Why is rub count important for your upholstery? If you are in the process of selecting custom upholstery, you may want to consider the fabric’s Rub Count.

Rub Tests are done to help determine how much normal wear a fabric can handle before it shows. It’s resistance to abrasion is tested by a machine that rubs the fabric over and over until it finally wears through. The amount of passes that it takes to reach this point is the fabric’s rub count. The higher the number, the longer the fabric will last. When a count is described as a Double Rub, this is referring to each time the machine passes back and forth. For the everyday user, this would translate into each time you sit on your furniture piece.

The highest count fabric usually is reserved for those commercially used pieces (Example: waiting rooms in hospital or dental office). The count on these fabrics can reach as high as 250,000 double rubs. This fabric is usually very durable but not necessarily comfortable. Residential fabric will range from 15,000 or higher double rubs. your best bet would be to select fabric above 25,000 for frequently used pieces in your home.

When choosing a manufacturer, The fabric quality is just as important as the frame construction and inter-mechanics. A company like Norwalk prides themselves on not only soundly constructed frames but fabrics that will last you for years.


  • Çan you please tell if 230,000 rub count is good for a restoration of a sofa. I read you said the higher the number goes the less comfortable it will be? How do make a couch last 20 years!!!?

    • Theresa Ramirez
      Tue, Sep 22, 8:00 PM (15 hours ago)
      to me

      In regards to rub count of upholstery fabric for residential use:

      Double rub count is the number of rubs back and forth rubbed over a test fabric to determine the durability of the fabric and
      how long it expected to last.
      Heavy duty: 15,000 + double rubs for fabrics are ideal for busy homes that have pets and children
      medium duty: 9,000 0 15,000 + double rubs for fabrics are considered fairly durable, more cost effective and strong enough for family rooms
      light duty: 3,000- 9,000 double rub fabrics will only last 1-3 yrs before showing noticeable signs of wear.

      In short if the customer would like to get a sofa to last 20 years with a lot of use in the home, it is suggested to get a heavy duty fabric that may or may not be course
      to the hand. These fabrics may be heavier but many performance fabrics can be heavy duty and have a soft hand.

      Hope this is helpful.

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