Pine needle branches
Dry grass/sea grass
Buzz cut hair
Cat or dog brush
Freshly cut lawn
Bottle brushes, toilet brushes
Vacuum brush head
spiny, thistly, nettlesome, barbed, bristly, briery, echinate, pricky, spiky, thorny, spurred, burred, burry, quilled, prickly-edged, stubbly
Describing texture in a story creates intimacy between reader and character, and can even cause an emotional trigger for both. To anchor the reader in the scene, make sure comparisons and contrasts are clear and relatable, and within the scope of the narrator's life knowledge and experience.
A weak example:
My hand reached out and I couldn't seem to stop it--into the cage and toward my brother's curled-up hedgehog. Its bristles were like warm needles ready to pierce my skin. Cupping it in my hand gave me the impression of dozens of hairbrush bristles making their gentle impressions in my fingers. Footsteps! I put the little guy down as fast as I could and ran out before I got caught.
What's wrong with this example?
The descriptions are imprecise. First the hedgehog's bristles feel like piercing sharp needles, then they're as gentle as hairbrush bristles. The word choices give conflicting images that will make it hard for the reader to fall completely into the scene. Since one of the purposes of sensory description is to draw the reader into the story, it's important to be as precise as possible with word choices and comparisons.
A strong example:
As the sun ducked behind late afternoon cloud, I hoisted the last square bale from the field onto the truck. Done, at last. I pulled off my work gloves and swiped at the sweat and chaff clinging to my neck. My tired smile faltered as I eyed the left stack, hanging half a foot over the lip of the tailgate. I could just imagine the bales tumbling out during the bumpy ride back to the stables.
Without thinking, I rammed my shoulder against the tower to shove it forward, completely forgetting that I'd taken my shirt off hours ago. A hiss of pain escaped my lips as stiff, golden bristles jabbed at my skin, leaving behind a nasty pattern of red scratches and punctures.
Why does this example work?
The word choice is accurate, making the texture clear both through sight and touch.