Selecting furniture for your home is an investment that should stand the test of time. While comfort and style are vital considerations, there's another essential factor that often goes unnoticed but plays a crucial role in determining the lifespan of your furniture – rub counts.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore why rub counts are necessary, what they entail, the two primary testing methods – the Martindale Test and the Wyzenbeek Test, and why Couch Potatoes relies on independent labs to conduct these tests.
The Significance of Rub Counts
Why Are Rub Counts Necessary?
Picture this: you've furnished your living room with a beautiful sofa, and within a short time, you notice it starting to wear out, with the fabric showing signs of damage. This is where rub counts come into play. Rub counts are a standardized measure of how well a fabric or leather can endure the wear and tear resulting from everyday use. They provide valuable information about a material's durability, helping you make informed choices and ensuring your furniture retains its appearance and functionality over the years.
Understanding Rub Counts and Double Rubs
Rub counts, also known as abrasion resistance or double rubs, quantify the number of times a fabric can endure rubbing back and forth before revealing signs of wear. A double rub represents one complete back-and-forth motion. Fabrics are categorized into different levels of durability based on their rub counts:
Light Duty: Up to 9,000 double rubs
Medium Duty: 9,000 to 15,000 double rubs
Heavy Duty: 15,000 to 30,000 double rubs
Extra Heavy Duty: 30,000 double rubs and above
The Martindale Test
The Martindale Test is one of the primary methods for measuring fabric durability through rub counts. Named after its inventor, Dr. Roger Martindale, this test simulates the abrasion that fabrics experience during everyday use. The testing apparatus involves a circular specimen holder with a piece of testing fabric attached to it. The fabric is subjected to abrasion by rubbing against a standard fabric or worsted wool.
The Martindale Test / Gessato.com
How Is the Testing Carried Out?
Test Material Preparation: A sample of the fabric or leather to be tested is secured to the Martindale machine.
Rubbing Motion: The machine initiates a circular rubbing motion, causing the test material to come into contact with the abrasive fabric.
Observation: Trained technicians monitor the fabric for signs of wear, such as color changes, thinning, or fraying. The test continues until a predetermined level of damage is reached.
Martindale Rub Count: The number of rubs completed before visible damage occurs is the fabric's Martindale rub count.
The Wyzenbeek Test
The Wyzenbeek Test is the second primary method for measuring fabric durability through rub counts. Named after its inventor, Harold Wyzenbeek, this test assesses a fabric's resistance to abrasion. In this test, a mechanical arm fitted with a testing material rubs against the fabric in question, replicating the wear and tear experienced during everyday use.
Wyzenbeek Test vs. Martindale Test / Plinth & Chintz
How Is the Testing Carried Out?
Test Material Attachment: A sample of the fabric or leather is secured to the Wyzenbeek machine.
Rubbing Motion: The machine initiates a back-and-forth rubbing motion using a specified force and speed. The test material rubs against the sample repeatedly.
Observation: Trained technicians monitor the fabric for signs of wear, including color changes, thinning, or fraying. The test continues until a predetermined level of damage is reached.
Wyzenbeek Rub Count: The number of rubs completed before visible damage occurs is the fabric's Wyzenbeek rub count.
Scoring Rub Counts
Both the Martindale and Wyzenbeek tests yield rub counts, which indicate the fabric's level of durability. The rub counts provide valuable information to consumers about a material's resistance to wear and tear, enabling them to make informed decisions when selecting furniture upholstery.
Couch Potatoes and Independent Lab Testing
This is the Wallace Untufted Sofa in Elliot Pebble with a Wyzenbeek Rub score 100,000.
At Couch Potatoes, we are committed to delivering high-quality and durable furniture to our customers. To ensure this, we rely on independent labs to conduct rub count testing on the fabrics and leathers we use. This rigorous testing process guarantees that our furniture meets the highest standards of durability and can withstand the rigors of everyday use, providing you with long-lasting comfort and style.
Transparency and Informed Choices
We believe in transparency, and we want our customers to make choices that align with their lifestyle and intended usage. Providing rub count information empowers you to select furniture that suits your unique needs, whether you have a bustling household with children and pets or a more relaxed, formal setting.
Durability and Longevity
Investing in furniture is a significant decision, and we want your investment to last. Fabrics and leathers with high rub counts contribute to the longevity of your furniture, ensuring that your cherished pieces remain an integral part of your living space for years to come.
Variety and Style
We understand that style is personal. Our wide range of fabrics and leathers, each with varying rub counts, ensures that you can choose from a diverse selection of styles without compromising on durability. From sumptuous velvets to practical microfibers, you can find the perfect upholstery to match your taste and lifestyle.
Furniture You Can Depend On
Rub counts and the testing methods used to determine them are essential factors in ensuring the durability and longevity of your furniture. Understanding the science behind rub counts, the Martindale and Wyzenbeek tests, and their significance empowers you to make well-informed choices when selecting furniture upholstery.
At Couch Potatoes, we are committed to providing you with furniture that combines style with resilience. Check out our product care guide to see how several of our fabrics score on their individual tests.