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Martindale vs Wyzenbeek – Rub Test By Abrasion Explained


Both Wyzenbeek and Martindale are abrasion or rub tests. They are however different tests which test different properties and success in one test does not infer success in the other. Wyzenbeek involves rubbing along the warp and weft of the fabric whereas Martindale is a figure-8 rub. The video clip shows a testing machine in action…not very exciting stuff. This article continues and gives summary information to assist Interior Designers to specify the right levels of abrasion resistance – usually for upholstery.

In more detail then:

For Heavy Duty Usage you should specify:
30,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method; or

40,000 cycles Martindale method.

End use examples of heavy-duty installations, where upholstery fabrics rated at 30,000 double rubs, should be appropriate are: single shift corporate, hotel rooms/suites; conference rooms; and dining area usage.

There are extreme wear situations that may require higher levels of abrasion resistance. End use examples that may require higher than 30,000 double rubs include: 24 hours transportation terminals, 24 hour telemarketing, 24 hour healthcare emergency rooms, 24 hour casino gambling areas, and such public gathering places as theatres, stadiums, lecture halls and fast food restaurants.

It is strongly suggested that double rubs exceeding 100,000 are not meaningful in providing additional value in use. Higher abrasion resistance does not necessarily indicate a significant extension of the service life of the fabric.

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The Wyzenbeek and Martindale tests are the two methods commonly used to predict wear-ability. Actual performance is determined by many factors such as fiber content, weaves, finishes, furniture design, maintenance, cleaning, and usage. Durability of an upholstery fabric is a complex interaction (combination) of a number of performance tests that, in addition to abrasion, includes seam slippage, piling, tensile strength, and usage.

There is no correlation between the Wyzenbeek and Martindale tests so it is not possible to estimate the number of cycles that would be achieved on one test if the results from the other test were known.

A Wyzenbeek machine is used for this test allowing sample of the test fabric to be pulled tight in a frame and held stationary. Individual test specimens cut from the warp and weft direction are then rubbed back and forth using an approved fabric as the abradant. The number of double rub cycles achieved before two yarn breaks occur or noticeable wear is observed is recorded as the fabric’s abrasion rating.

This is an oscillating test. Fabric samples are mounted flat and rubbed in a figure eight like motion using a piece of worsted wool cloth as the abradant. The number of cycles that the fabric can endure before fabric shows objectionable change in appearance (yarn breaks, piling, holes) is counted. Number of cycles determines abrasion rating.

Inferring one result from another:

Despite what you will read on other web sites including the sites of some of the best known fabric houses in the world you simply cannot infer a Wyzenbeek score from a Martindale score or vice versa. However as said earlier for Heavy Duty usage you might specify: 30,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method OR 40,000 cycles Martindale method. So in that sense you can say that for a certain level of usage the Martindale result needs to be 33% higher than the Wyzenbeek. But you CANNOT say that if a fabric scores 100,000 Wyzenbeek then there is no point in undertaking a Martindale test as you “know” its result would be 133,333 – that would simply be wrong; the Martindale could be higher or lower, you have to test it.

If this post does supply you with enough information please comment below or email us and we will expand it.

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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