Martindale vs Wyzenbeek – Rub Test By Abrasion Explained

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LzT0dsPap4&w=200&rel=0]

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.

TEST METHODS
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.

Martindale
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 www.kothea.com.  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.

What is the martindale rub 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 www.kothea.com.  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.

Martindale Rub For Faux Leather

We were recently asked for the Martindale Rub For Faux Leather. Our particular Faux Leather (from our wider collectetion of faux furs) has a rub test result of over 100,000 making it suitable for heavy contract and domestic usage.

Cat Proof Velvet

Q. We were recently asked if there was a cat proof or ‘claw resistant’ velvet fabric for upholstery.

A. Some velvets are extremely hard wearing. However cats claws can act like knives and few, if any, fabrics are knife proof. So unfortunately no we do not sell cat proof velvets.

However the hardest finish would be one that is least affected by a claw. So at one end of the scale you might have a fine silk, easily torn, and at the other end of the scale a vinyl based finish would be quite durable.

So a cat proof sofa would probably be covered in a vinyl floor tile like material. It would be ‘cat proof’ but awful to sit on! So I would go with a compromise like a faux leather or keep my cat’s claws well clipped or create some alternate environment for the cat to exhibit its natural claw sharpening tendencies elsewhere. Good luck.

Fabric Colour Trends 2009-10

We are doing some work for a medium sized architectural practice. One of the partners asked me what the ‘in-vogue’ colours were for fabrics. This got me thinking.

There’s the usual stock answer where a fabric company would quote something which sounded like we were dress makers. “The in-vogue colours are the colours on the cat-walk”. Luckily I didn’t answer that way, partly because I haven’t been to a Paris catwalk for a while and partly because what colours we wear are not the colours we design our interior spaces with. I have a few reds and ochres in my wardrobe but none on my walls. Similarly I probably have proportionately very much more taupe around the house than around my body. So clearly the cat-walk comparison is wrong.

The time delay as well. There must be 2-6 months delays in getting the very latest fashions from the catwalk to the mass market retail outlets. It’s pretty hard to turn out new fabric collections regularly in that timeframe.

And then I thought some more. The job was for a Mediterranean villa. Are the colour trends in this country and in this climate the same as in such warmer climbs? Probably not. Hotter climates favour colours that are physically cooler. Picture the white houses of a stereotyped Greek village.

And then I thought about personalities. The villa owner is a wealthy and aesthetically discerning business leader. Will that sort of person have the same tastes and influences as the middle classes of a London suburb? Or will their Chelsea architect/designer reflect the aesthetic views of their personal domain? Some well-known designers push the same colour schemes again and again – because they look great and they work. Is that a trend?

So I came to the conclusion that what defines a colour trend will vary. It will vary by geography, by social aspirations & standing and many other factors. I’m not sure they vary by time that rapidly how we furnish, organise and decorate our houses does change but that change is more on the scale of a decade than the fadish seasonal change for clothing.

That seemed a bit of a cop out answer though. Let’s be analytical about it. What colours do we sell the most of? Well, to be honest, it is still the classic-contemporary feel. So plenty of taupes, white, muted neutrals and the delightfully named beiges. Even with the acidic greens, purples and violent colours of the early 2000s that were blasted in our faces on ‘Changing Rooms’; I have to say that the upper end of the market very, very rarely asked for or bought these colours. So surely the colours we sell are the ones that are on-trend? Maybe, but maybe also we self select the markets we target, the products we stock and hence the type of customer we attract.

And really I would probably question the original question as well. Fabric is much more than colour; texture and design are also key.

So where did that leave me? I probably should have thought of a sophisticated way of saying “just buy what you like” or “get to know what your client likes and sell them that” and said that, but I didn’t.

