Fabric considerations

Fabric considerations

Natural light

Lighting conditions can have a significant effect on the appearance of colour, which is why we always recommend requesting a free swatch. By viewing the swatch in the same conditions as the furniture you're planning to specify, you'll get a more accurate sense of how the colour will appear.

The impact of texture should also be considered - direct sunlight can produce reflective glare on some textures which can be reduced by careful upholstery selection and positioning.

Colour & Pattern

Whether you want to create a warm, cosy snug or a serene environment inspired by nature, colour can be a useful tool for establishing the atmosphere of a room.

Colour zoning can also be a useful tool for visually separating large, open spaces by grouping furniture in similar tones.

For residents living with dementia or reduced vision, it is important to choose upholstery which sufficiently contrasts with the flooring, and to avoid complex patterns to aid recognition and prevent confusion.


In non-domestic premises, the fire safety of upholstery is the responsibility of the Responsible Person. This can be the employer, landlord, occupier or anyone else who has control of the premises (e.g. facilities manager).

Unlike domestic furniture regulations, the nature of non-domestic environments dictate how flame retardant the furniture must be. The 2 main standards discussed below are BS 7176:2007 (for upholstered non-domestic seating) and BS 7177:2008 (for mattresses, divans and bed bases).

All upholstered furniture we supply conforms to BS7176:2007 Medium Hazard FR5/Crib 5.

For high hazard environments, FR7/Crib 7 rated upholstery ranges are also available.


The industry standard test for durability is the Martindale abrasion test. For furniture in challenging environments which may be subjected to repetitive behaviour, we recommend a rating of over 100,000 rubs.