Materials – Resources
Got questions? We’ve got answers. From glossaries to safety standards, we’ve made it easy for anyone to become a textile pro.
Learn more about all of our finish options:
WHAT IT IS: A silver ion technology-based finish that inhibits the growth of bacteria and other dangerous microbes; also suppresses the growth of harmful mold, mildew and fungus.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Perfect for healthcare spaces
WHAT IT IS: An invisible, topical finish that prevents liquids and stains from penetrating fibers of the textile; easy to clean and maintain.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Good for protecting from everyday wear + tear in most high-traffic spaces.
WHAT IT IS: A third-party certified, high performance upholstery fabric with all of the performance characteristics of Crypton® Super Fabrics and reduced environmental impact. Fluids spilled onto this finish will bead up, both protecting the product’s foam and making clean-up easy.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Spill-prone environments that could use a strong moisture barrier.
WHAT IT IS: A multi-functional, nano-technology finish that provides water and oil repellency as well as stain resistance. Reduced environmental impact thanks to zero indoor VOCs, PFOS or PFOA and SCS reduced fluorocarbon-certified.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: High-traffic areas that are prone to stains.
WHAT IT IS: A nano technology-based finish that allows spills to bead up and sit on the fabric instead of soaking in and staining it; gently blot to clean.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Great for higher education spaces and spill-prone environments (i.e. collaborative spaces in corporate settings) that are constantly exposed to fluids
INCASE® CRYPTON® TECHNOLOGY
WHAT IT IS: Powered by Crypton®, this unique finish features a moisture-resistant top layer that prevents spills, stains, odors and dirt as well as Silver Ion Technology for microbial resistance.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Spill-prone environments or spaces that are constantly exposed to fluids.
MGX MORGUARD XTREME
WHAT IT IS: A protective topcoat designed to prevent the
penetration of stains—even typically stubborn stains like lipstick and ball
point pen marks. Easy to clean using with warm soapy water and clear water
rinses. (Prompt cleaning is always recommended.)
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: High-traffic areas that are prone to stubborn dye
stains (including denim).
WHAT IT IS: A super stain-resistant shield that combines PERMABLOK3®‘s
abrasion and bacteria-fighting performance with PERMAGUARD®‘s
protective, outer seal.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: High-traffic areas.
PERMABLOK3® ADVANCED VINYL PROTECTION
WHAT IT IS: A protective coating for vinyl that's
engineered and tested to create a tough and effective barrier against germs,
abrasion and stains.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Perfect for
healthcare + hospitality environments.
WHAT IT IS: The latest technology in faux leather and
vinyl protection. An invisible finish engineered to inhibit bacterial growth,
fungus, mold and mildew spores. Offers stain-resistance technology that, with
proper care, helps maintain the desired surface appearance for years to come. Easy
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Perfect for healthcare environments.
SILVERGUARD® SILVER ION
WHAT IT IS: A super-antimicrobial finish thanks to SILVERGUARD®,
a silver-based chemical treatment that releases as needed; effectively controls
bacterial growth by attacking bacteria and other destructive microorganisms (even after repetitive cleanings). Also safely and efficiently diminishes
odors, promotes freshness and helps extends the life cycle of your product.
FDA approved and EPA registered.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Perfect for healthcare environments.
WHAT IT IS: A water repellent finish that reduces the risk of water or other liquids penetrating trhough the material and soiling the product's foam.
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Great for higher education spaces and spill-prone environments (i.e. collaborative spaces in
corporate settings) that are constantly exposed to fluids.
WRITER'S BLOCK INK RESISTANT TECHNOLOGY
WHAT IT IS: An ink-resistant
technology with a unique repel and release stain-inhibiting system. The dual-action
topcoat prevents ink and other stains from setting into the material. Resists tough food and healthcare-related stains including
mustard, coffee, red wine, iodine and blood (even after long periods of time).
WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR: Food stain-prone spaces like cafeterias, breakrooms and dining halls, as well as public spaces
where stubborn dye stains (like denim) are a concern.
Explore our most popular textile options for healthcare environments:
- Great Wall
- Intaglio 2
- Moon Beam 2
- Palatine 2
- Silverado 2
- Criss Cross
- Natural World
- Key Largo
- Beeline EPU
- Canter EPU
- Cover Cloth
- Endurance EPU
- Eon EPU
- Faux Felt
- Silica Checker
- Silica Compass
- Silica Deflect
- Silica Etch
- Silica Fiona
- Silica Hiatus
- Silica Hoop
- Silica Kip
- Silica Leather
- Silica Reach
- Silica Stride
- Silica Tech
SitOnIt Seating / IDEON
- Sili-Tex Leather
- Sili-Tex Original
- Brisa Distressed
- Brisa Fresco
- Brisa Mokue
- Brisa Orignal
- Ultraleather Pro
- Ultraleather Promessa
- Ultratech Cove
- Ultratech Helix
To learn more about how we support the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, download our one-sheet.
Textile terms can be confusing. We’re here to help.
