23 Mar 2013

Things To Consider When Purchasing Upholstery Fabric

By: bora tolga kisacik, Category: LOL Chick pol

Things To Consider When Purchasing Upholstery Fabric

things-to-consider-when-purchasing-upholstery-fabricThere are things you need to consider when purchasing an upholstered piece or upholstery fabric.  Be aware that the higher the thread count, the more tightly woven the fabric is, and the better it will wear. Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch of fabric.

Further with this, there are also specification guidelines that are base on recommendations of the Association of Contract Textiles (ACT) and are for information purposes only and are made available to help assist specifiers and end-users in evaluating certain characteristics of contract textiles.


The surface wear of upholstery fabric caused by rubbing and contact with another fabric.

To know if the fabric is wearable, they use the method “Martindale abrasion test ASTM D4966-98”, which is an oscillating test. Fabric samples are mounted flat and rubbed in a figure eight like motion using a piece of worsted wool cloth as the abradant. The number of cycles that the fabric endures before it shows objectionable change in appearance (yarn breaks, pilling, and holes) is counted. Number of cycles (rubs) determines abrasion rating.

For corporate offices, hotel rooms, conference rooms, waiting areas, lounges, dining areas, etc, it suggest to use upholstery fabrics, heavy duty and rated at 30,000 rubs – these are appropriate.

On the other hand, Airport waiting areas, train & bus seating and such public places as theaters, hospitals, lecture halls and fast food restaurants requires higher levels of abrasion resistance. It is suggested that higher than 60,000 rubs are not meaningful in providing additional value in use.

Many factors determined the actual performance such as fiber content, type of weave, furniture design and upholstery workmanship, cleaning and usage. The durability of an upholstery fabric also depends on its other features like color fastness, wet & dry crocking, stain resistance, cleanability etc.

The Fastness of its color to light

“  A fabric’s degree of resistance to the fading effect of light.

Colorfastness to light is a measure of how permanent a color is on fabric after exposure to light. Both natural and synthetic fabrics are subject to discoloration under UV rays (sunlight) and fluorescent light.

This are the main guidelines that we need to consider on choosing Upholstery fabrics.

Aside from this, we also need to determine the fastness its color to get wet or to get dry. It will determine how fast it will transfer the color from the surface of a colored fabric by having constant or repeated contact and continues rubbing.