What you can’t see is just as important as what you do when choosing the upholstered furniture. It is very important to know about the fiber content. Knowledge about fiber content can be misleading unless the fabric is woven of a single fiber. ln a blend of several fibers, the relative percentage of various fibers is not a dependable guide to durability. ln any type of weaving, the surface yarns get the greatest use. Knowing the language of fibers and fabrics will make you feel less like a stranger in a foreign land.
Each fiber, natural or man-made, has unique properties. Blending of fibers takes advantage of these properties and can make for a more exciting fabric than any single fiber might provide. To deliver the finest fabrics to our customers, we even perform the Martindale test and give various finishes to the final fabrics on the bases of their performance.
The Martindale test is a measure of the durability of a fabric. The test is undertaken on upholstery fabrics to check their suitability for various uses – i.e. decorative chairs, heavy-traffic areas or commercial furniture. The test is also known as the ‘rub test’, and tests for abrasion resistance. The fabric is continually inspected for wear and tear, and the test ends when two yarns break or when there is a noticeable change in appearance.
Coming to the various finishes that we provide, a finish according to us is a treatment given to a fabric, to change its appearance, handling /touch or performance. Its purpose is to make the fabric more suitable for end use. Some commonly used fabrics for making upholstered furniture are:
Acrylic: A man-made fiber with a soft wooly feeling; fair resistance to sunlight. It has good clean-ability characteristics and takes vivid color well. Acrylic is normally used to create velvet, plush looks.
Cotton: A vegetable fiber, perhaps the oldest type of fabric, cotton has fair resistance to wear and sunlight. It gives a soft feeling and smooth texture, and it dyes well too. But it has poor resistance to soil unless treated. However, it is an ideal fabric for everyday use furniture.
Nylon: A man-made fiber considered the strongest synthetic for upholstery fabrics, offering the best resistance to abrasion and soil; it offers a cool, soft feeling. With good clean ability characteristics, this fiber is water resistant; it includes a layer of PU, PVC or some sort of soft TPE on the backside of the fabric, to help prevent water from sneaking through the holes between the fibers.
Olefin: Another strong man-made fiber giving high resistance to abrasion and has a high stain resistance. It has a softer feel than nylon, good resistance to fading when solution dyed, very sensitive to heat.
Polyester: A man-made fiber, crisp and strong, fairly resistant to wear and sunlight. It is mostly like natural cotton in its appearance and physical properties. It has low resistance to heat, accepts color well, and is easy to clean. This man-made fiber also has a fair resistance to water and fire as well.
Rayon: An economical man-made fiber, rayon has a soft texture, and dyes well. It has fair resistance to wear and sunlight. Rayon has high absorbency and when blended with polyester, it makes for a great upholstery fabric.