association for contract textiles logo

The Association for Contract Textiles was founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit trade association to address a variety of issues related to contract fabrics. Currently the membership of the association includes principal members, associate manufacturer members, and industry partners and individuals. Principal members are textile wholesalers directing all or the majority of their business to the contract interior market; associate manufacturer members are companies that produce interior furnishings products; and industry partners and individuals are suppliers to the principal member companies.


ACT is a professional trade association comprised of companies involved in the design, development, production and promotion of textiles for commercial interiors. ACT’s mission is to promote the value of contract textiles through the following goals:

  1. Establish and promote voluntary performance and environmental guidelines
  2. Serve as the definitive resource for contract textile information and education
  3. Monitor and report legislation affecting our industry and create lobbying efforts where necessary
  4. Support textile design education and vocation
  5. Serve as a forum for design professionals to provide input regarding their use of textiles for commercial interiors


Each ACT Voluntary Performance Guideline has an associated icon representing the relevant test data to make fabric specification easier.

Wet & Dry Crocking
Colorfastness to Light
Physical Properties
Abrasion - Low Traffic
Abrasion - High Traffic

These registered certification marks are owned by the Association for Contract Textiles—look for them on ACT member company sampling to assure that the fabrics you specify meet or exceed contract standards and pass all applicable testing

ACT Voluntary Performance Guidelines cover woven, coated and knit fabrics for indoor use:

Woven Fabrics

consist of two sets of yarns, warp and filling, formed by weaving, which is the process of interlacing these sets of yarns.

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Coated Fabrics

typically include a fabric or similar substrate with one or more layers of a film-forming polymer such as vinyl or polyurethane on the wear surface of the fabric.

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Knit Fabrics

are made by interlocking loops of one or more yarns.

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Test methods included in the Guidelines measure fabric performance under standard laboratory conditions and are intended to represent the most current test version. Note: Individual ACT Member product information may represent a different version of a test method depending on the date the product was introduced to market.

These tests represent minimum requirements, which are subject to change without notice and may not reflect requirements or laws in all locations.


Please view the videos below. They will open in a new window on the ACT Guidelines website.

Martindale Test Video ASTM D4966 Martindale

The ASTM D4966 Martindale is a test method of the American Society of Testing and Materials. This is an oscillating test. Fabric samples are mounted flat and rubbed in an elliptical motion using a piece of worsted wool cloth as the abradant and with 12 kPa of pressure. The number of cycles (movements) that the fabric can endure before fabric shows objectionable change in appearance (yarn breaks, pilling, holes) is counted. Number of cycles determines (movements) abrasion rating.

Wyzenbeek Test Video ASTM D4157 Oscillatory Cylinder (Wyzenbeek)

ASTM D4157 Oscillatory Cylinder (Wyzenbeek) is a test of the American Society of Testing and Materials. A Wyzenbeek machine is used for this test allowing samples of the test fabric to be pulled tight in a frame and held stationary with 3 pounds force of pressure and 4 pounds force of tension. Individual test specimens cut from each direction are then rubbed back and forth using an ACT approved #10 cotton duck fabric as the abradant. The number of double rub cycles achieved before two yarn breaks occur, or “noticeable wear” is observed, is recorded as the fabric’s abrasion rating.

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