What Do The Codes On The Back Of Fabric Samples Mean?
We’re often asked what the codes on the back of our fabric swatches mean. All those codes and ratings can be confusing, so let’s try and demystify them:
Fiber Content: The material used in the fabric. Most of our fabrics are polyester or some sort of polyester blend. Polyester is a great choice for upholstered chairs. It’s strong and durable, resistant to wrinkling and fading, and moisture resistant. We also offer materials such as leather or suede.
Pattern direction: Typically “Up The Roll” or “Railroaded.” “Up The Roll” means the pattern repeats upwards on the roll. “Railroaded” means the fabric design runs vertically across the roll. These distinctions mostly come into play on larger pieces such as sofas – fabric rolls are standarly 54” across, so an “Up The Roll” pattern would need to be seamed. We mainly use fabric on chairs, so we don’t run into these size limitations – either direction works wonderfully.
Cleaning Code: This code lets us know how to clean the fabric. There are 3 codes used by our manufactuer:
(WS) Water Solvent Cleaner
Spot clean with a mild solvent, an upholstery shampoo or the foam from a mild detergent. When using a solvent or dry cleaning product, follow instructions carefully and clean only in a well ventilated room. Avoid any product that contains carbon tetrachloride or other toxic materials.
(S) Solvent Cleaner
Spot clean, using a mild water-free solvent or dry cleaning product. Clean only in a well ventilated room and avoid any product containing carbon tetrachloride or other toxic materials.
(W) Water-Based Cleaner
Spot clean, using the foam only from a water-based cleaning agent such as a mild detergent or non-solvent upholstery shampoo product. Apply foam with a soft brush in a circular motion. Vacuum when dry.
Abrasion Rating: All fabric is tested using the Wyzenbeek Method, which rubs a piece of cotton duck (a heavy canvas) across the fabric. Each back and forth rub is called a “double-rub” and the “Abrasion Rating” is how many double rubs the fabric can withstand before noticeable wear. The higher the rating, the more double-rubs the fabric could withstand. All our material is rated “Medium” or “Heavy.”
(M) Medium: 9,000 – 12,000 Double Rubs
(H) Heavy: 15,000+ Double Rubs
Many of our most durable fabrics will list the amount of double rubs if it far exceeds the “Heavy” category. All of our fabrics are great for home use. For commercial use, 15,000+ double rubs are recommended, and for heavy commercial use (high traffic waiting rooms, airport terminals, theater seats, etc.) 30,000+ is recommended.
Fire Codes: All our fabrics are designated with two codes which tells us they passed two burning simulations:
UFAC Class I: The fabric is exposed to a burning cigarette covered in sheeting material. The cigarette has to burn it’s entire length. Class I means the fabric passed.
Cal. 117 Sec E: The fabric is touched by a 5/8” long pencil-thin flame for 1 second. The code means it did not ignite.