Commercial Upholstery: The Importance of Fabric Testing for Durability and Strength

27 August 2018

When purchasing new furniture for offices, or reupholstering older furniture during a fit out, to be more appealing for patrons, people do not usually think about how strong or durable the fabric should be. Instead, most people are more focused on finding the perfect colour and pattern of fabric to reupholster their furniture.

When fabric is made, it is then tested before being placed on the market that is because fabric testing for durability and strength is just as important as its colour and patterns.

Things You should Know About Upholstery Fabric Testing for Durability and Strength

Next time you are looking for fabric, and once you have found the colour and pattern you like, consider some of its properties, like durability, strength, and fade resistance, and the type of weave intricacy it has. Of all the testing upholstery can go through, to be FR-One rated is the best, as it means that the fabric is inherently fire retardant and meets the highest upholstery fabric standards.

To be better informed about how upholstery fabrics are rigorously tested to meet FR-One standards, so that they can be used for all sorts of commercial interior design scenarios, one should know about the Martindale test – a specialised way to measure the durability and wear resistance of upholstery.

The European Martindale Test Method to Measure Durability of Upholstery Fabric

The Martindale method to test fabric is very interesting. A sample piece of fabric that is meant to tested is inserted into a special machine, it is then held firmly in place on a small disk and then rubbed continuously, in a figure eight configuration, against a series of standard materials such as wool. The fabric is monitored to determine how many “rubs” it can endure before becoming worn and damaged.

The minimum amount of rubs fabrics need to endure to become commercially used as upholstery is between 15,000 and 20,000, and FR-One rated fabrics need to endure at least 40,000 rubs. There are extremely strong and durable upholstery fabrics available that have endured 100,000 rubs from a Martindale test!

There are fabrics available that have not undergone the Martindale test method, but these are not used by upholstery professionals. If you are considering reupholstering chairs or sofas for your business, then commercial upholstery experts at Absolute Upholstery will make sure that the fabrics you choose are top rated and tested to be durable and strong.

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