What does the Martindale test tell us about our fabric?

There are many considerations to make when you are choosing your fabric. From the material to the colour to the perfect price, you need to make sure that you’re making the right choice. When choosing your fabric, one commonly overlooked factor is durability. Whether you’re using your fabric for an ornamental piece of fabric, cushions or upholstering your car seats, the durability of the fabric you choose is of the utmost importance but how do you know if your fabric is durable enough?

(Gloria Soft Chenille Upholstery fabric – 20,000 rubs)

The Martindale test, also known as a “rub test”, is responsible for assessing the durability of fabrics. The fabric that you want to test is pulled taut and placed on a plate on the Martindale machine. Small discs of wire mesh or worsted wool are then continually rubbed against the fabric until either two yarns break or there is a noticeable change in the appearance of the fabric.

(Bourbon Quilted Faux Leather – Above 80,000 rubs)

The results of the Martindale test are given in 1000’s of rubs or cycles, the higher the number, the more suitable the fabric is for heavier use. Every fabric store will categorise the results slightly differently, but we say anything over 30000 rubs is suitable for heavy-duty commercial use. Any result between 15000 and 30000 rubs is suitable for every day, home use. Less than 15000 rubs and you should only use the fabric for occasional or decorative purposes.

(Ipoh Chevron Striped Upholstery Fabric – Over 15,000 rubs)

At Yorkshire Fabric Shop we strive to provide our customers with the highest quality fabric. The Martindale test tells us how resistant fabric is to abrasion, but it doesn’t mean that your fabric is invincible! Your fabric is still vulnerable to dirt, rips, damage from incorrect cleaning chemicals and UV exposure, ensure that you know how to take care of your chosen fabric and if you have any questions you can contact our team on 01924 728 753 or email us at help@yorkshirefabricshop.com. Our warehouse is open to the public so you can come and browse our stock and talk to our team about your requirements, or use our simple fabric finder to search our collections.

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