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What do you have that’s a durable fabric for a sofa?

Posted on January 2, 2018

One of the ways in which fabric durability is quantified, is by its “Double Rub Count”. This is a measure of how much wear and tear a fabric can take from sliding over it, such as sliding onto your sofa. The way that this is done, is by performing an abrasion test where a piece of canvas is rubbed back and forth over the fabric until the slightest bit of wear is noticeable. One “Back-and-Forth” is One Double Rub.

Usually the fabrics used for sofas have Double Rub Counts that range from 15,000 to 100,000. Manmade fibres, such as polyester tend to have much higher rub counts. Patterned, natural fabrics often used as accent pillows on a sofa tend to be in the range of 5,000-15,000. Since accent pillows do not endure the same stress as the main sofa cushions this lower rub count is not a problem.

This however is not the whole story. Just because a fabric has a high rub count does not mean that the fabric is easy to clean, nor that it is tightly woven (prone to snags or holes). When looking at fabrics, a cleaning code of ā€˜Wā€™ means that the material can be lightly cleaned with a mild water based soap or detergent, versus a cleaning code of ā€˜Sā€™ which means it has to be cleaned with solvent.

Often a customer will decide to opt for a leather product as they can just wipe their sofa clean. But a hole or scratch made by something in your pocket will be visible forever. Unless your sofa is covered in a top grain leather, the mark will usually be very visible, and cannot be disguised. Microfibre on the other hand generally cleans up very easily and potential holes are concealed by the tight knit of the fabric.

One of our lines of fabric has a great texture, with a slightly open weave look to it, with a very durable 100,000 rub count. Due to its open weave though, it can more easily snag.

So back to the original question: What is a durable fabric?

A durable fabric will be one with a high double rub count, a tight weave such as a microfiber and more likely than not, woven from polyester. Also, a fabric with more visual texture and a darker colour, will ensure that stains or marks are less noticeable, versus a fine flat linen style weave in a light colour.