Acoustical 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
Antoinette Couture 6185 0.80 Mojave Matte 6091 0.90
Baja Embroider 6095 0.90 Nexus 6425 1.05
Basilica 5515 1.05 Nile Emboss 6293 0.90
Bloom Emboss 6279 0.75 Origin 6238 0.80
Braid 6211 1.05 Outline 6526 1.00
Brigitte Couture 6289 0.80 Parchment Emboss 6305 0.90
Casa 021104 1.05 Petal 6404 1.00
Channel 5304 1.05 Pipeline 6207 1.05
Circuit 6877 1.05 Ponte 5510 1.05
Coco Couture 6285 0.80 Pop Emboss 6647 0.90
Code 5376 1.05 Porto 100210 1.05
Colette Couture 6281 0.90 Porto Flora 100605 1.05
Color Riot 6754 1.05 Prato 101275 1.05
Constant 6456 1.05 Prism 6621 1.05
Covet 6418 0.85 Pulse 5332 1.05
Curve 4372 1.00 Quarry 6619 1.05
Dash 6603 1.05 Quartz 6434 1.05
Deco Embroider 6265 0.90 Sahara Matte 6089 0.90
Elite 6412 0.95 Scott 5074 1.05
Float 5386 1.00 Siam 101670 1.05
Flux 6557 1.05 Sleet Embroider 6299 0.90
Foundation 4360 1.05 Spire 6269 0.95
Fractal Emboss 6261 0.85 Stitch 5374 1.00
Glaze 5388 1.05 Strie 6423 1.00
Journey 6292 1.05 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 Thistle 7332 1.05
Meteor 6427 0.90 Touch 6366 1.00
Mineral 6508 1.05 Twine 6217 1.05
Mingle 4666 1.05 Vector 6354 1.00
Moire Stripe Couture 6283 0.80 Veneer Emboss 6925 0.90
      Zipper 6209 1.10
Pattern Name Pattern Number NRC
Basilica 5515 1.05
Braid 6211 1.05
Casa 021104 1.05
Channel 5304 1.05
Circuit 6877 1.05
Code 5376 1.05
Colette Couture 6281 0.90
Color Riot 6754 1.05
Constant 6456 1.05
Covet 6418 0.85
Curve 4372 1.00
Dash 6603 1.05
Elite 6412 0.95
Float 5386 1.0
Flux 6557 1.05
Foundation 4360 1.05
Glaze 5388 1.05
Hashtag 6478 1.05
Journey 6292 1.05
Linen 6291 1.05
Luxe 6271 0.90
Melody 6742 0.95
Meteor 6427 0.90
Mineral 6508 1.05
Nexus 6425 1.05
Pattern Name Pattern Number NRC
Origin 6238 0.80
Outline 6526 1.00
Petal 6404 1.00
Pipeline 6207 1.05
Ponte 5510 1.05
Porto 100210 1.05
Porto Flora 100605 1.05
Prato 101275 1.05
Pulse 5332 1.05
Quarry 6619 1.05
Quartz 6434 1.05
Scott 5074 1.05
Sleet Embroider 6299 0.90
Spire 6269 0.95
Stitch 5374 1.00
Strie 6423 1.00
Switch 6237 1.05
Switch Embroider 6195 1.05
Tangle 6213 1.05
Theory 6142 0.90
Thistle 7332 1.05
Touch 6366 1.00
Twine 6217 1.05
Vector 6354 1.00
Zipper 6209 1.10

Related Resources

Acoustical Sheers: Finding the Right Balance Case Study

"I am very satisfied with the acoustical benefits that the Carnegie drapery brought to our new restaurant, Pausa. It's always delightful to hear our customers thank us for building a restaurant that is lively, but also not too noisy." Steven Ugur, GM and Owner of Pausa Bar & Cookery.

Read Case Study

What is the difference between acoustic transparency and absorbency?

Sound passes through Acoustically transparent material and is absorbed by an Acoustical Absorbency textile.

Watch Video

Form + Function: Visual and Acoustic Privacy Case Study

“Betacoustic has definitely created a sense of privacy and helped with dividing the open space while contributing to an overall sound dampening in the office.” -Katherina Weisflog, Vitra

Read Case Study

Looking for Acoustical Panel Textile and No Time to Search?

We put time on your side. Working as your studio extension, we connect designer to designer, curating solutions that fit your criteria. With Design Ally® Creative Resource services, you get same-day solutions and overnight samples, matched to your needs.