Evelyn's Blog


The Skinny on Fabric Durability.

It is daunting at best to choose fabrics for an entire room, even for a Designer.  One of my favorite sources for Fabric is Kravet ….with inspiring ads such as the one below, a Designer can peruse through hundreds of samples in order to compile the perfect combination of patterns and textures which will live in a Client’s home.

Kravet Fabrics

Kravet Fabrics

There are so many options, so many colours, patterns and suppliers. For me it always begins with functionality.  How is that determined? Like most industries, there are standardized tests to determine a formula for judging quality and durability. In the Fabric Industry, it is called the Wyzenbeek test.  It is the most common test which determines the abrasion resistance of a fabric.

Kravet Fabrics

When shopping for a fabric, you will see a number on the label which will have a number in thousands which tells you how many double rubs the fabric endured during the test before showing signs of wear. The higher the number, the higher the durability.

You can do your own ‘key test’ which will give you a good sense of the wearability of the fabric and whether it is appropriate for the area you are choosing it for ( a bench seat used daily in a restaurant requires a higher durability factor than a dining chair in your formal dining  room). If you run a key across the fabric several times and the threads begin to fray, chances are, it will not be durable for a high traffic seat.

Residential drapery: 10,000 to 20,000 double rubs is appropriate for drapes and bedding.

Residential Upholstery: anything over 15,000 double rubs, 30,000 is recommended for a family home.

Commercial Upholstery: anything over 30,000 double rubs is considered commercial grade with 100,000 double rubs being preferred.

Each application must be considered individually.

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