The Importance of Contract Upholstery

Hotels, restaurants, airports and other commercial spaces all use contract furniture. It’s a cost-effective way for businesses to create an impression without buying from scratch every time a piece of furniture gets damaged. That means contract upholstery needs to be tough, robust and capable of withstanding repeated use.

Choosing the right contract furniture

Contract furniture is designed and upholstered using specific fabrics and padding, including combustion modified high resilient (CMHR) foam. Upholstery fabrics need to be easy to work with and to stand up to the Martindale rub test. Crucially they must also meet the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

Durability is paramount when choosing furniture for commercial use. Not only does it need to look good, but it has to stand up to prolonged wear and tear. That’s what makes high-quality contract upholstery such an essential part of the design.

Choosing fabric for commercial use

There are plenty of fabrics to consider, and the choice can seem daunting. It needs to be a good match for your brand aesthetics while adding visual flair to your commercial space. All that, as well as being fire safe and hardwearing.

Patterned fabric is highly versatile and great at disguising stains. It’s a good match for geometric style furniture, and the range of designs means you’re bound to find something to match your brand. Just be aware that pattern repeats mean you’ll need more fabric.

Leather is durable and hardwearing, easy to maintain and can stamp a unique style on your interiors. It’s also a natural and timeless material, and its character only gets better with age. Vinyl can be a cost-effective alternative and can look great if used with skill.

Velvet and velour also make a style statement, whether you opt for rich jewel colours or dusky pastels.

Factors to consider with contract upholstery

Fire safety regulations

British Standard BS5852 applies to all hospitality environments that are ‘medium hazard’. All the materials we use for contract upholstery are high quality and Crib 5 fire retardant. You’ll need to check that any contract furniture materials meet this standard.

Fabric composition

Always check that fabric can stand up to a busy environment. For example, suppose you want to use materials like wool, cotton, silk and linen. In that case, you’ll need to check their resistance to pilling, whether they’re liable to fade, and how easy they are to keep clean.

Martindale rub test

This abrasion test assesses how fabrics stand up to everyday wear and tear. Look for commercial upholstery fabric with a Martindale number of 40,000 or above. That means it’s suitable for use for contract upholstery.

The importance of single-source contract upholstery

High-quality contract furniture will withstand the rigours of commercial use. Selecting the right furniture can be a lengthy process involving some big decisions. It might seem like a good idea to source from multiple suppliers. Unfortunately, you can end up with different costs and delivery dates, not to mention administrative headaches.

Sourcing your contract upholstery and furniture direct from South West Upholstery means fast turnaround times and minimal disruption. We can create hardwood frames from FSC approved timber and upholster them with CMHR foam and Crib 5 fire retardant fabrics of your choice.

Does your restaurant need a fresh look with re-upholstery? Or have the foam fillings on your bench seats worn out before the top cloth? Our contract upholstery services can help you create a bespoke look to the highest standards.

However crazy your ideas, get in touch with #TEAMSWU, and we’ll be happy to bring them to life.