3 Essential Factors to Consider when Selecting an Acoustic Paneling Fabric

Posted on: 2 July 2019

From homes to offices, interior design is changing with the times as homeowners and facility managers are trading walls for more free space. The benefits of such a design cannot be underestimated and can range from better-ventilated spaces to enhanced fluidity. However, fewer walls mean more noise, which is why acoustic panelling has become a necessity in modern construction. Therefore, construction contractors have their work cut out for them because finding the right fabric for acoustic panels is a sensitive area. However, do not worry because this article highlights factors you need to consider to find the right acoustic panelling fabric. 

The Breathability of Fabric — Breathability is by far the most critical factor you need to consider, and the backing on the fabric determines it. Most fabrics are either backed with a lining — paper or acrylic — on one side or are unbacked.  Backed fabrics are mostly used as direct wall applications in the same way wallpaper is installed. Unbacked fabrics, on the other hand, are not lined on either — hence better breathability. Consequently, they are the best acoustic fabric for two critical reasons. First, unbacked fabrics allow the majority of sound waves through, thus making them better acoustic products. It is unlike backed fabrics which prevent maximum sound dampening. Second, unbacked fabrics stretch better than backed ones and can occupy a more significant area per square unit. The more breathable the fabric is, the better it is at absorbing sound. 

Ability to Retain Form — Most contractors do not know that an acoustic fabric can tick all the right boxes but still be ineffective in acoustic panelling. For example, materials such as cotton, linen and wool readily stretch, but they are susceptible to fibre elongation, especially in humid conditions. Consequently, this leads to sagging or rippling, thus affecting the soundproofing effectiveness of acoustic panelling. On the other hand, synthetic fabrics like nylon have poor stretch memory and might lose their original tensity. Notably, the best materials are hydrophobic fibres such as polyester, because of the ability to retain tightness, thereby preventing sagging. However, since natural fabrics are cheaper, you can get excellent functionality from acoustic fabrics that blend any natural fibre with over 50% polyester. 

Aesthetics — Unlike decades ago, interior design today ranks aesthetics on the same level as functionality. It is because acoustic problems can quickly be addressed without compromising on the beauty of the space in question. Besides, manufacturers can produce fabrics with different patterns and of varying colours from which you can choose. Therefore, it is critical for contractors to ask their clients about aesthetic requirements before picking an acoustic panelling fabric.

Looking for your own acoustic panelling products? Get in touch with a provider today to learn more.