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Double Rub Information

It’s important to note that the double rub rating is only one piece of the fabric-selection puzzle. Other factors from fibers to weave can also affect the longevity of a fabric.Durability of an upholstery fabric is a complex combination of a number of performance tests that, in addition to abrasion, includes seam slippage, pilling, tensile strength, and usage. There is a common misconception that double rub testing is relative to the likeliness of a fabric to experience pilling. Double rub test results and pilling susceptibility have nothing to do with the other. See additional information about pilling here.

What Are Double Rubs and the Wyzenbeek Test?

What are double rubs? This statistic with a funny name actually says a lot about the strength of a fabric. Double rubs are a measurement of a fabric’s abrasion resistance. They are listed with most fabrics and are helpful in determining which fabric is right for your particular application.

Double rubs are found through a mechanized test called the Wyzenbeek Test (sometimes called the Wyzenbeek Method). The Wyzenbeek Test is regarded as the standard of measuring abrasion resistance for fabric in North America. A piece of cotton duck is stretched over a mechanical arm and passed back and forth over the test fabric in each direction. Each back and forth motion is one double rub. The cotton duck passing over the fabric simulates the wear of a fabric being used as a seat cushion, for example. The test is run in sets of 5,000 double rubs until the fabric shows “noticeable wear” or two yarn breaks.

So, how many double rubs should you look for in a fabric? It depends on your intended application. In general, around 15,000 or more double rubs is considered heavy-duty for residential applications. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Double Rubs for Residential Applications

Heavy Duty: 15,000+ double rubs. Suitable for family rooms.

Medium Duty: 9,000-15,000 double rubs. Versatile. Good for living or family rooms.

Light Duty: 3,000-9,000 double rubs. Usually better suited for formal or occasional use furniture.

Delicate Duty: Less than 3,000 double rubs. Recommended for more decorative use as in curtains, drapes or pillows.

Double Rubs for Commercial Applications

Contract Upholstery Minimum: 15,000 double rubs is considered the minimum for general contract, commercial upholstery projects.

Heavy Duty: 15,000-30,000 double rubs. Suitable for single shift offices, conference rooms, hotel rooms and dining areas.

Extra-Heavy Duty: 30,000+ double rubs. Recommended for constant use as in hospital waiting areas, airport terminals, fast food restaurants, theaters and stadiums.