madcap cottage
Zest Livings prides itself in ensuring that quality is of utmost importance in crafting each furniture. We source the best raw materials from all over the world apt for your furniture needs. One of the biggest raw material we take into consideration is the upholstery textile of fabric.

Gauging a good fabric is not determined by the aesthetics or the texture alone. While some fabric might look durable and long-lasting, it may not always be the case when the fabric undergoes various tests to measure its performance.

There are numerous factors in determining how good a fabric is — from its durability to its composition. Danovel Sales Designers are well trained to advise you on what you require for your project or home furnishing needs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right fabric for your furniture.

Durability of a Fabric

The durability of a fabric is determined by the international accepted standard called the Martindale (European) or Wyzenbeek (North American) tests.

A fabric is suitable for domestic home use if:

  • Martindale test exceeds 20,000 rubs
  • Wyzenbeek test exceeds 15,000 double rub count

The higher the rub count, the better is the durability of the fabric. For contract and high traffic areas, it is recommended that the fabric passes 50,000 or even 100,000 to 200,000 rubs.

Martindale or Wyzenbeek isn’t the only determination of the durability. There is also the stretch test and the tensile test of a fabric that would count towards the performance.

Textile Testing Equipment use
A Lab assistant using a martindale testing machine.

Fire Retardancy

When we say the fabric is fire retardant, it means that it has the ability to withstand light heat source such as cigarette butts or light open flames from matches. In general, the most basic Fire retardancy (FR) Standard is the American Standard NFPA 260 / CAL 117 or the British Standard BS5852 Source 0. Higher standards would be CRIB 5 or IMO Standards, which is generally not necessary for domestic use.

In the photo below, we can see how CRIB 5 testing is performed. Although the furniture is fire retardant, it does not necessarily mean it would be burn proof. Instead, it withstands the heat and does not let it spread as quickly as compared to ordinary fabric.

Train seat

Color Fastness

One of the top concerns regarding the fabric, especially in a country like Singapore where there are high levels of UV rays from the hot weather, is its color fastness — or the ability to retain its color over long periods of time. Repeated washing and rubbing of the fabric can cause it to lose its vibrancy. Color fastness test such as the Crock test are used to test the fabric’s performance. The test records the amount of color that a fabric emit when rubbed. The grey scale grades 4 out of 5 when the result is acceptable for fabrics after dry rubbing. Sunbrella fabric has one of the better performance in terms of color fastness. It is an undisputed choice for furniture upholstery.

Safe Fabrics

The Oeko-Tex 100 Standard ensures that the textile products are tested and is proven to be environmentally friendly and free from harmful substances, as regulated by the law. Parameters are practiced when dealing with these kinds of fabric as a precaution measure to safeguard health. Fabric should not be harmful when it comes into contact with the skin or


Here are other Green Fabric certifications:

green environmentplus green confidence  green cradletocradle  green cryptonfabrics