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.

Cotton Velvet Rub Test

We were asked for the Rub Test of cotton velvet. This would depend on the specific quality of cotton and the type of velvet.

KOTHEA’s cotton velvet has a rub test of approximately 50,000. Making it suitable for contract.

Busy at KOTHEA

We have been absolutely hectic at KOTHEA this year. Some new velvets are coming on board as I write and we have been concentrating a lot more as well on European business this year.

There are a few new marketing activities we have planned which should hopefully add a little value to the interior design community rather than just trying to sell stuff to them, so watch this space and your in-box for more information on that.

We have tried to offer as full a range of velvets as possible: cotton velvets; linen velvets; cashmere silk velvets; silk velvets; mohair velvets and so on. We are thought about offering a budget range as well but decided in the end not to tarnish our strong quality brand. I think we made the right choice.


We have been lucky enough to be getting quite a lot of coverage of our new ranges for 2009. This year we decided to have a gradual month-by-month release of new designs rather than the usual Spring and Autumn collections…we’re not a clothes fashion company after all.

Have a look at some of our thoughts on the year ahead as shown in the excellent on-line design directory The House Directory. An excerpt from the MARCH 2009 edition is shown below.

For a sneak preview of some of our new fabrics we have a 2009 flickr feed.

Pan Peninsula

Well, despite the market slowdown the luxury 50 storey Pan Peninsula tower in London Docklands is fully sold. Alongside amazing apartments are a signature restaurant, private cinema and a Six Senses Spa.

The penthouses have amazing views and KOTHEA have supplied some of our very best mohair velvets for this development.