If you’ve been looking at sample books for upholstery fabric, you’ve probably seen a rating for “Abrasion” or “Double Rubs”. The fabric manufacturers have added this test as a way of helping consumers determine the durability and use of a particular fabric. The rating can be helpful and confusing at the same time.
It’s not uncommon to see fabrics with an abrasion rating of 100,000 rubs or more. This would certainly be a heavy duty and use fabric. But it’s use may be better suited for a commercial application. Or possibly a family room that gets daily use from kids and pets. Even in those circumstances, an abrasion level of 35,000 to 50,000 is sufficient.
In reality, the fabric manufacturers have determined that 15,000 rubs if sufficient to be considered a “heavy duty” upholstery fabric.
Light Use: 9,000 to 11,000 rubs
Medium Use: 12,000 to 15,000 rubs
Heavy Use: 15,000+ rubs
If you are looking for a heavy use upholstery fabric, any fabric with an abrasion of over 15,000 rubs should work fine.
First find a fabric that is visually appealing to you. Then consider abrasion.