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QUALITY CONTROL: Standards & Guidelines

Ennis Fabrics maintains the highest standards possible in the textiles and supplies we present to our customers. Our inventory is managed with a piece based system allowing for the highest quality control. We sell both cuts and rolls and have the ability to match dye lots. The following are the standards we use for shipping to our customers.

These standards are based on those set by the American Home Funishings Alliance (AHFA), the residential furniture industry’s recognized leader in the development of product and technical standards; the Asssociation for Contract Textiles (ACT); and the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association’s (CFFA’s) paper on Standard Test Methods for Chemical Coated Fabrics and Films. These are sources subscribed to by most North American manufacturers. These resources specify test methods, practices and minimum voluntary acceptance guidelines for various types of upholstery fabrics and standards for vinyls and coated fabrics.

In no case would we supply items as first quality that could not meet these guidelines. Clearouts or seconds are of a lower standard and are priced accordingly.

Allowances: The following allowances will be made for fabric flaws: 

FLAW SIZE

ALLOWANCE

Less than 1⁄₈ yd

More than 1⁄₈ yd

Two flaws (measured as 1 long flaw)

1⁄₈ yd

Length of flaw

Length of flaw

 

MARKING OF FLAWS

Factory flaws are marked with either a red or yellow plastic “swiftach” type of marker or a length of colored thread or string in the selvage of material. When marked with a red tag, the flaw is considered a “spot” or filling (weft) direction flaw. It usually will be less than 1⁄₈ yard and is marked with a red tag for identification and numbering of flaws per roll.

When a yellow flag is used, this represents a warp direction flaw, and there is a flag to mark both the start and end of the flaw. In most cases a flaw of this type would not be included in your shipment, but in case of a full roll order, the exact yardage between flags is deducted from the gross yardage on the roll, and no more than two pieces per roll.

FLAW DENSITY

This refers to the acceptable number of flaws in a given cut. A maximum of one flaw per 5 yards is allowed. If the cut is equal to or less than 5 yards, then the cut must be free from flaws.

 

MAXIMUM FLAWS FOR FIRSTS:

Pile Fabrics

 

Woven Fabrics

 

Vinyls and Industrial Fabrics

1 flaw per 7 yards up to a maximum of 7 flaws per 50 yard roll

1 flaw per 9 yards up to a maximum of 5 flaws per 50 yard roll

2 flaws per 39 yards, 3 flaws per 49 yards, 4 flaws per 59 yards

 

BREAKS IN ROLLS

A break in a roll is considered to be a flaw and the allowance given is usually ¹⁄₈ yard. All orders 10 yards or less must be filled with a single piece of fabric. If this is not possible then the customer must approve shipment ahead of time.

If the length of the cut is greater than 10 yards, a break is acceptable provided there is a suitable allowance. No single piece will be less than 2 flaw free yards. If more than 2 pieces are required to fill an order, the customer must approve this prior to shipping, regardless of length.

SHADE & DYE LOT

For decorative and woven fabrics, a match is 3/4 to 5.0 on the Greyscale ASTM D2616-12. This is true also for industrial and recreational fabrics.

CROCKING

Crocking is the transfer of color from a fabric to fabric through the process of rubbing. On some fabrics, free dye or fibers may remain on the surface possibly causing crocking to occur. For suedes, dry crocking is 3/4 to 5, wet crocking is 3 to 5. Both are measured against the AATCC 8 Color Transference Scale. This rating is most prevalent for very dark or rich colors (i.e. black, navy, red).

ROLL ORDER SIZE

Roll lengths vary. Please confirm when placing orders for full rolls.

CLEAROUTS

Clearouts or seconds may contain flaws and have been priced accordingly.

 

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TERMS & CONDITIONS*

* This information is offered for general guidance only. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge and it is not intended to relieve the user from their responsibility to investigate and understand other pertinent sources of information and to comply with all laws and procedures applicable to the safe handling and use of these materials.

 

TERMS

Payment terms are net 30 days from the date of the invoice. Shipments in Canada are F.O.B. Edmonton, Toronto, or Vancouver. Shipments in the U.S. are F.O.B. Indianapolis.