The UK’s Top-Market Fabric Suppliers To Interior Designers

Click the fabric company name for their web site:

Abbot and Boyd 020 7351 9985
Altfield 020 7351 5893
Alton Brooke 020 7376 7008
Borderline 020 7823 3567
Brian Yates 01524 35035
Brunswig 020 7351 5797
Bruno Triplet 020 7823 9990
Chase Erwin 020 8875 7441
Colefax 020 7244 7427
Colony Fabrics 020 7351 3232
Donghia 020 7823 3456
Gainsborough Silk 01787 372081
Henry Bertrand 020 7349 1477
Jab 020 7349 9323
Jane Churchill 020 7244 7427
Jrobertscott 020 7376 4705
KOTHEA 0870 285 4768
Kravet 020 7795 0110
Lee Jofa 020 7823 3455
Lelievre 020 7352 4798
Manuel Canovas 020 8877 6400
Nobilis 020 7351 7878
Pierre Frey 0207 376 55 99
Robert Allen 01494 474741
Sacho Hesslein 020 7352 6168
Silk Gallery 020 7351 1790
Turnell and Gigon 020 7259 7280
Watts Westminster 020 7376 4486
Zimmer and Rhode 020 7351 7115
Zoffany 08708 300 350

Many of these fabric companies sell a wide range of products including: chenille, contract fabric, faux / fake leather, mohair velvet, linen velvet, cotton velvet, wool,  hand woven products, natural silk, cashmere and damask for upholstery, curtains and cushions.

Dye Lot Variation in Fabrics

Fabrics are often woven in lengths of 50m, 100m or more. Manufacturers and distributors then hold these lengths and at some point a designer buys a smaller cut-length. If subsequently the fabric is damaged when being made up or if the end-client has requirements for additional fabric, then more is ordered. So far so good? But exactly which roll is the additional fabric going to be cut from?

It is important to realise that there can be variation in the dyes used. Normally manufacturers keep a record of the exact dye(s) used in the manufacturing process(es). This is a dye lot. The dye could have been added to make a coloured yarn early in the process or it could have been added to the fibre later if it is a printed fabric.

So when more fabric is ordered for the same client it is important to ensure the same dye lot was used as for the original order.

Variations do occur in almost all fabrics. So if the same dye lot cannot be re-ordered it is prudent for the designer to order a sample for matching. It is wise for designers, upholsterers, curtain- and cushion-makers to always request a sample to avoid costly mistakes.

Typically man-made/synthetic dyes are more easily chemically replicated and so are inherently less prone to dye lot variation. For natural products there is a much greater chance of variation. But again there is no hard and fast rule.

Colour also plays a part as some farbic colours are more prone to change because of the chemical structure of the dye and/or the fabric being used.

What if all the stock has been used and there is a variation? Do we have to start again?

Hopefully not and common sense has to prevail from time to time. For example, a dye lot variation can be negated by conditions in the final installation. So in the case where there are fabrics from different dye lots with one dye lot only used in each room only rarely will the be any noticeable difference from room to room. Even in the case where, say, curtains on different walls are made from different but similar dye lots then any dye lot variation can be made unnoticeable by the effect of varying amounts of sunlight through windows. Although bear in mind there are variations in the strength and type of light throughout the day and between sunlight and artificial light at night. Similarly in low light (cellar) conditions dye lot variation will be much less noticeable.

Finally bear in mind the age of the fabric/curtains and the degree to which they have been exposed to sunlight. Some fabrics naturally fade over time, depending on their colour fastness. In this case it is unlikely ever to be able to get a perfect match.

KOTWIG – New Farbic From KOTHEA

KOTHEA Release New Fabric For Interiors

LONDON, England. 04-MAY-2009 11.30 AM: KOTHEA today announced it has expanded its product range by the addition of KOTWIG. KOTWIG has an off-the-wall textured design. It has a high Martindale score which is unusually achieved without incorporating polyester. It is highly suitable for a wide range of uses including heavy upholstery and wall treatments in either domestic or contract installations.

Flickr Image Of KOTWIG
Flickr Image Of KOTWIG

Full information can be found <here>.

