12 things to consider when choosing the right fabrics for your bar, cafe or restaurant furniture / contract seating can be a daunting task and there is a lot more to consider than just the colour or the pattern.
Hopefully, our 12 point guide will get you on the right path
1, Fire rating
First and foremost, any fabrics used in a commercial environment must be Crib 5 fire rated by law. As the purchaser you must ensure this is adhered to, luckily there is a whole range of the fabrics in multiple colours and patterns available to suit almost any environment. Any for those situations where fabrics specified are not classified they may be back coated to gain the required crib 5 status but this can take up to 2 weeks to under take and can add significant additional cost to a project as it is often charged on a per metre rate. (note not all fabrics can be back coated/treated and the process can sometimes leave marks on the fabric)
Many of you will of heard of the ‘rub test’ this is the nickname for the Martindale test which is a common test often used to meet certain industry regulations for contract use fabrics.
The higher the rub test the more durable the fabric for contract furniture the minimum recommended rub test is about 40,000 however you could use a lower rated fabric on a chair which would not get as much use such as a hotel room tub chair, however in a busy restaurant a 100,000 rubs test may be far more suitable.
Some fabrics have upwards of 300,000 rubs they key is considering the right material for the right location.
We all know somewhere down the line a spillage will occur they key is to be able to wipe off or disguise any potential stain. This can be done by choosing your fabric location wisely i.e use a faux leather which is highly durable and can be easily wiped off, or use a fabric with a pattern with two or more colours in it. Spillages on flat colours and suede will stain more easily and if left may become impossible to remove. Fabrics are improving and some of the quialities of faux leathers can now be seen in suedes and weave fabrics
4, Weave fabrics
The smaller the weave the better it makes them more durable and more suitable for highly trafficked areas
Crushed/high velvet is very stylish at the moment for seating, a lot of consideration needs to be taken for longevity’s high pile can become flattened and look worn in highly trafficked areas
Light coloured fabric are still a big risk due to the dyes in clothes such as jeans, they key here is to choose the right colour to suit your business but also your type of customer.
If you’re are choosing a patterned fabric this can have an effect on the cost of your product on chairs. For example pattern matching the seat and a back on a piece of banquette furniture may mean adding an additional metre, this may not seem like much but it can get out of control if you are getting may pieces of furniture upholstered always ask for a quote at Furniture Northeast we take this into account when quoting your product.
Samples are a must you cannot tell what a fabric will look like on a computer screen the colours will vary and the texture is often very different from what you would expect our fabric section shows our made to order standard faux leathers along with a link to our main suppliers.
Fabric requirements vary from chair to chair as an estimate a side chair will be approx. 0.4metres fully upholstered chair 1-1.2m and a tub chair from 2m. This can also vary depending on if a pattern is on the chair
We have the quantity of material required on all our website products.
10, Re-upholstery vs new chairs
At furniturenortheast we can organise for reupholstering of your existing chairs however in many cases the cost of reupholstering can be just as expensive as buying new once you take into account all the costs involved.
This I mainly down to the labour required to remove all the old fabric and foam then the purchase of the new foam, materials and reupholstery. This cost is also compounded by the downtime you may have in your restaurant while to furniture is away being re-upholstered
Sometimes not enough fabric is available to do the complete job consider selecting two fabrics which complement each other. You can purchase your fabric and supply it to us but make sure enough is purchased. Alternatively, as we work very close with a number of suppliers we can organise the purchase of the fabric and have it where it needs to be without you having to lift a finger.
There a literally 1000 of fabric available to you so many that we couldn’t display them all on our site, that’s why we have created links to some of our main supplier sites if there is something you like we can have a sample sent out same day.
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