OVERDUE ACCOUNTS

A 1.5% service charge per month (18% per annum) will be charged on overdue accounts.

ORDERING

When placing an order, please provide the following information: pattern name, color number and shipping instructions. If exact color match is required, please request a cutting of present stock or send a cutting to be matched. If matching a previous order, please quote the order number. If it is unavailable, send a cutting of the fabric for matching. Please note that dye lots may vary.

BACK ORDERS

Back ordered items will be shipped as soon as available unless advised otherwise by customer.

 

HOLD STOCK POLICY

Reservations placed on fabric orders will be honored for 48 hours with the following exceptions:

AN ORDER IS ELIGIBLE FOR A 5-DAY HOLD IF:

  • Fabric ordered requires dye lot matching.
  • When customer makes a sale to their client but must wait to verify the exact yardage for a more accurate order.

  • When waiting for freight quotes.

  • When customers do not have space to take all inventory at once.

  • Customer is quoting a project but must verify exact details from the customer (e.g. yards, color and pricing).

AN ORDER IS ELIGIBLE FOR A 10-DAY HOLD IF:

  • Customer has requested to see fabric cuts before approval of an order.
  • When “Ship Complete” is requested but part of the order is on backorder.

Returns

Arrangements must be made prior to return shipments. Please see the Returned Goods and Claims Policies. Please read our Quality Control Standards and Guidelines carefully. Fabric may not be returned for credit once it has been cut or marked. Inspect yardage for flaws, length, quality and that it is the correct pattern and color before cutting. To ensure prompt credits on approved returns, please provide the following: invoice or packing slip number, pattern name, color number, yardage shipped and the reason for return. Refused shipments or cancellations after orders have been cut are subject to a 15% restocking charge. Cuts under 5 yards are not returnable.


LOST GOODS

Customers must advise Ennis Fabrics within 90 days of a shipping date that goods are lost in shipping and that a claim is required. We cannot honor any freight claims past this point.


SHOWROOM SAMPLES

A deposit of twenty dollars ($20.00) per sample and a deposit of one hundred dollars ($100.00) per complete sample book will be collected at the time a customer completes a “Sample Loan Out Sheet.” Unless otherwise stated, all samples are expected to be returned to our showroom within 2 weeks, at which time your deposit will be returned to you. If samples are not returned within 4 weeks the deposit will be forfeited.

 

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ENNIS FABRICS 2-YEAR FABRIC WARRANTY

Ennis Fabrics’ fabrics will be repaired or replaced if they fail to give normal wear for two years from the date of delivery. This warranty expressly does not cover: 

  • Cuts
  • Burns
  • Stains
  • Piling
  • Soiling
  • Pet damage
  • Damage caused by improper applications
  • Damage caused by improper installations
  • Damage caused by unreasonable use.
  • Fading caused by sunlight (unless product is specified UV resistant)

Claims will not be honored when covers have been removed for cleaning. This warranty does not apply to fabrics treated with fluorocarbon finishes. If the identical fabric is not available, Ennis Fabrics will provide an equivalent fabric.

 

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3rd PARTY PROCESSING

Ennis Fabrics may send goods to the laminator, quiltor, slitter or anywhere else the customer asks us to ship the goods for further processing. However, Ennis Fabrics is not responsible for goods that we did not directly make arrangements for.

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COLOR MATCHING CHANGE: Evaluating Color Difference or Change in Fabrics

The Greyscale for Evaluating Color Difference or Change in Fabrics is used as the industry standard of judgment. It is published by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorist (ASTM 2616-12, AATCC 8, AATCC 16), and is used by all testing laboratories and most major mills.

The Greyscale measures color change on a scale of 1 to 5. There are a total of 9 potential values that can be assigned to a fabric sample being tested for color change (1, 1/2, 2, 2/3, 3, 3/4, 4, 4/5, 5). The number 1 represents the greatest difference and the number 5 indicates that there has been no color change.

Using the Greyscale measurement, Ennis Fabrics has established a standard of acceptance as a 3/4 or greater rating on the Greyscale for decorative fabrics, a 3/4 or greater rating for apparel, recreational and industrial fabrics. Dye lots below 3 would be rejected for all industries.

