Textile Basics

As a member of the Association for Contract Textiles (ACT), D.L. Couch is an advocate for the design, development and promotion of textiles that follow the performance guidelines set forth by the organization. ACT is a not for profit, trade organization that serves as the definitive resource for contract textile information, developing performance and environmental guidelines to benefit the A&D community when selecting textiles for contract use.

Textiles that meet ACT Performance Guidelines are marked with the Registered Certification Marks, or icons, noting these materials meet minimum requirements for Flammability, Wet & Dry Crocking, Colorfastness to Light, Physical Properties, and Abrasion.

All ACT Voluntary Performance Guidelines cover woven and coated fabrics for indoor use. “Woven Fabrics” consist of two sets of yarns, warp and filling, formed by weaving, which is the process of interlacing these sets of yarns. “Coated Fabrics” typically include a fabric or similar substrate with one or more layers of a film-forming polymer such as vinyl or polyurethane on the wear surface of the fabric. Visit http://www.contracttextiles.org for more information.

ACT VOLUNTARY PERFORMANCE GUIDELINES

Flammability

The measurement of a fabric’s performance when it is exposed to specific sources of ignition. Note: ACT guidelines specify different flammability tests dictated by the intended end use for the fabric.

UPHOLSTERY

California Technical Bulletin 117­2013 Section 1 – Pass

DIRECT GLUE WALLCOVERINGS AND ADHERED PANELS

ASTM E84 (Adhered Mounting Method) – Class A or Class 1

WRAPPED WALL PANELS AND UPHOLSTERED WALLS

ASTM E84 (Unadhered Mounting Method) – Class A or Class 1

PANEL SYSTEM FURNITURE

Any one or combination of the following: UL recognized component under Office Panel Fabrics category, UL 1286 Listed, ASTM E84 (Adhered or Unadhered Mounting Method) – Class A or Class 1

DRAPERY

NFPA 701 Method 1 or 2 as appropriate – Pass

Wet & Dry Crocking

Transfer of dye from the surface of a dyed or printed fabric onto another surface by rubbing.

UPHOLSTERY | Woven Fabrics

AATCC 8
Dry Crocking, Grade 4 minimum
Wet Crocking, Grade 3 minimum

UPHOLSTERY | Coated Fabrics

AATCC 8
Dry Crocking, Grade 4 minimum
Wet Crocking, Grade 4 minimum

DIRECT GLUE WALLCOVERINGS

AATCC 8
Dry Crocking, Grade 3 minimum
Wet Crocking, Grade 3 minimum

WRAPPED PANELS AND UPHOLSTERED WALLS

AATCC 8
Dry Crocking, Grade 3 minimum
Wet Crocking, Grade 3 minimum

DRAPERY

AATCC 8 (Solids)
Dry Crocking, Grade 3 minimum
Wet Crocking, Grade 3 minimum

AATCC 116 (Prints)
Dry Crocking, Grade 3 minimum
Wet Crocking, Grade 3 minimum

Colorfastness to Light

UPHOLSTERY | Woven Fabrics

AATCC 16 Option 1 or 3
Grade 4 minimum at 40 hours*

UPHOLSTERY | Coated Fabrics

AATCC 16 Option 1 or 3
Grade 4 minimum at 40 hours*
Or
ASTM D4329
No appreciable color change at 150 hours*

DIRECT GLUE WALLCOVERINGS

AATCC 16 Option 1 or 3
Grade 4 minimum at 40 hours*

WRAPPED PANELS AND UPHOLSTERED WALLS

AATCC 16 Option 1 or 3
Grade 4 minimum at 40 hours*

DRAPERY

AATCC 16 Option 1 or 3
Grade 4 minimum at 40 hours*

* There is no direct correlation between the number of testing hours and hours of service in the field.

Physical Properties

Key factors in assessing overall durability of a fabric vary depending on the fabric construction.

UPHOLSTERY | Woven Fabric

Pilling

ASTM D3511 (Brush Pill), Class 3 minimum
Or
ASTM D4970, (Martindale Tester), Class 3 minimum
Pilling is the formation of fuzzy balls of fiber on the surface of a fabric that remain attached to the fabric.

Breaking Strength

ASTM D5034 (Grab Test), 50 lbs. minimum in warp and weft
Breaking strength is the measurement of stress exerted to pull a fabric apart under tension.

Seam Slippage

ASTM D4034, 25 lbs. minimum in warp and weft
Seam Slippage is the movement of yarns in a fabric that occurs when it is pulled apart at a seam.

UPHOLSTERY – Coated Fabrics

Adhesion of Coating

ASTM D751 Sections 45-48, 3 lbf/in minimum
Adhesion of coating is the measurement of the force required to separate the coatings from the substrate.

Tear Strength

ASTM D2261 (Tongue Tear) – Knits & Woven Substrates, 4 x 4 lbs
ASTM D5733 (Trap Tear) – Nonwoven Substrates & Nonwoven Composites, 15 x 15 lbs 
Tear Strength is the measurement of stress exerted to rip the fabric under tension.

Hydrolysis Resistance – Applicable to Polyurethanes Only

ISO 1419 (Tropical Test Method C), 5 weeks
Visual Evaluation for no cracking, peeling or delamination 
Hydrolysis resistance is the evaluation of a polyurethane fabrìc’s ability to withstand exposure to extended periods of heat and humidity.
Note: There is no direct correlation of testing weeks to years of service in the field.

