Overlay" or "Multiply" and experiment with the opacity settings. Overlay texture upon texture to achieve unusual depth and substance. Here's our collection of top ten textures which you can download for free.

Dirty pottery closeup

dirtpot

pot

This fantastically detailed texture from Mayang would look great blended over a flat print or web layout to add real tactile depth and texture.

Many lichens on stone

litchens

litchens

The colour and detail of this shot are stunning. Perfect for background detail effect for print or web work.

Tin foil metal chrome reflective

foil chrome

foil

Add some textured shine with this reflective beauty from Image * After. Great for achieving that 1970s BBC sci-fi look€¦

Red plastic beads

beads

beads

These plastic beads on first inspection look like a bunch of red balloons. Fun, vibrant and detailed, it will add life to the flattest artwork.

Velour fabric

velour

velour

Like an extreme close up of one of the original Star Trek uniforms, this sparkly velour fabric from TextureKing will have your layouts beaming with vibrancy.

Cotton candy fabric

candyfloss

candyfloss

Almost good enough to eat€¦ This cotton candy type material has a fantastic blend of fluffy textured goodness.

Metal / Rust texture #805

metalrust

rust

The floral detail combined with rust and decay is perfectly juxtaposed in this boringly named texture.

Paper repeating textures

paper

paper

Perfectly tiled paper backgrounds will add real punch when used as seamless backdrops to your website designs. Here are 8 of them!

Texture 59

odd pink

odd

Can you figure out what this is? Neither can we but we love the detail, colour and highlights. Mysterious and peculiarly pretty.

Music texture 8

music

music

Notes and bars on a distressed parchment background? There'll be a time when you'll need this for your best friend's wedding invites. Trust us.