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Fabric and Leather Information

Stylefurn have compiled this information as a means of educating our customers on their choice of fabrics and leathers available and give some idea of how the composition or finish can effect a covers inherent properties or wear characteristics.

Due to the wide ranging responsibilities of employers and some industry groups it has become more and more important to consider what role the furniture in a building has in the event of an emergency such as fire, how much smoke it produces, what the toxicity of the smoke is, does it ignite easily and how long will it smolder for, then theres the consideration of liability for both insurance companies and employers alike.

Leather Information

The mystique of Leather is another major concern for the unwary shopper, with such variety of production methods, finishes and costs, it's difficult to know one end of hide from the other. Here we give an accurate description of each leather type along with relevant information on life and wear characteristics.

Full grain leather, if Aniline or Semi Aniline still has the original surface pattern of the hide while corrected grain leather is embossed after lacquering by pressure against an etched plate giving a natural grain or a finish of many less natural patterns or effects.

Another finish, commonly used on chesterfield style lounges is called involves a process of applying a second colour, usually black to the minute valleys of the grain giving the attractiveness of depth and texture.A final coat of sealer is applied to most leathers other than Suede, ensuring greater durability and easier cleaning.

The Physical Merits of Leather

Below are lists of physical properties which make leather both unique and valuable.

  • High Tensile Strength.
  • Resistance to tear, this is due to the three dimensional fiber weave.
  • High resistance to flexural fatigue.
  • High resistance to puncture.
  • Low bulk density. Because of its fibrous nature the bulk density of leather is low without impairing its other qualities.
  • Good heat insulation. As its low bulk density indicates there is a considerable amount of air in the interstices between the fibers of leather. The air clings to the fiber surfaces, being static; the air is a poor conductor of heat, an important factor in bodily comfort.
  • Permeability to water vapor. At relative humidity leather fibers will hold more water vapor than any other fiber. This property enables leather to absorb perspiration which is later dissipated.
  • Thermostatic properties. Leather is warm in winter and cool in summer.
  • Mold ability. Leather can be molded and will retain its shape.
  • Anti-Fungal properties. Leather is treated for resistance to mildew and rot.
  • Resistance to fire. Leather resists heat and flame, making it a safety conscious option in the modern abode, for this reason leather is also used in protective clothing.

Upholstery fabrics

Abrasion Resistance

There are huge numbers of available textiles so we can't be too specific when it comes to fabric; as a guide we have some information on the industry tests specific to the wearability and fire safety. (most suppliers will have this information on the back of swatches).

Abrasion resistance is the ability of a fabric to withstand surface wear due to rubbing. The test method used for measuring abrasion resistance for non-pile, woven and knitted upholstery fabrics is the Martindale test.

For the Martindale Rub Test, the fabric being tested is rubbed against a flat piece of worsted wool in an erratic motion designed to simulate the wear of normal use.

The test method for assessing appearance change of pile fabrics such as velvet, velveteen, corduroy, knitted velour, knitted pile and flock fabrics is the Stoll test.The Stoll Test involves the erratic movement of a small pad over the fabric surface mounted on a frame, this is also done under pressure to simulate the wear of normal use.

General Commercial Use
- Test method: Martindale AS 2001.2.25 (12 KPa pressure)
- Rating: 20 000 cycles (min).

- Test method: Stoll AS 2687 -1997, Appendix 'A'
- Rating: 1500 cycles (min).

Heavy Duty Commercial Use
- Test method: Martindale AS 2001.2.25 (12 KPa pressure)
- Rating: 40 000 cycles (min).

- Test method: Stoll AS 2687 -1997, Appendix 'A'
- Rating: 2500 cycles (min).

Fire Ratings
There are a number of tests carried out in order to assign a fabric with its nationally certified fire rating.

- The ignitability index
- Spread of Flame Index
- Heat Evolved Index
- Smoke Developed Index

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