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Textile Testing

  • Martindale
  • Tear Test
  • Fira Fabric Flexing Resistance Test For Leather 2

Why test upholstery textiles?

Textiles need to withstand day to day use as the external material for your upholstery. With the bar for high quality continually rising, textile testing can ensure the standard of your products and reduce customer complaints.

Test regimes include:

  • Physical strength characteristics for example tensile strength, tear strength, seam slippage, burst strength etc
  • Colour related properties especially colour fastness to light, wet rubbing, dry rubbing and water. Pile retention properties for woven and knitted pile fabrics
  • Wear resistance tests such as abrasion resistance, pilling
  • An assortment of leather tests such as flexing, visible soiling, abrasion, light fastness etc

Performance standards for textiles used in upholstery vary depending upon the end use of the furniture concerned. These performance categories are defined in BS2543:2004 as follows:

LD - light domestic use Suitable only for upholstery intended for occasional or very light usage
GD - general domestic use Suitable for most styles of upholstery for general domestic use
HD - heavy domestic use Suitable for upholstery where increased durability and enhanced performance are required to counter heavy use
GC - general contract use Suitable for upholstery likely to be subject to general contract usage, e.g. environments where the furniture is likely to be used throughout the day
SC - severe contract use Suitable for all types of upholstery use

A number of performance criteria need to be met for textiles to be assigned to one of the above categories; in general, the more severe the category the more severe the test.

Apply for testing today with our online form

For more information about Textile Testing at FIRA please contact Customer Services on 01438 777700 or email

“We test a fabric to British Standards for strength, abrasion and colour fastness, providing detailed information about its performance. This allows designers and manufacturers to make a judgement on the fabric before it is used. Testing upholstery fabric is inexpensive, so I would recommend finding out about FIRA’s upholstery testing services to help avoid problems with your upholstery later down the line. If you don’t test the fabric, then you can be sure that your customers will.”
Steve Cotton, Technical Specialist for Flammability and Physical Upholstery