The Martindale Rub Test

What is the Martindale Test?

The Martindale Rub Test is the standard used to define the durability of upholstery fabrics to determine how hard wearing they will be. The machine used to get the value stretches a piece of fabric between two discs, one of which has an abrasive surface such as sandpaper and oscillates against the fabric until signs of wear show. The number represents how many times the discs oscillates before the fabric shows signs of distress. In practicality, the tests show how much wear and tear a fabric will take before there is a noticeable change in appearance. Please note, this doesn't take into account damage done to the fabrics by things such as sharp objects and pet claws, as well as UV damage, chemicals or stains.

What do the values represent?

10,000 or less - Decorative
Use on cushions or accents.
Not suitable for general domestic use or furniture upholstery.

10,000 to 15,000 - Light Domestic
Use on occasional use furniture.

15,000 to 25,000 - General Domestic
Suitable for light every day use.
Not suitable for recliners or a seat/back that puts high level of stress on the fabric.

25,000 to 30,000 - Heavy Duty
Use on heavy use domestic furniture.
Suitable for high levels of every day use.
Suitable for light commercial use.

30,000 or more - Commercial Grade
Use on heavy duty commercial/domestic furniture.
Suitable for any commercial environment.