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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!



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

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building, custom home, design blog, Design Cases, designing a home, home building tips, lesson, Mike Scarlett, Scarlett Custom Homes, Uncategorized

A Lesson in the Custom Home Building Process

For today’s lesson, I’ve asked my good friend Mike Scarlett from Scarlett Custom Homes to give us his five best tips for advice on building a custom home.  Mike has been in the industry for over 30 years & really knows his stuff when it comes to building a quality custom home.  His tips could make your home building process much smoother & more successful.

1.  Know your values. Be aware of the prices and square footage of the homes in your neighborhood.  Over building could cause problems when acquiring financing or trying to sell your home in the future.

2.  Pick the right architect. Choose an architect after looking at some of their past designs and verify they have designed many homes and have plenty of experience.   Avoid thinking you will save money by getting plans off the internet.   You could lose a lot of value in your home by building a home that was not designed for your lot.

3. Choose the right builder.   Look for referrals from friends, real estate
agents or interior designers for professional building contractors.   Check out past jobs and talk to their current customers.   Every contractor will give you someone to talk to but they will never give you a referral of unhappy customers.   That is why I recommend to visit a current customer and talk to them.

4. Hire an interior designer. It always amazes me that some people will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building a home and not hire an interior designer.   Hire a designer to help lay out furniture, pick colors, tile, hardware, flooring, window coverings and more.   Designers will help keep the job moving and also help you with communicating with contractors.  If you want your house to look like the pictures in the magazines, you need an interior designer.

5.  Get detailed bids.   The sure way to have problems when building your home
is not knowing exactly what you are getting.   Make sure you have a cost break
down on your project with each phase of construction priced separately.  Avoid contracts with many allowances because you will never know what the
true cost of the home will be once it is completed.   Spend the time up front
picking as many items as possible.   This will make the job go faster and give
you a better idea of what your total cost will be at the end of the project.

For more information on building a custom home or on Scarlett Custom Homes log on to or contact Mike Scarlett at