Fabric Guide

Fabric Guide

Access to a vast fabric library

A key advantage of designing with the Novawall product is our access to a vast library and database of fabrics that have been researched and installed in thousands of projects. This database includes detailed information on fabric content, backing types, acoustical transparency and any issues with the installation of the fabric. If a fabric is not included in our database, we can always order a fabric sample and test it for your project.

Selecting a fabric

While all profiles can use a wide range of contract fabrics, some fabrics are better suited to certain profiles. Other issues with fabric have to do yarn content, acoustical transparency, and the use of a lining material to eliminate optical transparency. Fabrics are designed for specific applications and a fabric manufactured for one purpose, may not be suited for another use.

Fabric selection guidelines

When selecting fabric, always consider the following:

Acoustic performance

At the moment, no standardised test exists for measuring the acoustical transparency of a fabric. Fabrics that are chosen for an acoustic sensitive application should be loosely woven, and air should pass freely through the fabric. There are several panel fabrics available for these types of applications.

Many other fabrics have acoustical characteristics that are suitable for conference rooms, audio-visual centres and other applications where acoustic performance is needed. Fabrics that have been treated with anything heavier than a 0.5 oz sprayed acrylic backing will generally be poor in an acoustic application.

Yarn content

Stretched fabric systems are unique in that a poorly selected fabric may sag when indoor temperature or humidity varies significantly. If a room is exposed to unconditioned outside air, either directly through windows or indirectly via the ventilation system, then the risk of sagging is increased. Also, in locations that experience high humidity during certain times of the year or when building ventilation systems are periodically turned off, the risk of sagging increases.

Yarn construction (the way in which the fabric is spun or woven) is extremely important to the sagging resistance of a fabric. There are some yarns whose presence or absence in a fabric will determine the risk of sagging.

Fabrics that are 100% polyester or have a high polyester content are virtually immune to sagging. Experience has shown that fabrics made from at least 60% polyester are strong performers (unless the remainder of the fabric content is rayon or nylon).

Polyolefin’s and many natural fabrics, i.e. silk, wool, cotton are good performers but will usually require treatment with acrylic backing to stabilise the yarns and counteract sagging.

Blended fabrics that contain more that 20% nylon or rayon should be avoided.

Fabric weight

Novawall is designed to be compatible with most panel fabrics. Novawall can also be used with many upholstery weight fabrics. Heavier fabrics may only be useable with certain Novawall profiles.

Patterns and repeats

The unique design of the Novawall extrusions allow for the precise matching of repeats and designs at vertical, horizontal and diagonal seams. Therefore, the designer is not limited to selecting fabrics without patterns or repeats. Some handwoven patterned fabrics have inconsistent repeats, which cannot be accurately matched at the seams.

Transparent fabrics

Many lightweight fabrics may be transparent, particularly in lighter colours and under certain lighting conditions. To avoid possible transparency issues, the fabric can be evaluated using a light box or under the same lighting that will be used in the completed project. If large printed characters or a geometric shape can be seen under the fabric when illuminated, the fabric must be specified with a lining or scrim layer under the facing fabric to prevent visual telegraphing.