Understanding Abrasion Testing

If you work with fabric you have probably aware of the fabric abrasion conundrum!
Wyzenbeek Cotton Duck, Wyzenbeek Wire Mesh, Wire Screen, Martindale… What do they all mean and is there any relation between them all?

My go to reference on the subject is the Association for Contract Textiles. This explains the requirements for both residential and contract spaces.

Make sure to check a new post from the Association of Contract Textiles regarding acceptable abrasion standards. ACT Performance Abrasion Guidelines has added this disclaimer.


ACT Voluntary Abrasion Guidelines
The surface wear of a fabric caused by rubbing and contact with another fabric.

Low Traffic / Private Spaces – Woven Upholstery Fabrics

ASTM D4157 (ACT approved #10 Cotton Duck)
15,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method

ASTM D4966 (12 KPa pressure)
20,000 cycles Martindale method

High Traffic / Public Spaces – Woven Upholstery Fabrics

ASTM D4157 (ACT approved #10 Cotton Duck)
30,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method

ASTM D4966 (12 KPa pressure)
40,000 cycles Martindale method

High Traffic / Public Spaces – Coated Upholstery Fabrics

ASTM D4157 (ACT approved #10 Cotton Duck or Wire Screen)
50,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek method

Print Retention – Applicable for Printed Coated Upholstery Fabrics

ASTM D3389 (modified to evaluate visual determination of print loss), Rating of 3 or higher*

H-18 Wheel, 250 grams, 250 cycles Taber Tester method

*Using the ACT photographic scale of approved replicas

What Tests are used to Measure Abrasion?

“Abrasion resistance is the ability of a fabric to withstand surface wear from rubbing.” The test methods include ASTM 4157-02 and ASTM D4966.

One test is the ASTM D4157-02 Oscillatory Cylinder (Wyzenbeek) test. “The ASTM D4157-02 is a test of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). A Wyzenbeek machine is used for this test allowing samples of the test fabric to be pulled tight in a frame and held stationary. Individual test specimens cut from the warp and weft direction are then rubbed back and forth using an ACT approved #10 cotton duck fabric* as the abradant. The number of double rub cycles achieved before two yarn breaks occur or noticeable wear is observed is recorded as the fabric’s abrasion rating. ” * The wire screen abradant is recommended by ACT for use with vinyl and polyurethane coated upholstery and may also be used for testing 100% olefin fabrics.

Wire screen or wire mesh is used as an abradant when the test specimen is more abrasive than the cotton duck

Another test is the ASTM D4966-98 Martindale test. “The ASTM D4966-98 is a test method of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). This is an oscillating test. Fabric samples are mounted flat and rubbed in a figure eight like motion using a piece of worsted wool cloth as the abradant. The number of cycles that the fabric can endure before fabric shows objectionable change in appearance (yarn breaks, pilling, holes) is counted. Number of cycles determines abrasion rating.”

ACT studies indicate that results of multiple abrasion tests performed on some woven fabric structures may vary significantly – as much as 60 percent or more.

Double rubs exceeding 100,000 are not meaningful in providing additional value in use and not predictive of significant extension of a fabrics’ service life.

There is no correlation between Wyzenbeek and Martindale results.

For more information please refer to abrasion white papers on the ACT website.

Download: Abrasion Guidelines

View: Wyzenbeek – New Test Video

View: Martindale Test Video


The perception that abrasion test results are the most significant predictors of a fabric’s overall durability is therefore inaccurate. Accordingly, specifiers should consider the following qualifiers when assessing double rub ratings:

Wyzenbeek testing measures flat abrasion resistance and does not consider edge abrasion or other types of surface wear that may occur in actual upholstered applications.

Studies have shown that Wyzenbeek test results on the same fabric can and do vary significantly from test to test. For example, a variance of at least 60 percent was observed in a 2009 ACT Wyzenbeek Peformance Verification Fabric Study. Therefore, ACT does not recommend using absolute numbers for comparision. Consider a range of + / – as acceptable.

Higher double rub numbers do not necessarily indicate a significant extension of the fabric’s service life. In fact, Wyzenbeek results above 100,000 double rubs have not been shown to be an indicator of increased fabric lifespan.

A fabric with twice the number of abrasion cycles does not indicate double the service life.

• 15,000 double rubs minimum = suitable for commercial light traffic/private spaces.
• 30,000 double rubs minimum = suitable for commercial heavy traffic/public spaces.

ACT Voluntary Abrasion Guideline for Coated Fabrics

• 50,000 double rubs minimum = suitable for commercial heavy traffic/public spaces.

In an effort to bring further clarity to the appropriate consideration of double rub numbers, as of April 1, 2015, textile companies and furniture manufacturers that use the ACT certification mark for abrasion on their samples will now include the following statement whenever publishing test results in excess of 100,000 double rubs:

“Multiple factors affect fabric durability and appearance retention, including end-user application and proper maintenance. Wyzenbeek results above 100,000 double rubs have not been shown to be an indicator of increased lifespan.”

ACT reminds you that there are many points to consider when specifying textiles. Wyzenbeek double rub numbers are only part of the equation in fully assessing a textile’s predicted durability and appearance retention. All of the following issues should be included in any such assessment:

• Type of Setting or Facility
• Specific Demands of End-Use Applications
• Durability Characteristics of the Textile
• Lightfastness
• Physical Properties (Pilling, Seam Slippage, Breaking Strength)
• Colorfastness
• Surface Abrasion Resistance
• Protocols of Maintenance and Cleaning
• A Material’s Ability to Withstand Cleaning Products and Disinfectants
• Aspects of End Product Manufacturing

Collectively, these considerations will facilitate your selection of the most appropriate fabric for the project.
For survey details and additional research, read our White Papers.

Download: Disclaimer Statement Booklet


SOURCE: Association of Contact Textiles Website


COVID-19 UPDATEAlendel Fabrics' Latest COVID-19 Update 3/25/20

Alendel with Interior Inspiration (white) with blue line

Alendel will resume shipping as of Thursday, March 26th 

Dear Alendel Customers 

As we continue to navigate COVID-19 together, I want to be sure we continue to be transparent in our communication as the situation is changing daily.  

In the past 24 hours, we have received many calls from customers that either currently manufacture or started to manufacture for essential businesses asking if we can make exceptions to ship. 

While we remain committed to customer and employee safety; we have been in contact with authorities to assist in assessing our situation based off facts and science; defined principally by the expert guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and local Government. 

As a partner in this fight together, Alendel Fabrics will re-open its warehouse and shipping departments as of tomorrow, Thursday, March 26th with social distancing best practices already in place while other departments continue to work from home. 

For safety, the Alendel showroom and local pickups will remain unavailable until further notice.  

As a reminder, The Alendel Customer Portal (alendel.com) is a great tool that enables you to place orders, check stock & pricing 24/7. Memo samples can be ordered directly from our website at alendel.com. Should you require additional assistance our customer service team is also available by phone and will continue to answer questions and accept orders over the phone, by fax, and by email. 

Through this challenging time, our top priority remains the health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities. 

We are proud of our team of employees and partners, who have continued to remain focused, committed and resilient. 


Vince Lo Curto 
Chief Executive Officer 
Alendel Fabrics Limited