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Words to Describe Textures and Materials in Chinese

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When learning Chinese, expanding your vocabulary to describe the world around you is crucial, particularly when discussing various textures and materials. Here is a list of words that can help you describe what something feels or looks like in Mandarin Chinese:

光滑 (guānghuá) – Smooth
This adjective is used to describe a surface without roughness or bumps. It could refer to materials like glass or silk.

粗糙 (cūcāo) – Rough
The opposite of smooth, this word is often used to describe something with a coarse texture, like unpolished wood or coarse sandpaper.

(ruǎn) – Soft
To describe a texture that is gentle to touch and not hard, “软” is the word to go for. It’s often used to describe things like a soft pillow or a soft sweater.

(yìng) – Hard
This adjective is used to describe materials with a solid and firm texture, such as metal or hardwood floors.

棉质 (mián zhì) – Cotton (as a material)
Used to describe anything made from cotton or cotton-like textures, “棉质” can be used for clothes, furnishings, etc.

丝质 (sī zhì) – Silk (as a material)
When something is made of silk or has a silky texture, this term is applicable. It implies a smooth, lustrous, and fine quality.

皮革 (pígé) – Leather
This noun is used when referring to leather goods, including clothing, bags, or furniture.

橡胶 (xiàngjiāo) – Rubber
An item made of rubber or with rubbery properties, such as elasticity, could be described using this word.

塑料 (sùliào) – Plastic
Use this word to address any object made of plastic or having the typical characteristics of plastic, like durability and lightness.

金属 (jīnshǔ) – Metal
If you’re describing something made of metal, “金属” covers it all, from iron to silver to gold.

(chóu) – Damask or fine silk
Often associated with traditional Chinese garments and high-quality textiles, “绸” refers to a silky, luxurious material.

麻质 (má zhì) – Linen
Items made of linen, known for its breathable and natural qualities, are described with this term.

泡沫 (pàomò) – Foam
This word is used to describe materials that have a foamy texture, like a foam mattress or sponge.

(róng) – Velvet
“绒” is the word to describe the texture of velvet, soft, and with a short, dense pile.

This vocabulary list should help you describe various textures and materials in Chinese. Whenever you encounter a new object, try to describe it using these words to practice and enhance your language skills.

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