Textile jargon: deciphering terms in furniture fabrics


In any field of activity, there are specific terms and expressions that are not always clear to a newcomer to the market or to a person not involved. Often such jargon has a regional character, although there are generally accepted terms used around the world. So that you always keep abreast and understand what your partners are talking about, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the most common terms in the field of furniture fabrics.

Direction of drawing in a roll

For fabrics that have a pattern or print, it is always important to specify the direction of the pattern of the roll, in order to accurately calculate the required amount of fabric for cutting. Usually, two options for drawing direction are shared: along the roll and across.

The pattern along the roll assumes that you need to type a meter in length parallel to the edge. Across the roll - suggests the location of the pattern perpendicular to the edge.


The term “rapport” is used to measure the size of one repeating element in a drawing. Usually, the term applies to printed fabrics or woven jacquards. It is necessary to specify the sizes of the rapport when you need to understand how to arrange the fabric so that the pattern is centralized during cutting. A large pattern may require ordering a larger footage of fabric, while a small repeating pattern does not require special selection.

Abrasion cycles

The abrasion cycle is a term indicating the unit of measurement for the standard wear test used in the manufacture of furniture fabrics. This test has strict rules for conducting, so all results are standardized. There are two types of testing using the Wiesenbeck method and the Martindale method. The essence of the test is that a tissue sample is placed in a special device and, using wool or emery paper, friction begins. In fact, the number of cycles indicates how many times you can sit in the same place before the fabric begins to deform. As a rule, 15,000 cycles are enough for fabrics to be used at home.


Finishing is a term used to describe any processing that changes either the characteristics or the aesthetics of a fabric after its production. The treatment may include chemical impregnation to increase the fire resistance of the fabric, resistance to mold, reduce sensitivity to UV rays, obtain antibacterial properties, etc. For example, FibreGuard and EverClean Plus are among the most popular treatments for easy cleaning of furniture fabrics. Finishing, which changes the appearance of the fabric, includes processes such as embossing or lamination. Lamination provides the density and plasticity of the fabric, while embossing is used to create a texture.

Light fastness

Lightfastness is determined by the color fastness of the fabric to ultraviolet radiation when exposed to the sun. Depending on the type of fiber, ultraviolet radiation to one degree or another damages the tissue fiber or fade color. Fabrics suitable for outdoor furniture are those made from synthetic fibers such as polyester or olefin. Polypropylene, although a synthetic material, has poor resistance to ultraviolet radiation and is thinned after prolonged exposure. Natural fibers, such as cotton, have a very low light fastness, so they are not recommended for outdoor furniture.

As a rule, fabrics that are considered outdoor should have an indicator of at least 2000 light hours, while upholstery for furniture that is in the room can be 500 light hours.

Fabric density

Tissue density is a standard unit of measure for tissue weight. Typically, density is measured in grams per square meter (g / m2) or ounces per square yard (osy). Different manufacturers may use one or both dimensions. Tissue density is one of the key properties in determining tissue quality. Fabrics with a low density are usually better draped and have greater elasticity than fabrics with a higher weight. Similarly, fabrics with a high density usually have higher abrasion resistance and strength. Density is one of the determining factors when choosing the right furniture fabric for work.

We hope that we have been helpful to you. And if you have any questions, feel free to call or write, our managers will be happy to advise you on the choice of furniture fabric.

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