“Is it OK to mix Crib 5 and Crib 3?” was the question. The client further explained that they planned to use a Crib 5 inter-liner and a Crib 3 fabric and was this OK in a restaurant?
I think the uncertainty existed as sometimes with domestic usage interlining can help with meeting FR needs.
However for non-residential spaces that is NOT the case.
The Crib5/Crib 3 mix would have been OK in an office type environment where Crib 3 was required however in a public space this is certainly not acceptable and so a different fabric is needed that is inherently Crib 5 or can be treated to Crib 5.
We would always recommend 100% Cashmere Wool for luxury throws.
Cashmere wool is made from the fibres of the undercoat of the cashmere goal (capra hircus laniger). The fibres are extremely fine, not exceeding 19 microns. To ensure that the high quality undercoat fibres are used a criterion exists to ensure that 97% of the fibres are below 30 microns.
Cashmere wool thus feels ‘fine’, is lightweight and provides good insulating properties without the weight typified by other wools for the same degree of warmth.
No other commercially available wool offers as high a level of quality as cashmere.
So to ensure the best quality Cashmere Throw it is important to specify 100% Cashmere Wool – neither a blend nor any other wool is as good.
I would be rich if I were to be given one pound for every time we are asked, “What is the best upholstery fabric to use on my sofa?” Typically the questioner means ‘most durable’ rather than ‘best’. You could buy a near bullet-proof fabric with a Martindale score of several hundred thousand but could you live with it!
‘Simple’ measures of durability such as Martindale and Wyzenbeek overlay complex structures of the fabric. This covers the construction of the yarns and design of the weave weave as well as the fibre chosen. Furthermore, finishes, sofa/furniture design, maintenance regimes and usage are variables that very significantly affect the life of your fabric.
There is a close link between fiber strength and yarn strength. Yarns are twisted to add strength – generally a tighter twist gives a stronger yarn. This is measured in Twists Per Inch or Meter (TPI or TPM). Tightly twisted yarns are generally smooth and dense. This brings us to weave design. Weaves can be extremely complicated and difficult to structurally model and understand. Just knowing the fibers, yarn and weave construction still doesn’t answer the basic question – an objective measurement is needed. Test were developed to determine wear. They are better known as abrasion tests and many Interior Designers today refer to these test results as THE way to measure fabric durability. Abrasion test are supposed to forecast how well a fabric will wear in upholstery applications.
There are two tests: Martindale in Europe and Wyzenbeek in the USA. The tests are different and there is no correlation between the two. With Wyzenbeek (ASTM D4157-02): a piece of cotton duck fabric or wire mesh is rubbed in a straight back and forth motion on a piece of fabric until “noticeable wear” or thread break is evident. One back and forth motion is called a “double rub” (dbl rub). Whereas with Martindale (ASTM D4966-98): the abradant in this test is worsted wool or wire screen, the fabric specimen is a circle or round shape and the rubbing is undertaken in a figure 8, unlike the straight line of the Wyzenbeek. One figure 8 is a cycle – hence the terms Martindale cycles.
Contract fabrics would normally meet these criteria:
General contract: Wyzenbeek 15,000 Martindale 20,000
Heavy duty contract Wyzenbeek 30,000 Martindale 40,000
Medium use residential Wyzenbeek 9,000 Martindale 15,000
Heavy use residential 15,000 Martindale 30,000 or higher
The higher the result the more likely the fabric is to be more durable. (Source of the above figures can be provided on request to the author)
With figures over 100,000 then there may be an issue with the applicability of the results and certainly how the fabrics’ care regime is implemented will have more of an influence on its longevity.
Some commentators question the validity of test results. In my experience in the UK, test houses are independent and are strictly monitored by British Standards and no one fabric company is big enough to be able to ‘ask for’ results to be skewed. Nor, I’m sure, would any fabric company want to put a supplier in that position if only for the reason that it is in no-one’s interests to undermine the authority of independent industry bodies that, in general, regulate for the greater good of all.
Upholstery Linen is notoriously difficult for interior designers to source. Sourcing linens for curtains is easy enough but often linens are not woven with sufficient strength to score Martindale results that are high enough to warrant using the fabric for upholstery.
Some suppliers can be a little evasive and will quote the weight of the linen as a measure of the linen’s quality. The implicaiton being that the higher the weight the better suited the fabric will be for upholstery. There is some thuth in that implication but you cannot say for certain that a high weight linen is inherently suitable for upholstery. Get the Martindale!
Most KOTHEA luxury upholstery linens have inherent Martindale rub tests of around 20,000 rubs with one range further strengthened to 85,000 rubs for contract usage – 20,000 Martindale being eminently suitable for domestic upholstery.
Furthermore when buying upholstery- (or curtain-) linen you need to know whether or not it will shrink when washed. Linen ALWAYS shrinks. So what you have to find out is whether or not it has been pre-shrunk before you buy it. A common way of pre-shrinking linen is through the sanforisation process.
Here are the details of our new 2011 upholstery linens that are named Recline, Relax and Restful. We have many others, these are just the new ones:
Fabric labels often have abbreviations and some of these generally accepted abbreviations are for non-English words. So here is a handy little reference chart for all you interior designers out there showing what all those pesky abbreviations mean. Please comment if any are missing.
BS5867 part 2 type B is a contract standard for fire retardancy for CURTAINS.
As an interior designer you do *NOT* need to understand the details of the test nor the performance criteria that needs to be achieved.
However interior designers are responsible for the project/installation and because this is a serious are concerning fire risk you DO NEED to:
– Be certain what standard is required for your project/installation;
– Know that you are specifying fabric that meets the appropriate standard; and
– Prove that the fabric you have installed is up to the job.
So here is what you need to do to achieve that, essentially what you need to do to do your job and to ensure you have covered the bases of your responsibility.
1. Determine the fire retardancy standards that need to be adhered to. This may involve contacting the local fire officer. Determine what documentation you need to provide them.
2. Liaise with your fabric supplier to determine if the fabric either:
– inherently meets the standards; or
– requires treatment.
3. On purchasing the fabric, specify the treatment required. You would say to the fabric company “Treat the fabric to the contract curtain standard BS 5867 part 2 type B, and provide me with documentation showing this has been done”.
4. What you have done now is to specify what standard of treatment has to be undertaken. By doing that there is no guarantee that the fabric will pass the appropriate test even though it has been treated to a standard where it should pass the test. Normally you will receive a document saying that the fabric has been treated to the standard. THIS DOES NOT MEAN IT HAS PASSED THE STANDARD. You need to determine if you want your specific batch of fabric to be specifically tested (after treatment). For larger projects, this will almost certainly be prudent to undertake. You will need to purchase additional fabric prior to treatment and engage the services of a fabric testing factory (not treatment factory). At the end of that process, you will receive documentation stating that the fabric meets the required standard.