Stretch & Set

ACT has chosen not to establish a minimum requirement for this performance characteristic since the ability of a fabric to return to its initial state is strongly impacted by factors that are attributed to furniture construction and fabrication, such as the density of foam. The SAE J855 test can be used to evaluate the stretch and set of a coated fabric; however, ACT suggests consulting both your fabric supplier and furniture manufacturer to determine if there are any potential issues.

WRAPPED PANELS AND UPHOLSTERED WALLS

Breaking Strength

ASTM D5034 (Grab Test), 35 lbs. minimum in warp and weft Drapery Seam Slippage ASTM D434 for fabrics over 6 oz./sq. yard, 25 lbs. minimum in warp and weft

Abrasion

The surface wear of a fabric caused by rubbing and contact with another fabric.

LOW TRAFFIC / PRIVATE SPACES | Woven Upholstery Fabrics

ASTM D4157 (ACT approved #10 Cotton Duck) 
15,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method

ASTM D4966 (12 KPa pressure)
20,000 cycles Martindale method

HIGH TRAFFIC / PRIVATE SPACES | Woven Upholstery Fabrics

ASTM D4157 (ACT approved #10 Cotton Duck)
30,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method

ASTM D4966 (12 KPa pressure)
40,000 cycles Martindale method

HIGH TRAFFIC / PUBLIC SPACES | Coated Upholstery Fabrics

ASTM D4157 (ACT approved #10 Cotton Duck or Wire Screen) 
50,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method

PRINT RETENTION | Applicable for Printed Coated Upholstery Fabrics

ASTM D3389 (modified to evaluate visual determination of print loss), Rating of 3 or higher*
H-18 Wheel, 250 grams, 250 cycles Taber Tester method
*Using the ACT photographic scale of approved replicas

Notes: 
ACT studies indicate that results of multiple abrasion tests performed on some woven fabric structures may vary significantly – as much as 60 percent or more. Double rubs exceeding 100,000 are not meaningful in providing additional value in use and not predictive of significant extension of a fabric’s service life. There is no correlation between Wyzenbeek and Martindale results.

Facts was developed to recognize contract textiles that conform to the rigors of the multi-attribute standard NSF/ANSI 336 and are third-party certified. A Facts sustainability rating indicates a textile has been evaluated for environmental, economic and social aspects across its life cycle.

To earn the Facts certification mark, the textile must be assessed and verified by an independent third-party certification body authorized by the Association for Contract Textiles (ACT). Textiles assessed by a first or second party, or not verified by an authorized third party, cannot bear the Facts certification mark.

The Facts certification mark is owned by the Association for Contract Textiles, Inc.
 

TEXTILE CLEANING CODES

For long-lasting textiles, it is important for cleaning instructions to be followed exactly. A cleaning code should accompany each textile, signifying the best method of cleaning. The below symbols will be seen on textile samples to better prepare you for maintenance.

Code “S” Care Method
To prevent overall soil, frequent vacuuming or light brushing to remove dust and grime is recommended. Spot clean using a mild water-free solvent or dry cleaning product.

Code “W” Care Method
Use water based upholstery cleaner only.

Code “WS” Care Method
To prevent overall soil, frequent vacuuming or light brushing to remove dust and grime is recommended. Spot clean, with a mild solvent, an upholstery shampoo, or the foam from a mild detergent.

Code “X” Care Method
Vacuum Only. Clean this fabric only by vacuuming or light brushing to prevent accumulation of dust and grime. Water-based foam or solvent-based cleaning agents of any kind may cause excessive shrinking, fading or spotting.
 

TEXTILE FINISHES

While most textiles are produced with a stain repellent, in some cases, additional finishing may be requested for superior stain repellency or moisture blocking. Minimums, restrictions, and additional costs may apply.

Crypton®: patented moisture barrier technology providing protection against stains, odors, moisture and mildew

Crypton INCASE®: patented “repel and release” stain technology and microbial resistance for upholstery fabrics

Nano-Tex®: patented stain repellent technology bonding at the molecular level and adhering to the fibers of a textile, becoming part of it. BioAM (Biodegradable Antimicrobial) combines the high performance spill and stain resistance of Nano-Tex® with a non leaching antimicrobial. DuraBlock™ creates a moisture barrier against liquids and can also be paired with Nano-Tex®.

GreenShield®: multi-functional technology providing water and oil repellency and stain resistance in a single finish. This nano-particle-based innovation reduces the health and environmental impact of stain resistant finishes by dramatically lowering the amount of fluorochemicals and selecting components that have a clear and established safety record. BioAM and DuraBlock™ can be added for an additional antimicrobial and moisture barrier.

MorCare™: designed for vinyl fabrics, MorCare™ provides a chemical resistance, bacterial resistance, and scuff resistance developed to meet the increased demands of hospitals, contract and institutional use.

Microban®: antimicrobial product protection inhibiting the growth of microbes, such as bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause stains, odors and deterioration of product.

Writer’s Block: proprietary ink resistant technology for polyurethane upholstery with a repel and release stain inhibiting system, preventing ink and other stains from setting into the material and allowing for easy cleaning.

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