Top 5 Guide to Premium Fabrics
by JO ONG
It is important that your curtains look fabulous and that your couch feels amazing. That your cushion covers feel soft and match the upholstery of your couch. But don’t forget, it is also important is that the fabric is durable and safe. You may purchase a fabric that looks good at first but it may wear down quickly or become irreparably spoiled when someone accidentally spills coffee on it. This is why it is definitely worth it to consider getting premium fabrics. Care is easier. Safety is improved. You can be assured that the material will last and spills and stains are easily remedied. Here are five tips to help you determine the characteristics of a fabric that is truly premium.
Inside Out / Collection
The best water repellent fabrics are built to last for a long time without losing their color, durability and also maintain the main characteristic that makes these fabrics useful - the ability to repel water. A premium fabric that does this job well gives you the peace of mind that spills and liquid stains won’t spoil your day. You also don’t have to worry about the covers for your outdoor and poolside furniture.
The UV Pro collection is a fine example of this yet does not compromise on design choices with plenty of striped, patterned and color designs to choose from. With a 5 year warranty against color fading, the premium fabric of this brand is the best solution for both indoor and outdoor use.
There are literally millions of videos on the internet on how to remove berry juice, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, coffee stains and etc from your couches and seat covers. But are these methods easy and do they work all the time? Will we have to handle caustic, irritant or toxic chemicals such as borax, bleach and cleaning solvents? Let’s say that these methods do work. We also need to consider this - are our fabrics durable enough to survive the cleaning process?
Premium fabrics from brands like FibreGuard and YarnPro are made with technology that ensures it is stain free or stain repellent. This important quality practically guarantees that stains can be removed with water, minimal household soap and minimal effort. We can’t always prevent accidents from happening but we can ensure that the premium fabric that we choose helps with the clean-up. The durability of these premium fabrics also assures us that it will live through the incident(s) and the properties that make it stain free will not weaken with each wash.
Liberate / Collection
One of the worst possible accidents that could happen in a home is fire. Faulty electrical wiring or equipment, heating, barbeques, candles are potential causes of house fires. A premium fabric that is fire retardant may not prevent the cause of fires but it will definitely help prevent fires from spreading out of control.
From a commercial point of view, fire retardant fabric is an even more important consideration. A hotel, theater or even a cruise ship may have thousands of square meters of fabric. All those curtains, sofa covers, carpeted floors and upholstery concentrated within one location makes fires even more likely to spread. Therefore a premium fabric with this important quality seems to be the only logical choice.
The FR-One brand is a great example of fire retardant premium fabric that meets stringent international standards whilst offering nearly 2,000 attractive designs. The FR-One fabric is not chemically treated, but through technological advancements the molecules of the fabric itself have been made fire retardant. This ensures no dangerous chemicals are released during wash and the dependability of the fire retardant properties will never fade.
Product Safety and Environment-Friendly
We are in regular contact with fabrics, at home, office, cinema, etc. It is crucial to be secure in the knowledge that the fabrics that we use are safe and do not contain nor emit any harmful chemicals into the air or when touched. The best way to be sure of this is to purchase premium fabrics that have gone through independent certification. The OEKO-TEX STANDARD 100 is an independent global certification system that ensures the safety of premium fabrics by testing for the presence of an extensive number of harmful substances. If our premium fabric is OEKO-TEX certified, we can rest assured that our health and that of our family’s is not at risk. This certification also ensures that your premium fabric is environmentally friendly throughout its lifecycle - from production, usage and disposal.
When we buy premium fabrics we want to make sure that it lasts a very long time. Even if a fabric looks tough and feels tough, at best this is a superficial test of durability. Again, the only way to be truly certain of a quality product is through independent testing. Labotex is a laboratory accredited by ISO and other standards. The lab conducts a variety of mechanical tests like the Wyzenbeek and Martindale tests. These tests will simulate actual usage of the fabric with different methods called “rubs” and the results are recorded when the threads of the fabric are broken or the appearance has changed. The end result is recorded as rubs - e.g. 40,000 rubs Martindale or 30,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek. The higher the number, the more durable the fabric. We can find out the certified durability of the premium fabric we are purchasing by checking with the supplier.
A truly premium fabric will have all these qualities above and should also have undergone independent certified testing to ensure that the safety, durability, color fastness and strength are up to standard. The variety of upholstery, drapery and multi-purpose premium fabrics in the collections available on the Acacia Fabrics website that have these qualities also show that design and selection are never compromised when it comes to premium fabrics.