Fabric customization is a perk that you might think is out of reach for something like office cubicles, but it’s really a service that’s offered by most of the name brand manufacturers. When you buy cubicles, you can do more than just specify fabrics from the collections provided by the seller. You can also choose your own materials from any textile supplier. The industry term for this is COM (Customer’s Own Material). Each manufacturer has its own program, but they try to make it as easy as possible for you to figure out what types of textile are suitable. For example, something that would work fine for seating might not be right for a cubicle panel – and vice versa.
When you fill out a COM form with Teknion, they will look at the supplier’s name, color name, and pattern name. Based on this information, they let you know if the fabric is already approved for a specific application. If it needs to be tested, they will ask for a few yards of the fabric and some sample swatches. Once the textile is approved, your Teknion dealer will order the appropriate amount for you and send it to the manufacturer.
This company has thousands of fabrics on its approved COM list. They also provide testing services for new fabrics as needed. Steelcase recommends that customers take into consideration whether the textile will be applied horizontally or vertically – some fabrics can only be applied in one direction and this can impact the yardage you need.
With the Haworth COM program, fabric testing for systems furniture is free (you just pay to send them the samples). After approval, Haworth handles ordering your fabric so that it goes to the right production plant and there aren’t any unnecessary delays. The company is careful to point out that even if a fabric passes testing this doesn’t mean they warrant it beyond normal quality standards. So, would you need to determine for yourself if a fabric is resistant to wear, staining, or fire if those characteristics are important to you.
Refurbished cubicles can also be fitted with your own fabric at our shop. This means you can get customization at an even better price.