Term that refers to the ability of a fabric to resist everyday wear + tear caused by surface contact (flat rubbing) with another material. The two test methods commonly used by the textile industry to measure and assess levels of abrasion resistance are the Wyzenbeek method (see ‘W’) and the Martindale method (see ‘M’).
ACT® PERFORMANCE GUIDELINES
A set of popular tests created and adopted by the Association for Contract Textiles (ACT) to make fabric specification easier across the entire contract interiors market. Performance features tested includes things like abrasion, flame resistance and wet + dry crocking.
Chemical treatment applied to a fabric to combat the growth of disease-causing microbes, general bacteria, infectious diseases and various other targeted organisms.
The polymer or resin treatment that is applied to the back of a textile. The type of backing affects how easily the textile can be upholstered. (We offer a variety of backing materials that are all thoroughly tested for performance so you can choose the one that’s right for the needs of your environment.)
BRUSH PILL TEST
One of several testing methods designed to assess a fabric’s tendency to pill or form ‘fuzzy balls’ on its surface due to normal abrasion during use. The results are rated for pill frequency on a five-step scale: Class 5 = No pilling; Class 4 = Slight pilling; Class 3 = Moderate pilling; Class 2 = Severe pilling; Class 1 = Very severe pilling. (All of our textiles pass a Class 3 rating—the minimum requirement set by the ACT®.)
A type of marketing literature that shows available textile options (colorways and patterns) within a single textile collection. A good, quick reference for dealers and designers to have on hand before ordering larger memo samples. Can be ordered by contacting your local sales rep.
A term used to describe textile collections that are managed by the brand directly via pre-arranged partnerships with the textile vendor or manufacturer. Because of this direct relationship, brands can guarantee lead time for these textiles as well as pre-test and fully approve them for their own models so it’s easier to specify and order. You can browse all of our carded collections here or see them in action on Chairbuilder.
An acronym that stands for Customer’s Own Material/Customer’s Own Leather. A shorthand way of referring to any material the customer wishes to use on his/her order that isn’t provided or available directly by the furniture manufacturer.
A commonly used phrase that loosely refers to the level of durability a textile has. Describes the way a user brushes up and down against the seat edge or seat back while sitting and standing (sitting down equals a single rub, standing back up is the second rub.) All of our textiles pass at least 30,000 double rubs—the minimum requirement recommended by the ACT®.
An engraving process that uses heated rollers under pressure to produce a raised design on the fabric’s surface.
Any process performed on yarn or fabric after weaving to improve the look, performance or "hand" (feel) of the finished textile.
Industry-wide textile rating that denotes price level according to and based on the type of material. In other words—the higher the grade, the higher the cost. (We offer 14 fabric grades and 15 leather grades—check our Textile Reference Guide for more information.)
A term used to describe pre-approved fabrics ordered directly through the textile manufacturer. Because brands often don’t carry these fabrics in their own inventory, availability or lead times are usually not guaranteed—these are all subject to the vendor’s own policies and offerings. (Our graded-in fabrics are still easy to specify with and order because they all have a part number in our system—so you can still flow through our standard order process instead of submitting a COM request. Search all of our Graded-In fabrics here.)
The “feel” of a fabric when handled. Factors that affect a fabric’s hand include things like content, weight, construction and finishing processes.
HEALTHY HOSPITALS INITIATIVE
A set of textile criteria put together by twelve of the largest, most influential U.S. health organizations (including Kaiser Permanente, Center for Health Design and Advocate Health Care) to create safer healthcare communities and working environments. The requirements include things like eliminating the use of formaldehyde, perfluorinated compounds, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), antimicrobials and all flame retardants. (Check out our list of HHI compliant textiles here.) Links to the HHI document on our site OR the Materials Resources “Healthcare Solutions page”.
Fabric added to a garment when more warmth is needed (just like inside your warmest winter coat!). Can be constructed separately from the actual garment; sometimes it’s detachable. Can be made from a heavier fabric with batting added or something more lightweight like flannel or fleece.
Nickname for a hydrolysis test conducted on polyurethane materials to assess its overall quality (because not all polyurethanes are created equal!). Fabric in question is compared against a polyurethane control sample to measure the rate of breakdown/failure by noting things like surface cracking, delaminating of the film layer from the backing or extreme changes in color/gloss level.
The process of inter-looping yarns or inter-meshing loops used to create most fabrics.
A term used to describe how fade-resistant colourants like dyes and pigments are when exposed to light for prolonged periods of time. (All of our textiles have passed the minimum requirements put forth by the ACT®.)
Term used to describe ‘raw’ fabric as it comes directly off the loom before going through any post weaving treatment.
One of two commonly used abrasion-testing methods for contract textiles. (The other popular abrasion test is the WYZENBEEK—see ‘W’.) Fabric samples are mounted flat and rubbed using a piece of worsted wool cloth until two yarn breaks occur or there is an appreciable change in shade or appearance.*
A manufacturing facility where different types of fibers, like yarn or fabric, are produced and processed into usable consumer products.
A protective finish applied to a fabric that prevents liquids from passing through.
The process of passing a fabric through a series of needles that penetrates to fill in the gaps by entangling the fibers (as opposed to traditional weaving; the textile that results from this process is sometimes referred to as “non-woven”).