 

HOW THE GREYSCALE TEST WORKS

The fabric to be tested is placed against the accepted original fabric color standard. A special grey paper, supplied by the AATCC, is placed equally over the two fabrics. This allows a neutral viewing background so that a fair visual judgment can be made of the grade value to be assigned. Viewing is performed in a certified lightbox under D65 lighting.

 

HOW THE GREYSCALE TEST IS IMPLEMENTED BY ENNIS FABRICS

Ennis Fabrics has always had a high standard of quality assurance for the products we distribute. We work closely with our suppliers from the conception of a product, through it’s development and continually throughout it’s life cycle at the company. Every dye lot of goods is compared to a color standard for acceptance or rejection based on the “greyscale.” If the goods are graded below 3/4 on the greyscale, the dye lot is rejected and the process has to start again.

Unfortunately, the rejection of a dye lot can delay delivery of goods anywhere from 2–6 weeks. However, this process assures us that we are providing our customers with quality goods each and every time.

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INDUSTRY STANDARDS: Seam Allowance & Stitch Density

 

STANDARD PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS FOR UPHOLSTERY FABRICS—PLAIN, TUFTED OR FLOCKED

ASTM D3597-02-D434 is a test method published by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). It indicates the standard performance specification of woven upholstery fabrics. There are specifications within this test method that indicate the industry standard for the sewing of woven upholstery fabrics. It requires the sewing of a seam using a minimum of seven and a maximum of eight stitches per inch using a seam allowance not less than ½”. One can expect seam slippage issues when an upholstery fabric is sewn with a stitch density of less than 7 stitches per inch and seam allowances of less than ½”, so please ensure you always follow the industry standard to avoid problems with seam slippage.

SPECIFICATION GUIDELINES FOR CONTRACT UPHOLSTERY AND DRAPERY TEXTILES

Here are some of the performance guidelines for contract textiles (commercial applications), as per the not-for-profit trade association, the Association for Contract Textiles (ACT). These guidelines are meant to help assist you when selecting an upholstery fabric for a commercial project, although product requirements will vary for each commercial project.

FLAMMABILITY

California Technical Bulletin 117-2013 (Pass)

CROCKING

AATCC 8 (Upholstery) and 116 (Drapery) Dry Crocking: Grade 4 minimum Wet Crocking: Grade 3 minimum

COLORFASTNESS TO LIGHT

AATCC 16 E or H—Grade 4 minimum at 40 hours

PILLING

ASTM D3511-03—Class 3 minimum

BREAKING STRENGTH

ASTM D5034-95 (2001) (Grab Test)—50lb minimum in warp and weft

SEAM SLIPPAGE

ASTM D3597-02-D434-95—25lb minimum in warp and weft

ABRASION FOR WOVEN UPHOLSTERY FABRICS

High Traffic/Public Spaces:

ASTM D4157 (Wyzenbeek)—50,000 double rubs

 

Low Traffic/Private Spaces:

ASTM D4157 (Wyzenbeek)—15,000 double rubs

 

ABRASION FOR COATED UPHOLSTERY FABRICS

Heavy duty end use applications include the following: hotel rooms/suites, conference rooms and dining area usage.

ASTM D4157-02 (Wyzenbeek)—30,000 Double rubs

For facilities that are in use for 24 hours per day, the abrasion resistance requirement for upholstered furniture may be higher than the requirement for heavy duty contract upholstery.

 

 

 

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ROLL TAG FLAW INFORMATION

Each cut of fabric is accompanied by a tag describing the item ordered and the yardage shipped. These tags also contain information regarding flaws, the date and time of the order, the packing slip number, etc. Please read these tags thoroughly.

Whenever the Quantity Ordered and the Quantity Shipped differ, there will be a mark denoting whether the cause was a flaw, an allowance or a given fabric situation.

Given indicates that there was a small amount of yardage left on the roll and was forwarded to the customer at no charge.

Flawed indicates that there were imperfections within the yardage (as outlined in Quality Control Standards), therefore extra fabric has been allowed for them.

