Double Rubs…is More Always Better?

Jewel Toned InteriorsBlog

Double rubs refer to the way fabrics are tested for abrasion resistance. It is calculated data on the surface wear of a fabric caused by friction. It’s been long encouraged that fabrics with an abrasion count of 100,000 double rubs or more.

This misconception is rooted in a myth that a fabric with twice the number of abrasion cycles means double the life span. Unfortunately, this is a disservice to many businesses and home owners as there are many great fabric options that are far less than 100,000 double rubs and just as suitable for many interior applications.

There are many aspects that play into the durability of a fabric including weave, fiber, tensile strength, and usage. Field studies strongly indicate that failure is often due to physical abuse, inappropriate cleaning, lack of proper maintenance and not a result of abrasion.

According to ACT (Association for Contract Textiles) Voluntary Abrasion Guidelines, the following should be considered:

Woven Upholstery Fabrics:

Low Traffic / Private Spaces

 15,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method

 20,000 cycles Martindale method

High Traffic / Public Spaces

 30,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method

 40,000 cycles Martindale method

Coated Nonwoven Upholstery Fabrics:

High Traffic / Public Spaces

 50,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method.

In the end, a lot more factors than just double rubs need to be taken into consideration to determine the best fabric solution. This also includes the right level of care and cleaning. Always follow recommended manufacture maintenance guidelines as this will directly impact the lifespan of your fabric.

Our local Maharam sales representative, Will Pardo, has extensive knowledge of contract grade textiles. With over 15 years in the interior design industry and an eye for mixing patterns and textures, he’s a wonderful resource for our team. We appreciate his expertise and the suggestions he offers to support our upholstery, drapery and wallcovering selections for projects.