How do you know your upholstery fabric will last, or any material for that matter? If your upholstery fabric shows signs of wear-and-tear early on, this can make your home look scruffy and unkempt.


If you want to learn a sure-fire way to ensure your upholstery lasts, keep reading. This guide will teach you all about rub testing and how to ensure your upholstery fabric has high abrasion resistance.

What Is Martindale Rub Testing?

Martindale is a type of abrasion testing that determines the level of fabric abrasion resistance. The fabric abrasion resistance dictates how well the fabric will stand up over time with everyday use and wear-and-tear. If a material scores highly with the Martindale rub test, you will likely be able to enjoy the fabric for a long time.


The Martindale rub test will tell you how durable a fabric is by determining the rub rate. The rub rate is the number of rubs required to cause wearing or mark the material. The higher the rub rate, the more abrasion resistant the fabric will be – which is what you need to look for when choosing a fabric in many upholstery cases.

Why Should You Choose Fabrics With A High Abrasion Resistance?

Whether you’re choosing an item of clothing, a backpack, car upholstery, or home decor, you need to know that the fabric you select won’t wear out quickly. If the material wears quickly, you must replace the item or reupholster your furniture. It doesn’t matter how good the fabric looks if it’s going to wear rapidly and look undesirable within a short period of use.


Fabrics with a high abrasion resistance also tend to retain their shape for longer and look great for longer.

Martindale Rub Testing Vs Wyzembeek

There is another rub test called the Wyzembeek test, which uses a different machine. The process involves abrading the fabric using two rub materials – cotton duck and wire mesh. When the rub material traces back and forth one time over the fabric, this constitutes a single rub. When there are two broken threads or strands in the fabric, it has hit its breaking limit, which will reveal the rub rate.


On the other hand, Martindale rub testing uses a wool fabric, performing rubs in a figure of 8 motion instead of back and forth. When two consecutive yarns break, the material has reached its limit. 


There is no way to compare or draw correlations between the two test types. However, both tests work well to determine how durable a fabric is. 


Before investing in furniture or upholstery fabric, you need to know how highly the material scores on the Martindale rub test. This way, you can determine whether the fabric will be long-lasting or not and how much you will get from your upholstery investments.


When you invest in furniture or upholstery, you need to know that it will last. The Martindale rub test indicates how durable a fabric is by testing the number of abrasive rubs the fabric can withstand. If the material scores well on the Martindale rub test, this is a good indicator that it will last. Speak to the experts at Sydney Upholstery to learn more about the Martindale rub test and find abrasion-resistant fabrics.