Break Piece Allowance indicates that you have been allowed extra fabric due to a break piece order. This is when an order for fabric is fulfilled by cutting pieces off two rolls instead of one. The extra allowance is done to compensate for the pattern break resulting from the fabric not being cut from the same roll. This order method is only done pending approval from the customer.

Description and Tag for / Comments will also help to identify the goods. Be sure to check these before cutting the material.

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RETURNED GOODS

This section covers the Ennis Fabrics policies concerning returns and claims for fabrics and supplies.

When a mistake has been made by Ennis Fabrics the goods may be returned at no charge to the customer. In this case, a returned goods authorization is required and may be obtained by the customer through our Customer Service Center. Fabric may not be returned once it has been cut by the customer.

In the course of discussing the nature of the complaint, it is often to the advantage of all concerned if an agreement can be reached for the customer to retain the goods at a discounted price to save on administrative return costs and freight. Please call for an authorization before returning goods.

Due to freight costs, we cannot accept returns on cuts of fabric less than 5 linear yards, unless the problem was caused by Ennis Fabrics, such as the shipment of incorrect goods.

Any goods not accompanied by a returned goods authorization number will automatically be assessed freight charges and restocking fees. The restocking fee is 15% on products returned for reasons other than an error by Ennis Fabrics. This covers the administrative costs of receiving and processing the transaction, as well as the inspection of the fabric prior to going into stock. These procedures plus the accounting and other administrative functions are expensive in that they are quite time consuming. These charges will be deducted from the credit that the return will generate.

Returns will not be accepted on goods older than 90 days from the date of purchase. Adhesives are not accepted after 30 days due to shelf life. Supply items sold in pre-packaged lots will not be accepted in less than the complete lot. The cutting of a fabric indicates acceptance. Fabric may not be returned for credit once it has been cut or marked.

Ennis Fabrics is a customer service oriented company. Every effort is made to correct any mistake we have made. Wherever possible, we will work with our customers to minimize the negative effects of a mistake.

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WARRANTY CLAIMS

Warranty periods vary by manufacturer and product. If you have a question or concern regarding the warranty on a purchase or an existing product in use, please contact your sales representative or our Customer Service Center. All warranty claims are handled on an individual basis. To initiate a claim, contact your sales representative to get a claims form filled out and submitted. Due to the wide range of manufacturers and suppliers there is no standard for claims.

 

WARRANTY LIMITATIONS

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN AFTER-TREATMENT? AND WHY DOES ENNIS FABRICS REFUSE TO WARRANT AGAINST A FABRIC THAT HAS GONE THROUGH AFTER-TREATMENT?

After treatments, or “fabric protection plans” are sold at most retail stores in North America. The chemicals are, in most instances, applied on location by hand. If not done properly, there could be over-saturation (causing fiber breakdown or discoloration), or key spots missed (i.e. coating the cushion top but not on the side borders), which could result in seam fatigue. Chemicals applied to upholstery fabric have a tendency to breakdown the fibers (primarily) filament yarns. Synthetic filament yarns make the fabric beautiful with a variety of twists, textures and wraps. After-treatment chemicals, such as Guardsman or Scotchgaurd, have a propensity to breakdown these fibers over time. In addition, the chemicals can erode the applied fabric backing, be it latex or acrylic.

After-treatment chemicals have improved over the years becoming less toxic and less harmful to the environment. As a result, they have extended the life of the fibers over the previous compounds used but there is still degradation. The process is just prolonged. Consequently, it is impossible to determine whether a fabric’s defect or breakdown is the result of manufacturer error or because of an after treatment procedure. Therefore, neither Ennis Fabrics nor our fabric manufacturers will warrant against a fabric that has been after-treated.

WHAT IS “PILLING” AND WHY IS IT NOT WARRANTED BY ENNIS FABRICS?

As a result of normal wear and use, upholstered fabrics will begin to form little balls, or “pills,” of excess fabric on the surface. This is called pilling, a common characteristic of many upholstered fabrics. Pilling is not considered a defect by Ennis Fabrics because the fabric is not actually deteriorating. Over time, when all excess fibers have been released from the fabric, the pilling will stop. To restore the look of the material, we recommend occasionally “shaving” the product’s surface with a furniture or sweater shaver.

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