Acoustic Panel Textile Solutions

Poor acoustics are a major complaint in all types of interior spaces. Acoustic panels provide a technical solution but often they do not provide an aesthetic solution.

Designers need beautiful textile options that are acoustically transparent to allow sound to pass through to the functional core. 

Design Solutions That Deliver

500+ Acoustic Panel Textile Solutions

Designers need beautiful textile options that are acoustically transparent to allow sound to pass through to the functional core. Our panel textiles available in 500+ patterns and colors and are Class A / Class 1 rated under ASTM E84 unadhered method and third party tested for NRC acoustical Transparency under ASTMC423. These fabrics are composed of hydrophobic ( resisting moisture ) stable yarns and are vetted for panel application

Acoustics and How They Interact with Panel Fabrics

Acoustic Absorbency

Acoustically absorbent textiles capture, absorb and reduce sound reflection, improving acoustic comfort in a space.

Acoustic Transparency

Acoustically transparent textiles allow sound to pass through the fabric into the enviroment unaffected. Acoustically transparent textiles are often used to wrap acoustical panels. Sound passes through the textile and is absorbed by the acoustical panel improving acoustic comfort in a space

How to Choose The Right Acoustical Panel Textile

When selecting panel textiles what criteria should I look for?

1. The fabric must be acoustically transparent. Acoustically transparent textiles allow sound to pass through the textile and be absorbed by the acoustical substrate below. The fabric and panel together should be third party NRC tested and have a result between .90 and 1.05.
2. The fabric must be tested under ASTM E84 (unadhered method) and qualify for use in Class A/ Class 1 areas.
3. The fabric content should have a high percentage of polyester or other hydrophobic synthetics to prevent sagging. Avoid high percentages of natural fibers, rayon or nylon.

Which tests are relevant when selecting a fabric to use on acoustic panels?

ASTM E84 (Unadhered Mounting Method) Class A / Class 1
Is a flammability test for a textile intended for use as a panel or upholstered wall where the textile is not glued or bonded to a substrate.

The test evaluates how fast a flame moves up the fabric as well as how much smoke is released over a set amount of fabric in a set amount of time. Rankings of Class A/Class 1 are required for contract spaces.

What is Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) and how to I use it to select the right textile?

Noise Reduction Coefficient rates the amount of sound that an object absorbs. Like a sponge absorbs water, an acoustic product absorbs sound and the NRC tells us just how much sound those products absorb.
ASTM C423 is the industry recognized test for evaluating sound absorption of building materials. | Next Slide >

What is Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) Continued...

The test uses a reverberation chamber to determine the rate of decay of sound waves at different frequencies by first measuring the NRC of a standard 2” thick panel material and then repeating the test with the specific textile placed over the panel to assess the combined NRC of the materials.

Myth Busters

Blow Through Test is a valid way to evaluate acoustical transparency.

The “blow through test” is sometimes used as a preliminary way to evaluate acoustic transparency. The person evaluating the fabric blows through the fabric and if they are able to feel their breath on the other side, they consider the fabric acoustically transparent and suitable for acoustic panel use.

The reality is that this methodology has no scientific backing. It can be misleading and may not align with actual outcomes of a true acoustical test. Industry best practice is to use fabrics that have been evaluated by a reputable 3rd party with the industry recognized test ASTM C423 and are NRC rated.

Fabrics for acoustic panels should have an NRC of 1.

Fabrics alone typically have a difficult time reducing NRC in a space on their own. When using acoustical panels, it is the acoustic panel material (the substrate), not the fabric that does the job of absorbing sound.
It is the combination of the fabric when covering the acoustical panel that should have an NRC close to/or over 1.0. The textile's function is to look great and allow sound to pass through to the acoustical substrate which does the work.| Next Slide >

Fabrics for acoustic panels should have an NRC of 1. Continued...

When selecting fabrics to be used on acoustic panels, the textile should have minimal impact upon the NRC performance of the panel it is wrapped around. The textile should be acoustically transparent and the finished panel should achieve an NRC rating in the vicinity of .90 - 1.05.
If you are evaluating a fabric on its own to cover a panel, look for an NRC between 0 - .25 (lower the better).

Carnegie's Acoustic Textile Solutions

The NRC listed below reflects the actual results of each textile when wrapped around an acoustical panel under ASTM C423

Pattern Name Pattern Number NRC Pattern Name Pattern Number NRC
Alex 101210 0.80 Mojave Matte 6091 0.90
Antoinette Couture 6185 0.80 Nexus 6425 1.05
Baja Embroider 6095 0.90 Nile Emboss 6293 0.90
Basilica 5515 1.05 Origin 6238 0.80
Bloom Emboss 6279 0.75 Outline 6526 1.00
Braid 6211 1.05 Parchment Emboss 6305 0.90
Brigitte Couture 6289 0.80 Petal 6404 1.00
Casa 021104 1.05 Pipeline 6207 1.05
Channel 5304 1.05 Ponte 5510 1.05
Circuit 6877 1.05 Porto 100210 1.05
Coco Couture 6285 0.80 Porto Flora 100605 1.05
Code 5376 1.05 Prato 101275 1.05
Colette Couture 6281 0.90 Prism 6621 1.05
Color Riot 6754 1.05 Pulse 5332 1.05
Constant 6456 1.05 Quarry 6619 1.05
Covet 6418 0.85 Quartz 6434 1.05
Dash 6603 1.05 Sahara Matte 6089 0.90
Deco Embroider 6265 0.90 Scott 5074 1.05
Elite 6412 0.95 Siam 101670 1.05
Float 5386 1.00 Sleet Embroider 6299 0.90
Flux 6557 1.05 Sonata 6860 1.05
Foundation 4360 1.05 Spire 6269 0.95
Fractal Emboss 6261 0.85 Spire 6269 0.95
Glaze 5388 1.05 Strie 6423 1.00
Limestone 6107 0.90 Switch 6237 1.05
Linen 6291 1.05 Switch Embroider 6195 1.05
Luxe 6271 0.90 Tangle 6213 1.05
Melody 6742 0.95 Theory 6142 0.90
Mesh 6547 1.05 Touch 6366 1.00
Meteor 6427 0.90 Twine 6217 1.05
Mineral 6508 1.05 Vector 6354 1.00
Moire Stripe Couture 6283 0.80 Veneer Emboss 6925 0.90
      Zipper 6209 1.10