What parameters should be met by stage fabrics?

Every fabric should meet certain parameters. The same goes for stage fabrics. Stage fabrics undergo numerous researches and tests which intend to verify their resistance to for example abrasions, discoloration, or stretching. What do those tests look like and how to choose the best fabrics? We’ll discuss that in the following article.

Martindale’s abrasion resistance test

Abrasion resistance is expressed on the Martindale’s scale. The research consists in rubbing a stage fabric until the material is damaged.
A piece of the fabric is placed between two discs made from sandpaper or other material, and then the fabric is rubbed with the use of a constant force.
Fabrics possessing an average abrasion resistance usually last for 15-35 thousand cycles.
The most abrasion resistant fabrics last more than 100 thousand cycles. It is worth so choose fabrics which reach the abrasion resistance of more than 50 thousand cycles.

Stretching resistance

The ISO 13934-1 norm characterizes a fabric’s resistance to stretching.
During the test a sample of the fabric is held with clamps and then stretched. The threads in the fabric are stretched until their breaking point which at the same time determines the end of the test. Then the achieved results are verified with the use of a proper scale.

Tear resistance

Tear resistance is verified with the use of the so called wing test. Fragments of the tested fabric are cut in the form of two wings, then placed in special holders and ripped. It is important to place the fabric at an angle in reference to the direction of the fiber strain.

Resistance to light discoloration

The test consists in comparing two fabric samples. One of the samples is placed in a chamber where light is emitted at a certain intensity. Then, after the research, the sample is compared with the control sample. The discoloration is verified in accordance with an 8 degree scale. Stage fabrics least resistant to discoloration are marked with 1. The most resistant ones are marked with 8.

Resistance to rubbing discoloration

The goal of the test is to indicate whether a given fabric possesses coloring tendencies. Two fabric samples are placed in two special machines. In one the fabric is wet-rubbed, and in the other one it is dry-rubbed. After the test, color loss is verified using a 5 degree scale. The higher the parameter is, the better.

Peeling resistance

This parameter describes peeling which appears often when it comes to stage fabrics. It is regulated by the PN-EN ISO 12945 norm and is expressed with the use of a 1-5 scale. The higher the number the higher the resistance is.


When deciding on specific stage fabrics it’s worth to consider the test results and norms which should be met.
In public utility facilities such as cinemas, theaters, or concert halls, fabrics should primarily be resistant to abrasions, stretching, and tearing. This concerns especially cinema and theater seats.
They are put under difficult conditions and used by thousands of people. Thus, the used fabrics should be characterized by high norms. This will ensure not only esthetics but also comfort.