Understanding Upholstery Fabrics: A Guide to Durability and Usage

Are you overwhelmed with the seemingly endless array of upholstery fabric choices available for your furniture? Fear not, we’re here to help you navigate the selection process with ease and confidence!

Shop upholstery fabric: https://www.onlinefabricstore.com/upholstery-fabric.aspx

See more articles: https://www.onlinefabricstore.com/makersmill/resource-articles.aspx

What are Double Rubs and Why are they Important?

Double rubs refer to a standard method of measuring the durability and abrasion resistance of fabrics, particularly when reupholstering furniture. The test, known as the Wyzenbeek Method, simulates the natural wear and tear that occurs when fabric is repeatedly rubbed against another surface, such as when someone sits or moves on a piece of furniture. The number of double rubs becomes a key factor in determining the fabric’s capacity to withstand repeated friction and assess its suitability for various applications.

How to Test for Double Rubs?

The Wyzenbeek Method is used in the United States to measure fabric durability. During a double rub test, a fabric sample is subjected to repeated rubbing or abrasion under controlled conditions using a specialized testing machine. The number of double rubs is counted until the fabric exhibits visible signs of wear, such as yarn breakage, pilling, or noticeable surface changes. The count at which this wear occurs is recorded as the fabric’s double rub rating.

For example, if a fabric achieves a double rub count of 50,000, it means that the fabric endured 50,000 complete back-and-forth rub cycles before displaying signs of wear during the test. Higher double rub counts generally indicate greater durability and abrasion resistance, implying that the fabric can withstand more wear and tear.

Fabric Durability Levels

At OnlineFabricStore, we categorize our fabrics into four levels of durability: light duty, medium duty, heavy duty, and extra heavy duty. The appropriate durability level should be chosen based on the intended use to ensure longevity and appearance. Fabrics come in various weights and materials, and understanding durability measurement is important for informed decision-making. As a general rule, 3,000 double rubs equals one year of use.

Light Duty (3,000 – 20,000 Double Rubs): Fabrics in the light duty range are generally suitable for decorative purposes and low-traffic areas such as accent chairs, decorative pillows, or drapery.

Medium Duty (20,000 – 30,000 Double Rubs): Fabrics in the medium duty range are built to withstand moderate use in residential spaces. They are perfect for commonplace furniture items like dining chairs or cozy sofas that receive regular usage.

Heavy Duty (30,000 – 100,000 Double Rubs): Fabrics in the heavy duty range are designed to withstand significant wear and are suitable for high-traffic areas and frequent use. They are commonly used for upholstery in commercial settings like offices, hotels, or restaurants, as well as in busy households.

Extra Heavy Duty (100,000+ Double Rubs): Fabrics in the extra heavy duty range are the most durable and can handle extreme wear and tear. They are commonly used in demanding environments such as healthcare facilities, airports, or theaters.

Tips for Selecting the Right Fabric

Selecting the right fabric for your project requires more than just assessing its durability. There are several other factors to consider, including colorfastness, texture, maintenance requirements, intended use, climate, and environment. Seeking guidance from professionals or suppliers can be beneficial, and don’t forget to incorporate your personal preferences and style. By taking all of these factors into account, you can ensure that you’ll find the perfect fabric for your project.

Useful Links

Find more informative articles here