The importance of office furniture fabrics.
The importance of office furniture fabrics.
Post written by Paragon Interiors   September 11, 2017

Are you selecting the right fabrics?

Fabrics, Mesh, Polymers & Pellicle

Traditionally office chairs were covered in leather to signify status. However, in warm weather, sitting on a leather chair can lead to the user perspiring, and can be cool to the touch in colder weather. Not ideal for comfort.

Some office chairs are supplied with the manufacturers mesh type fabric, which allows air to flow through, preventing perspiration. They are supplied in limited colours but are very popular in offices.

Contract fabrics offer colour, texture and patterns to liven up an environment but they must have at least a 30 000 rub count for durability on office furniture. A rub count test is an abrasion test performed on the textile, with a machine that runs back and forth in continuously changing directions, over the fabric until the fabric is worn down. In South Africa, we recognise the Martindale Abrasion and Piling test.

There are other factors that come into play regarding durability, this includes where the fabric is to be used, if there is enough padding, the type of cleaning materials used, UV exposure and of course any kind of abuse of the fabric that would decrease the fabrics’ resilience. Contract fabrics should also be fade resistant.

Newer, intelligent materials use polymers to form the chair back. The Sayl chair from Herman Miller uses varying thicknesses of durable, elastomer strands to form the mesh pattern of the chair back, which offers great, pliable support for the spine. Their Aeron chair back has a fine, mesh looking material, which is made with an elastomeric material called Pellicle which provides varying tension across the chair back, supporting the user in all the appropriate areas.

Casual seating or soft seating is generally required in small quantities in offices but they should not be overlooked. When choosing an upholstered armchair remember it needs to be easy to get in and out of for all ages, so a firmer foam is better than a soft one but it should still be inviting to sit on and provide comfort.

Professional office interior designers can advise on the correct materials and types of furniture that is suitable for your office environment.

Click here to see our full guide to buying office furniture.