Poor acoustics are a major complaint in all types of interior spaces. Acoustic panels provide a technical solution but 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. You also need to know that these textiles meet flame codes, are stable and have been tested under 3rd party protocols for acoustical function.


500+ Panel Choices
• All are Class A / Class 1 rated under ASTM E84 unadhered method

• All are NRC tested for acoustical transparency under ASTM C423

• All are composed with yarns that are stable and hydrophobic (resisting moisture)

All Are In Stock - Vetted for panel application - 3rd Party Tested

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.

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.

NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient)

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. 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.

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.

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).

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

Pattern NamePattern NumberNRC
Alex 101210 0.50 Flat, 0.70 Draped
Basilica 5515 1.05
Braid 6211 1.05
Casa 021104 1.05
Channel 5304 1.05
Circuit 6877 1.05
Code 5376 1.00
Colette Couture 6281 0.90
Color Riot 6754 1.05
Covet 6418 0.85
Curve 4372 1.00
Dash 6603 1.05
Dazzle 6086 0.70 Flat, 0.85 Draped
Elite 6412 0.95
Float 5386 1.00
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
Mingle 4666 1.05
Nexus 6425 1.05
Pattern NamePattern NumberNRC
Origin 6238 0.80
Outline 6526 1.00
Petal 6504 1.00
Pipeline 6207 1.05
Pleats 4748 1.05
Ponte 5510 1.05
Porto 100210 1.05
Porto Flora 101605 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 0.90
Sublime 5342 1.05
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

April 2020

To our valued clients and partners:

Carnegie is open for business during the COVID-19 crisis while safeguarding the health and welfare of our workforce:

  • All sampling services remain open and active including overnight delivery
  • All our Design Ally services ( Resourcing & Artform layouts) are being performed
  • Our Creative & Service teams are working remotely but remain fully active and ready for your requests as many of you are working from home
  • All our Salespeople remain available by phone and email for questions and are providing virtual presentations of our latest products and services
  • We continue to ship orders while following the strictest protocols for safety

Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 800 727 6770. You will continue to receive the outstanding service we are known for during this difficult time.

  • Carnegie COVID-19 Update from our CEO. Learn More