Vector textures are great for distressing artwork. When used correctly, you can achieve some amazing effects. The problem is in most cases even when traced at a low level trace setting they are made up of extremely high path/anchor point counts. Thus the files are so memory intensive that it's hard, if not impossible, for Illustrator to handle them. It's because of this that I rarely ever use a vector texture as-is. I typically end up cutting out my favorite portions of the textures and using those to distress my artwork. Since they often become more beneficial than the .tif or . png files, I decided I would include Vector Bits as part of any pack I upload (unless the pack you purchased included .eps files, of course). These bits are a great way to distress vector art quickly and painlessly without Illustrator choking from trying to render an insane amount of anchor points. Below is a quick example demonstrating their value:
Say you want to texture some vector artwork like the one I created above.
Grab a favorite bit and paste it above your artwork. If you know you are going to be making multiple copies of the same bit in your file, consider making it a symbol first.
Duplicate, resize, rotate the Vector Bit until your desired look is achieved.
The image on the left shows the highlighted anchor points of selected Vector Bits. Each bit is around 4,000 anchor points. If converted to a symbol, that's the total number of points Illustrator will need to commit to memory for distressing the artwork. Weighing in at a whopping 200,000 anchor points is the image on the right, which shows the highlighted anchor points of a whole texture after having been traced using the same trace settings of the vector bits on the left. As you can see, the Vector Bit version is going to be much easier to modify while offering greater versatility for distressing the artwork.
Final result using multiple Vector Bits.