Fabric advice

Completing many types of furniture seating & soft furnishings has greatly increased my library of fabrics.  A recent upholstery/ upcycling  project for the BBC was the catalyst to finally design and bring to print my own furnishing fabric designs.

I am happy to discuss with you your ideas and suitability, as I continue to build good relationships with some great brands. However , If you come to me with your fabric choice please try to be be aware of certain factors like:

  • Durability: In my experience, a lot of good quality fabrics include information about a fabrics “wear”. Measured in “Rubs”  Through a process called a “Martindale rub test” (Basically a machine that rubs and measures the number of rubs a fabric can endure before showing the first signs of damage) Measured in 1000’s of “rubs”. To give you a broad idea of the difference in scale of durability, fabrics suitable for domestic upholstery & light soft furnishings ( curtains, cushions, drapes) start from around 35-40,000 rubs. Fabrics used in extreme heavy public seating environments , also known as “contract”, for example, Transport for London (TFL) , can start in excess of 500,000 rubs

  • Flame retardancy: Fabrics have to meet the relevant Health Safety and Fire regulations (1988) when applied to domestic chairs & frames built after 1950. Either by being back-coated or  a flame-retardant barrier cloth should be added to the seating.  For Contract or other public seating/furniture I use a broad and still growing range of modern materials and fabrics which meet or exceeds BS5852 part 2. Ignition Source 5 (CRIB 5) fire retardancy, and I can provide all the necessary certificates for the use of materials and fabrics in these areas.

    BS5852 part 2 crib 5 & 7 can be achieved with additional FR treatment. Prices on application.

  • Pile direction: With most velvets the direction of the pile is important to note in terms of the relationship between it’s final colour/shade/tones when applied to a chairs shape and subsequently its durability or wear)

  • Pattern drop: Consider how certain styles of printed textiles may have an effect on the look and shape of your chair, sofa, stool, headboard,etc when applied. Also wastage may be a factor in cutting printed fabrics.

If you have any queries at all about fabric selection. Give me a buzz and I’ll be happy meet up at your place or my studio to discuss.