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The Martindale Test: Fabric Rub Count

Just what do those number scores mean? Find out here.

If you have looked at upholstery fabrics on our website you may have noticed the Martindale rub test figures. 

How does the Martindale Test Work?

How does the Martindale Test Work?

The Martindale abrasion rub test is a measurement of the durability of fabric according to the amount of times discs can oscillate sandpaper or wool across the fabric before it starts to show distress. The rub test score is internationally recognised and measures the durability of upholstery fabric for general domestic or contract use. Fabric is categorised by a numerical score to show how durable it is.

What do the results of a Martindale Test mean?

What do the results of a Martindale Test mean?

The results of a martindale test show how much wear and tear a fabric will take before there is a noticeable change in appearance. The higher the score, the more durable the fabric is. The scores below show how suitable a fabric is for different upholstery uses.

A score of 10,000 or less: Decorative use

A score of 10,000 or less: Decorative use

A fabric with this score is suitable as a decorative fabric. Use for cushions or accents. Not suitable for general domestic or furniture upholstery.

10,000 to 15,000: Light domestic use

A fabric with this score is suitable for light domestic use such as for occasional furniture. It will be dry clean only and is often for fabrics made from delicate yarns.

15,000 - 25,000: General domestic use

A fabric with this score is suitable for general domestic use. It is suitable for everyday use on main house furniture. It is not suitable for items of furniture that put a high level of stress on the fabric such as a recliner.

25,000 - 30,000: Heavy domestic use

25,000 - 30,000: Heavy domestic use

A fabric with this score is suitable for high levels of everyday use. It is a heavy-duty fabric that would be suitable for light commercial use and items such as recliners and other motion furniture.

30,000 or more: Commercial use

30,000 or more: Commercial use

A score of 30,000 or more means that a fabric is commercial grade, it can be used on heavy duty furniture and would be suitable for any commercial environment.

What is a Wyzenbeek score?

What is a Wyzenbeek score?

At Just Fabrics we don’t list this score but you may have seen this score elsewhere and wondered what the difference is. A Wyzenbeek test is primarily used in North America. It tests the fabric by rubbing it with cotton duck fabric or abrasive wire, across the warp and filling directions. This motion is called a double rub.

What the Martindale test doesn't tell you

What the Martindale test doesn't tell you

The Martindale test measures wear on a fabric but it doesn’t test for UV light, chemicals, dirt, or pet claws or stains. All of these and the fabric composition, furniture design and maintenance will also affect the longevity of your furniture.

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