The first completely synthetic fiber ever developed. First produced in 1938. Known for its excellent resilience and superior abrasion resistance as well as high strength and flexibility.
A synthetic fiber made from polyolefin. Usually pretty strong and colorfast with a moderate resistance to staining, mildew, abrasion and fading due to sunlight.
Describes a dyeing process in which the fabric is woven in with natural yarns first, then dyed to create color (as opposed to YARN-DYEING—see ‘Y’.) Piece-dyeing gives mills more flexibility in meeting color demands because it’s a faster process overall.
An undesirable surface defect of textiles caused by wear + tear (like when your favorite sweater starts to form little balls). Caused by loose fibers that start to push out from the surface of the cloth. Over time, abrasion causes these fibers to develop into small spherical bundles.
A manufactured fiber introduced in the early 1950s; second only to cotton in terms of worldwide use. Polyester has high strength (although somewhat lower than nylon), excellent resiliency and high abrasion resistance.
Any soft, supple performance fabric that is made by coating a textile substrate with a polyurethane resin (that acts as a built-in moisture barrier). Made from multiple layers that add varying levels of dimension and depth; comes in many styles and textures. Often used in high-traffic environments and other consumer products and industries including apparel, footwear, handbags and accessories.
A method of sewing or attaching two layers of cloth together with an insulating layer of batting in between to produce extra warmth and a distinct, patterned aesthetic.
A made-up term in the furniture world that describes the trend of incorporating residential style inside a commercial space.
Term used to describe the transfer of dye from a user’s clothing onto the textile it’s in contact with. Most common example of this phenomenon is denim dye transferring onto light colored, coated materials.
A synthetic compound that is highly durable and sustainable; an environmentally-friendly alternative to both vinyl and polyurethane. Inherently anti-microbial; made using zero solvents or PVC; bleach-cleanable and ink-erasable. An ideal choice for higher education, healthcare and other high-traffic environments.
Term used to describe when fabric pulls apart at a seam due to weight strain and/or normal wear + tear. (All of our textiles meet or exceed a minimum of 25 lbs.—a limit set by the ACT®.)
Technically, a lump or thick spot in a yarn or any irregular appearance of a fabric. Once thought of as a defect from the weaving process, this aesthetic is now seen a popular, organic look.
The ability of fiber, yarn, or fabric to resist breaking under tension. Measured by gripping the fabric with clamps on both ends and pulling while weight is applied. Test is performed in both directions (up and down, side to side). The weight that causes the fabric to break or tear determines the rating. (All of our textiles meet or exceed a minimum of 50 lbs.—a requirement set by the ACT®.)
UP THE ROLL
A term that describes the way fabric naturally comes off of its roll or off the loom (direction in which a fabric is normally applied when upholstered).
Any textile covered with a synthetic, plastic coating that creates a ‘laminated’ effect and feel. Sometimes called Polyvinyl Chloride resin or PVC. Excellent resistance to abrasion, moisture, cleaning chemicals and UV exposure. Commonly used in automotive, marine and RV products as well as residential and commercial furniture.
Direction of yarn when it runs lengthwise in a loom or woven fabric; parallel to the selvage (the bonded edge of fabric pieces that helps to keep the whole thing from unraveling).
Yarns on a loom that cross over and under the threads that run lengthwise to the loom (AKA the warp) to make fabric. Sometimes referred to as the ‘filling”.
One of two commonly used abrasion testing methods for contract textiles. (The other popular abrasion test is the MARTINDALE—see ‘M’.) Test fabric is pulled taut inside a frame while individual test specimens are cut and rubbed back and forth using an ACT approved fabric until two yarn breaks occur or when appreciable wear is reached.*
Short for cross-dyeing; a method of coloring fabrics that are made from more than one kind of fiber (i.e. a wool and cotton blend) where each fiber takes a specific dye in a different color; often variations of a single color or colors are used to create a patterned, multi-colored effect.
A continuous strand of textile fibers created when a cluster of individual fibers are twisted together; used to create fabrics by either knitting or weaving.
Process where the yarn is dyed first before being woven or knitted; typically a longer process than piece-deying (see P – PIECE-DYEYING)
A thick soft fabric made of wool and other animal hair, such as mohair, with a flattened silky, outer surface.
*There is no correlation between the Wyzenbeek and Martindale tests. In other words, it is not possible to estimate the number of cycles that would be achieved on one test if the results from the other test are known.
From an easy-to-use spec tool to one-on-one help from a space planning specialist, discover a toolkit of additional resources right at your fingertips.
Test drive all of our textiles with our user-friendly spec tool.
Need help with floor plans + renderings? Contact our FREE in-house space planner.
Use our NEW digital calculator to figure out exact yardage requirements.
Fire safety is a top priority for us. We strongly support CAL 133 standards and make it easy for designers, dealers and end users to specify CAL 133 products.
The Association for Contract Textiles (ACT) has set independent guidelines for textile performance. All carded textiles from IDEON Design meet or exceed these guidelines—that's why you'll find the ACT symbols printed on the backs of all our fabric cards.