Translating Textile Talk: Double Rubs Explained

Translating Textile Talk: Double Rubs Explained

Wyzenbeek what? Martindale who?

As a beginner in the designer industry, I was mystified by the seemingly meaningless jumble of letters and numbers listed on the back of my new fabric samples. All I knew was that I was looking at the results of an unknown durability test my fabrics had been put through, and maybe passed? What exactly did those numbers mean?


Now, I am happy to help clarify for you what these test results mean, and how they can be vital for picking out the perfect fabric your project! 


The Martindale and Wyzenbeek tests refer to the measurement of a fabrics abrasion resistance and durability. The Martindale test rubs an abrasive cloth along the fabric in a figure eight motion to measure the endurance of the fabric before there is a change in appearance (such as pilling, holes, or yarn breaks), while the Wyzenbeek rubs back and forth along both the warp and weft of the fabric.

A double rub is one back and forth motion, and is considered to mimic daily “wear and tear.” So, those numbers on your sample? It’s the number of double rubs the fabric endured before breaking down, and is a good testament to the usage and durability of the fabric!

More than a Numbers Game! Understand Fabric Usage Based on Double Rubs


15,000+ Double Rubs 


– Perfect for upholstery, and heavy-duty, multi-purpose projects
– Great for heavy traffic furniture, in both residential and industrial environments
– Commercial grade standard is 30,000+ double rubs (in addition to compliance with fire codes!)


12,000 to 14,999 Double Rubs

– Multi-purpose, medium-weight
– Makes for great pillows, bedding, and lightly used couches, chairs, and ottomans
– Can also be used for some window treatments and décor, like bed skirts


9,000 to 11,999 Double Rubs


– Multi-purpose, light-weight
– Perfect for areas that don’t see much wear and tear, as well as pillows and bedding
– Can also be used for valences, roman shades, and other window treatments


9,000 Double Rubs and under


– Best for draperies only, including sheers

Hopefully this helped you to understand exactly what those durability tests mean, and you can better choose a fabric to suit your project! Do you need to find a fabric with a specific durability rating? With our newly improved search filters, you can find fabrics that fit your need quickly and easily, so you can get back to your project knowing your fabric will pass the test!

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