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What is the martindale rub test?

Polartec Fabric Testing - Martindale Abrasion Test

Most fabrics undergo the Martindale Test to check their durability and suitability for various uses, i.e, curtains, domestic furniture, contract furniture. The test is also known as the Rub Test and it tests for abrasion. The test gives a score in 1000’s of rubs. Domestic fabrics often have a rating of up to 20,000 rubs. Generally, the higher the figure the more suitable the fabric for heavy usage. For example some KOTHEA velvets and faux leathers have scores of over 100,000 making them usable for heavy contract scenarios in hotels. KOTHEA have linen mix fabric for upholstery with a Martindale of 80,000.

You also might want to look <here> for details on the related Wyzenbeek test. Wyzenbeek is another (but different) kind of abrasion/rub test.

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The technical details of the Martindale test are shown below but this information is not normally required to be known by an interior designer: All you need to know is the appropriate rub test for your installation.If you are an interior design professional and you would like more information please call us in the UK on 020 8943 4904.

A circular specimen, mounted in a specimen holder and subjected to a defined load, is rubbed against an abrasive medium (standard wool fabric) in a translational movement tracing a Lissajous figure, the specimen holder being additionally freely rotatable around its own axis perpendicular to the plane of the specimen. The normal end point of the test is when two threads are broken or in the case of pile fabrics when the pile has completely worn off. The inspection interval is dependent on the end point of the fabric and is usually every 1,000 up to 5,000 rubs, every 2,000 between 5,000 & 20,000 every 5,000 between 20,000 & 40,000 and every 10,000 above 40,000.

For more information on luxury cashmere throws or to request cuttings please visit  For black faux leather upholstery fabrics try <here> and for mohair velvet and mohair velvet upholstery fabric please follow the links.  Upholstery Linen is also one of our specialities as are luxury  silk velvet  fabrics.

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