Association for Contract Textiles (ACT)

The Association for Contract Textiles (ACT) is a not-for-profit trade association that represents corporations and individuals that design, produce, sell, and use textiles for commercial interiors. Founded in 1985, the organization has four membership categories:

  • Principals members or textile wholesalers to the interior design industry
  • Associate members or manufacturers of commercial interior products
  • Industry partners or members of the textile supply chain
  • Industry individuals, mainly creatives

Virtually all North American textile wholesalers are ACT members. The organization’s goals are to:

  • Establish and promote voluntary industry performance and environmental guidelines
  • Serve as the ultimate resource for contract textile information and education
  • Monitor and report legislation affecting the contract textile industry and create lobbying efforts where necessary
  • Support textile education and vocation
  • Serve as a forum for design professionals to provide input regarding their use of textiles for commercial interiors [1]

To define a common baseline for textile performance in the contract textile market, ACT created the ACT Voluntary Performance Guidelines for Commercial Interior Textiles.[2] These guidelines cover five areas that effect textile performance: flammability, wet & dry crocking, colorfastness to light, physical properties, and abrasion resistance. If a textile meets the performance criteria, it is awarded the corresponding ACT icon on sampling materials. Performance guidelines are tailored to woven, knitted, and coated fabrics for multiple applications: upholstery, panel fabrics, wrapped wall panel fabrics, adhered panel and direct glue wallcovering fabrics, as well as drapery materials.

ACT also created Facts, a sustainability certification program for commercial textiles conforming with the multi-attribute NSF/ANSI 336-2011 standard.[3] NSF/ANSI 336-2011 evaluates a textile for its environmental, economic and social impacts across its life cycle. Textiles that are third-party NSF/ANSI 336-2011 certified score points for their composition and manufacturing process; and a textile falls into one of four Facts levels based on the total of points achieved: compliant, silver, gold and platinum. These levels are also represented by a corresponding icon on sampling material.





Related Terms

Was this insightful?