Today’s customer makes decisions based on value, and selecting upholstery fabric for furniture is no exception. Does that mean you must always look for drab, utilitarian fabric? Do you have to give up style and a fabric with a soft hand? No, you don’t. Many beautiful, soft fabrics are also very durable.
When making your upholstery selection, pay attention to the Wyzenbeek rating listed on most fabric samples. This is an industry rating of the fabric’s durability. Textile samples are placed on a machine that rubs in a straight back and forth motion until “noticeable wear” or thread break is evident. One back and forth motion is called a “double rub.” The higher the “double rub”, the more likely it is to stand up to heavy, daily use.
The following gives approximate wear guidelines
- Light duty is classified as 3,000-9,000 double rubs. You should plan on 1-3 years of use. This fabric is more suited for use on furniture infrequently used.
- Medium duty is classified as 9,000-15,000 double rubs and will withstand use in the family room and living room for approximately 3-5 years.
- Heavy duty fabric will be rated as 15,000-30,000 double rubs. Furniture made with this fabric can be expected to last at least 5 years before there is noticeable wear.
Paying attention to the Wyzenbeek rating, you are sure to find the best fabric for your upholstery project.