What is Motion Felt?.

When you purchase any product from the MotionOffice range the default upholstery fabric used is called Motion Felt. It’s also used in various seat cushion covers and acoustic screens. But what is Motion Felt? What special properties does it have and how expensive is it to use in your office?

In this article, we’ll look at Motion Felt in detail, exploring all the unique characteristics and standard certifications it holds. We’ll also recommend various products and settings in which Motion Felt works well. Read to the end and you’ll know everything there is to know about this versatile and durable fabric.

What is Motion Felt?

Motion Felt is a blended textile made from 50% wool and 50% polyester. Manufacturers create the signature Motion Felt look and feel by yarn-dyeing wool fibers and weaving them in an inconsistent pattern with undyed synthetic fibers. Named “mélange”, this random mix of fibres enjoys cleanliness benefits as a result, as well as increased strength. The mélange creates a unique pattern that also helps hide the presence of dirt and dust, making it the perfect fabric for high-traffic areas like airport lounges.

This blended mélange is then compressed or “milled” in a process that converts the originally coarse fabric into smooth, soft felt. Borrowing some of its natural properties from wool, Motion Felt is water-repellent, flame resistant and insulated for comfort against temperature changes.

What Certifications or Standards Does Motion Felt Hold?

Like many other materials used in manufacturing, the fabric we find on office chairs and screens also has to comply with regulatory standards and minimum technical specifications.

The Martindale Test (Rub Strength)

Also known as the “Rub Test”, the Martindale test measures the durability of a fabric. To simulate natural wear and tear, testers repeatedly rub the fabric in a circular motion using small discs of worsted wool or wire mesh. The test continues until one or more yarn fibres break or there is considerable damage to the fabric.

That fabric is then given a Martindale score, a number rounded down to the nearest thousand rubs. Obviously, the higher the Martindale score, the more suitable a piece of fabric is for heavy or high-traffic usage.

Martindale Test Parameters
With a score between 6000-10000, fabric rates as decorative only. If a fabric scores between 10000-15000, it’s suitable for occasional, light domestic use. General domestic use is when the Martindale value is between 15000-25000.

A piece of fabric is suitable for heavy-duty use when the Martindale value is between 25000-30000. Most household furniture will have a Martindale value within this range. Above this level, fabrics that score above 30,000 are suitable for commercial usage.

Motion Fabric has a Martindale score of over 100,000 rubs, making it between 3-5 times more durable than.


Most fabrics receive a treatment of fire-retardant chemicals in order to meet fire safety standards and reduce the risk of fire. One of the most commonly used fire-retardant chemicals is bromide. When released, bromide is responsible for many very serious health issues. As a result, none of the flame-retardant chemicals used in OLG products contains bromide.

The International Organization for Standardization or ISO records the various levels of fire resistance in terms of flammability.

Motion Fabric holds the following flammability standard certification:

  • BS EN 1021-1 – This standard confirms the fabric doesn’t catch fire when burnt by a smoldering, lit cigarette.
  • BS EN 1021-2 – This standard confirms the fabric doesn’t catch fire when burnt by a lit match.
  • CAL TB 117-2013 – This standard confirms that upholstery material will not ignite when exposed to an open flame.

Colour Fastness

Sometimes referred to as “lightfastness”, colour fastness is a way to measure a material’s colour resistance to running and fading as the result of light exposure.

One of the tests performed involves simulating natural sunlight by repeatedly shining a powerful Xenon arc lamp on the fabric and measuring any change in the colour intensity.

OLG Fabrics such as Motion Felt comply with ISO 105-B02:2014

Colour Matching

Matching identical colours sounds like an easy enough task. Everyone knows what red looks like, right?

Well, it turns out that the red that you see could be slightly different to the red your colleague or client sees. In fact, there are more than 18 decillion different shades of colour in the natural world. Just for reference, a decillion is an impossibly large number containing a 1 followed by thirty-three zeros.

Unfortunately, when it comes to fabric, there can often be slight variations of colour shades between batches. To minimize the chance of mismatched colours, we try to ensure that each new project receives fabrics from the same batch.

For this reason, many of our fabrics include a disclaimer stating that there is a chance of batch-to-batch variations in colour. These variations are always within the limits of commercial tolerances.

Surface Fuzzing / Pilling

One of the most frustrating degradations experienced by fabrics is fuzzing or pilling. Occurring when broken threads become tangled and clumped together over time, pilling not only looks unsightly but also reduces the integrity of the entire fabric as a whole.

To qualify for the ISO 12945-1:2020 certification, fabrics run through a rotating pilling box apparatus to measure the amount of pilling, fuzzing, and matting of textile fabrics. 

Materials such as the OLG Motion Felt holds this certification, making it a commercial fabric with a reduced chance of pilling and fuzzing. 

What Other Advantages Does Motion Felt Have?

Outside of the manufacturing standards we comply with, what other practical benefits does Motion Felt enjoy?

Easy Cleaning

Wool is naturally anti-static and water repellent. This means its less likely to attract dirt and absorb spillages. Occasional vacuuming on low suction is enough to remove most dirt and dust and spot cleaning of any liquids should prevent lasting stains.


Motion Felt serves as the fabric of choice for removable seat cushion covers on several different chair models, in addition to its use in the MotionOffice range. Customers can fit Motion Felt seat covers on both the Motion Sync and Urban chairs.

Acoustic Properties

Due to its compressed, matted fibres, Motion Felt has some unique acoustic properties that make it perfect for reducing excess noise in the workplace..

The Noise Reduction Coefficient, or NRC for short, refers to the amount of sound that a particular surface absorbs or reflects. In the case of MotionOffice products upholstered with Motion Felt, it scored 0.76, or in other words, absorbed 76% of sound waves headed towards it. In comparison, concrete has an NRC rating of 0.3.

While it is true that Motion Felt contributes to this rating, it’s important to note that the acoustic foam and solid substrate performs most of the sound absorption.

Something for Everyone

Motion Felt is a durable, versatile fabric with surprising acoustic qualities. But it’s not the only material you can use for your office chair. For all the differences between fabric and mesh, check out this handy guide to help you decide.   

We’re Only a Phone Call Away

If you’re looking for an office furniture wholesaler that you can rely on, feel free to give us a call at 02 8188 2732 so we can discuss some options.

Want to keep reading? Find out what’s new with OLG or head over to the OLG Learning Centre to explore a curated archive full of educational articles and industry content, all completely free to use.

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Still not convinced?

These are just some of the reasons OLG is the preferred office furniture supplier for so many Australian resellers. If you need help choosing the best furniture wholesaler for your business needs, feel free to drop us an email at info@olgoffice.com or give us a call on (02) 8188 2732.