KOTWIG

Reference: 14-002-436

Colour Shown: Brown – Light Brown

Other colourways: 20

Width: 145cm

Repeat: None

Composition: 43% Linen, 36% Viscose, 21% Cotton.

Martindale: 40,000 ‘rubs’

Primary Usage: General upholstery or wall treatments, contract & domestic.

Type of fabric: Textured Weave

About KOTHEA.

KOTHEA are a top-market fabric house based in London serving customers throughout all of Europe and The Middle East. Founded in 1999 they have since continued to develop and sell an extensive range of timeless fabrics to the top architects, interior- and yacht-designers for projects ranging from mega-yachts to boutique hotels and from luxury spas to penthouses.

KOTHEA operate on a trade-only basis and their fabrics are available to the public through interior designers and specialist interior design shops such as Gotham, Interiors Bis and Fiona Campbell. KOTHEA also supply beautiful hand-woven linen fabrics and finished goods – throws and table linen.

KOTHEA’s trade customers would perceive their signature fabrics to include several ranges of velvet including the exclusive ‘cashmere silk velvet’, silks, linens, double-width sheers, faux leather and interesting weaves for upholstery often with high Martindale ‘rub tests’ making them highly suited to both contract and residential projects.

Founder and Executive Director, Lisa Parsons started KOTHEA more than 10 years ago after 11 highly successful years with Nobilis Fontan in Chelsea and Donghia in Chelsea Harbour. She says, “At KOTHEA we like to think we bring something a little different to the market. Our difference will be reflected in our customers’ eyes by unusual fabrics that complement our core fabric ranges; all augmented by our excellent levels of customers service, market knowledge and attention to detail.”

PR April 2009

KOTHEA Release New Fabric For Interiors

LONDON, England. 06-APR-2009 11.30 AM: KOTHEA today announced it has expanded its product range by the addition of KOCOSMIC. KOCOSMIC is a little bit quirky; like a faux skin without trying too hard to mimic nature. It has high rubs and is suitable for a wide range of uses including heavy upholstery and wall treatments in either domestic or contract installations.

KOCOSMIC

Reference: 03-004-378
Colour Shown: 3 Silver
Other Colourways: 19
Width: 140cm
Repeat: None
Composition: 100% Cotton base cloth, 95% Vinyl 5%, Polyurethane outer.
Martindale: BS5690 100,000
Primary Usage: Heavy upholstery, wall treatments, contract & domestic.
Type of fabric: Vinyl
Other: Passes BS5852 Schedule 4 Part 1 Cigarette Test, Schedule 5 Part 1 Match Test and Crib 5.

About KOTHEA.

KOTHEA are a top-market fabric house based in London serving customers throughout all of Europe and The Middle East. Founded in 1999 they have since continued to develop and sell an extensive range of timeless fabrics to the top architects, interior- and yacht-designers for projects ranging from mega-yachts to boutique hotels and from luxury spas to penthouses.

KOTHEA operate on a trade-only basis and their fabrics are available to the public through interior designers and specialist interior design shops such as Gotham, Interiors Bis and Fiona Campbell. KOTHEA also supply beautiful hand-woven linen fabrics and finished goods – throws and table linen.

KOTHEA’s trade customers would perceive their signature fabrics to include several ranges of velvet including the exclusive ‘cashmere silk velvet’, silks, linens, double-width sheers, faux leather and interesting weaves for upholstery often with high Martindale ‘rub tests’ making them highly suited to both contract and residential projects.

Founder and Executive Director, Lisa Parsons started KOTHEA more than 10 years ago after 11 highly successful years with Nobilis Fontan in Chelsea and Donghia in Chelsea Harbour. She says, “At KOTHEA we like to think we bring something a little different to the market. Our difference will be reflected in our customers’ eyes by unusual fabrics that complement our core fabric ranges; all augmented by our excellent levels of customers service, market knowledge and attention to detail.”

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For Further Information
Please visit the company web site at https://www.kothea.com

Trademarks
KOTHEA is a registered trade mark of KOTHEA Limited. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.