Ultra-fine grain (UFG) refinement is achieved in Equal Channel Angular Extrusion (ECAE) by a process of progressive shear occurring at the intersection of two die channels of equal cross-section. In the current work, ECAE of interstitial free (IF) steel was conducted at room temperature at a die channel angle of 120° for up to 4 pressings along two designated processing routes, A and C. Successive pressing without rotating the billet is designated Route A. Route C comprises 180° rotation of the billet about its longitudinal axis after each pass. Stress relief and grain rotation are suggested mechanisms of refinement. Texture evolution was measured in the transverse (X) plane as a function of accumulated strain and processing route and interpreted in terms of the ideal simple shear or torsion convention. Analysis shows that higher strain levels are accompanied by an increased spread of deformation components and rotation of dominant orientations away from their ideal orientations attributed to die channel flow line shape effects. End-texture strengthening is a product of strain path history, orientation of the billet with respect to the plane of shear and additional grain-shape effects. © Institute of Materials Engineering Australasia Ltd.