Read More
blog, design blog, Design Cases, durable, durable fabrics, fabric, interior design blog, Kravet, Kravet fabrics, lesson, Uncategorized, what makes a fabric durable

Fabric 101 ~ A Lesson in Durability

For today’s post, I’ve asked my good friends & fabric experts over at Kravet to give us a lesson in what makes a fabric durable.  Selecting the right fabrics & know where to place them in your home is very important.  So, sit back, grab & pen & pad & a cup of coffee (or your favorite cocktail ~ it is Friday…) and get ready to gain some great knowledge on fabrics!

FABRIC DURABILITY

 

When selecting fabric for upholstery, one of the most important considerations is durability. Is the piece going to live in a high traffic area? Kids? Pets? You want to get the most out of your investment and make sure the fabric will hold up through the years.

High traffic pieces such as family room chairs and sofas need durable, tightly woven fabrics that are easy to clean.   Many designers are choosing indoor/outdoor fabrics for high traffic areas because they are highly durable, UV friendly and bleach cleanable. Outdoor fabrics have come a long way from their stiff, waxy roots and are available in a range of sophisticated patterns and textures.   If the fabric is not specified for outdoor use, it can be treated with products such as Crypton or Nanotex for similar protection and durability.

Fine silks and linens are beautiful and luxurious, and they work best in a more decorative capacity such as a formal living room.

When shopping for fabrics, it is common to see durability ratings in terms such as “15,000 double rubs.” This refers to a popular abrasion test conducted by the Wyzenbeek machine to evaluate fabric strength.   The Wyzenbeek machine determines how many double rubs (considered one complete motion forth and back) a sample of fabric can withstand before tearing.   Heavy-duty fabrics suitable for commercial use rate at 30,000 double rubs or more and residential fabrics rate at 15,000 double rubs, which is considered average.   You can test a fabric yourself using your fingernail to rub a fabric sample several times to see if the yarns shift or the fabric marks.

Another important thing to look for in a durable fabric is a balanced weave, meaning all yarns in the fabric are about the same size and strength. These fabrics will wear better than ones with heavy yarns in one direction and thin yarns in the other. A twill weave resists wear and shows soil less than a plain weave of similar quality.  Latex backing can be applied to loosely woven fabrics to help stabilize them, ensuring longer wear.

Flat-surfaced fabrics like damask, brocade and satin show the effects of abrasion because the long yarns on the surface are subject to wear. Pile fabrics like frieze, plush and velvet withstand abrasion quite well if they are made of wool and linen with a high density of fiber. Velvets are somewhat susceptible to marking, so if you want to use velvet in a high traffic area, it’s best to select a poly blend with a tightly woven W weave.

There are many things to consider when investing in a beautiful fabric for your home, and durability is one of them. Understanding how different fabrics react to wear and tear will help you make an informed decision for your home and your family that you will enjoy for years to come!

I’d like to give a huge thank you to Kravet for the wonderful info they’ve provided to pass on to my readers!  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!  xoxo Shay

Read More
blog, chair, chair frame, coffee table, cushion, design blog, durable, fabric, Frisco, GMT, Hickory Chair, Hickory Chair coffee table, IBB Design, IBB Designs, interior design, Shay Geyer, Shay Sampson, sofa, sofa cushion, t-cushion, Texas, TV, Uncategorized, upholstery, upholstery care

Upholstery 411

Last Friday on GMT, I gave viewers some helpful pointers on things to look for when shopping for upholstery.  I have to give a big shout out to my Twitter friend Carl for suggesting a very helpful pointer to give everyone.  Thanks Carl!  Watch the video here.

Let’s use the photo above & discuss few things to keep in mind concerning cushions when you’re selecting upholstery for your home.

  1. Upholstery Styles:
    Here we have a tight back sofa by Hickory Chair.  A tight back has a very structured & tidy look.  There are no back cushions to fluff.  We added a few throw pillows for comfort & to soften the look.  Decorative pillows are always a great way to add a punch of style.
  2. Cushion Type:
    Multi-cushion box seat:
    Multi cushions are great for durability.  You can flip & fluff them as needed.  This comes in handy when you need to flip a cushion to hide a stain that won’t come out.  A box cushion is shaped like a box & generally finished off with a welt cord.
  3. Chairs:
    Here we have a dark wood frame with upholstered loose “T” cushions also by Hickory Chair.  A “T” cushion simply wraps the arm of a chair or sofa to form a “T”.
Read More
Ask the Designer Detective, Brisa, Century Furniture, clean, double rubs, durability, durable, fabric, Fabulous Fabrics, furniture, leather, Uncategorized

Looking for Durable Fabrics?

Shay,
I watched a show on GMT (quite awhile ago now) where you showed a sofa upholstered in a “new” leather like material.   I think you said that it would be very durable.  Can you tell me what it was called and a little more about it.  Also if you have used it & whether your customers/clients have been satisfied.

Thanks.
Mary – Arlington, TX

Dear Mary,
Thank you so much for your question!  I get questions about how to find durable fabrics all of the time.  It’s an issue on most people’s minds.    The leather like material you are referring to is called Brisa.  It is a unique man made polyurethane fabric with a specially designed ventilation system that allows it to breathe.  The textile manufacturer, Gulf Fabrics,  simulates the look & feel of natural leather by creating a discreet grain pattern.  With over 200,00 double rubs, Brisa is known for it’s high durability.  That’s more than 30% more durable than what is required to be considered a “heavy duty” durable fabric.  It comes in a wide array of wonderful designer colors.  Here are a few of my favs:

Presently, Century Furniture is the only furniture manufacturer who is using Brisa.  We have had several of their pieces in Brisa at IBB. I have heard only great feedback so far from clients.  It’s as soft & supple as a really high grade quality leather.  One of my clients, who bought a sofa with the cushions covered in Brisa, says that their dog gets up on it all of the time & they haven’t had any issues.  They also have 3 kids, so durability was a huge priority for them.

Here’s a few more facts about Brisa:

  1. Clinically proven to be more resistant to temperature changes than vinyl & leather.
  2. Stays cooler than genuine leather in warm weather situations.
  3. Resists cold weather stiffening & cracking.
  4. Exceeds 200,000 double rubs
  5. Cleans effortlessly with soap & water.
  6. Most stains can be lifted with with alcohol-based solutions Fantastik or Formula 409