When buying a piece of fabric for cushions, a sofa, or a chair, many people tend to focus more on beauty. Well, it is not a bad idea to focus on the beauty of your fabric; but you need also to pay attention to how the material will hold up against excitable pets, grimy hands, or any other day-to-day challenges. In other words, you need to understand the properties of the fabric, such as its durability and fade resistance to rubbing and lighting.

This is where abrasion testing or rub testing comes in. It can help assess the quality of the durability of the fabric. But what is a rub test? And how does it work? Let’s find out.

What is a rub test?

A rub test or abrasion testing is the process of rubbing a material at a specific weight and speed to determine at what point the fabric will start to wear. During the test, a specialized machine will vigorously rub the fabric. When the fabric starts to show signs of wear and tear, the test comes to an end by counting the number of ‘rubs’ up to that point. This will give the fabric a ‘rub count’.

Fabric manufacturers generally rely on rub tests to help them find out how a fabric should be used. For instance, low rub counts fabrics are often used for decorative purposes, such as scatter cushions and throws. In addition to that, they are also perfect for dry cleaning. On the other hand, high rub counts fabrics are perfect for frequently used furniture, such as office sofas and chairs.

What do rub counts mean for your furniture?

You are probably wondering what these rubs mean to your furniture. Well, keep on reading to understand what these rubs mean to your fabric.

  • Less than 10,000 rubs

Fabrics that have less than 10,000 rubs are naturally delicate and are only suitable for decorative purposes, such as cushions and throws. So, you shouldn’t use them on frequently-used furniture since they wear and tear easily.

  • Between 10,000 to 15,000 rubs

These kinds of fabrics are more suitable for light domestic furniture, such as puffs and dining chairs. They are also a bit delicate.

  • Between 15,000 to 25,000 rubs

These types of fabrics are often categorized as ‘general domestic’ fabrics. That’s because they are ideal for furniture that is used every day, such as bedding and curtains.

  • Between 25,000 to 30,000 rubs

These types of fabrics are usually described as ‘heavy-duty fabrics’ since they can withstand frequent daily usage without wearing out easily. Additionally, these fabrics are perfect for upholstery that can withstand frequent visitors, pets, and children.

  • 30,000+ rubs

These are the strongest fabrics of all. They are mostly used for commercial upholstery that experiences heavy usage, such as offices and restaurants.