Type of Fabric that is Good for Acoustic Panels

Fabrics that absorb sound work best for acoustic panels. These fabrics are made of wadding, wool, cotton, polyester or natural fibers and include felt, wool felt and scrims. Acoustic panels used in recording studios are usually made from acoustic foam because it absorbs sound well.

Acoustic panels can be found at most fabric stores by the yard or as part of a kit with instructions for making your own panel. Ensure that enough fabric is ordered to make the size panel required by the specifications listed in a kit’s instructions (usually 2 yards). It is recommended to buy an extra yard or so to allow for any mistakes when cutting out pattern pieces and matching up seams.

Acoustic panels are generally constructed in one of two ways. The first and easiest way is to sew together a cloth backing with the combination of fabric and batting or fur that is needed for the desired acoustic properties. For example, if a sound absorbing panel is desired, then select a fabric that absorbs sound and add some batting to it. This works well if the acoustic panel is to be used in an area where washing isn’t necessary. Other acoustic panels require a cloth backing reinforced with a membrane on the other side, but this method makes washing or cleaning much more difficult.

The second method is to make the acoustic panel from one solid piece of fabric or another. This method is used for sound absorption panels that are to be washed. Choose the appropriate fabric that will absorb the highest amount of sound but will still allow for the desired amount of light to be seen through it.

Most acoustic panels feature a finished size which is much smaller than what is listed in the instructions. For example, if you are making a 24″ x 42″ (60 x 107 cm) panel, you will end up with an actual size of about 2′ x 2′ (61 x 61 cm), so make sure this allows enough room for the final product to be hung on a wall in its permanent position.

Can you put fabric over acoustic panels?

No. Acoustic panels are made to work in the studio environment where high sound absorption is required. Fabric over acoustic panels will not provide the necessary shielding of the room and may reduce the performance if you want a high-performance panel to absorb sound.

Has anyone tried putting fabric over acoustic panels?

We haven’t, but we would like to know how it turns out if someone does try it. Stay tuned for more information regarding this topic as we will be looking into it further.

My studio is about 10 feet by 20 feet, with 4 feet back from the wall on each side of my studio door and 24 inches above top of door rails (just under 8 feet from floor). The speakers I use are either hung from door rails or ceiling using a pair of brackets. They are not mounted.

What would be the best fabric to use for acoustic panels in this situation?

In this case, you need to control the bass response and absorption of sound as opposed to controlling standing waves. Fabric that absorbs well at low frequencies and is light weight is ideal for this application. One idea may be a synthetic fabric made of polyester fibers (250g/m2) with scrim reinforcement on one side that has a density of 0.051 kg/m3 and has an NRC of 0.90 (meaning it absorbs 90% and allows only 10% to pass through it).

What kind of fabric did you use in your studio?

I was interested in making acoustic panels to hang on my walls with no particular fabric in mind. When I finally decided to put them up, I discovered that the best fabric for the job was a combination of nylon mesh and quilted padding. The thick mesh absorbs high frequencies well while the padded material absorbs low frequencies effectively. I can’t remember what it is made out of exactly, but its main components are nylon and polyester. It’s available at fabric stores by the yard and is fairly inexpensive (under $5 a yard). It is really simple to sew and works well.

Is cotton good for acoustic panels?

No. If you need to control standing waves, then the panels should be as thin as possible so that the sound doesn’t reflect off of them.

Is wool good for acoustic panels?

Although wool is a good choice for absorbing sound, it is not a good choice if there is much traffic in and out of the room because it can be easily damaged by foot traffic. It is also difficult to cut holes in because of its thickness and stiffness.

This cloth back is used to reinforce acoustic panels made from one solid piece of fabric. This material can be washed or replaced easily, but it does add considerable weight. The front side features an industrial strength scrim fabric which helps hold the panel together. The dimensions for this back/front combo are 10 x 6.5 inches (25 x 16.5 cm).

This form of acoustic panel is constructed using a double layer of fabric that is sewn together. This material is expensive and difficult to cut, but it can be washed or replaced easily, and it can be made larger than acoustic panels made from other materials. The size I used was 24 inches by 48 inches (61 x 122 cm) and weighed around 14 pounds.

Thick automotive insulation works well for acoustic panels because it’s stiff enough to withstand normal wear and tear but also has quite a bit of give so the panel conforms well to curved surfaces such as walls, doors, etc.

Is polyester fabric good for acoustic panels?

Although polyester is a good choice for absorbing sound, it is not a good choice if there is much traffic in and out of the room because it can be easily damaged by foot traffic. It is also difficult to cut holes in because of its thickness and stiffness.

Can you buy acoustic panels made from muslin fabric?

Muslin does not have the ability to absorb the entire sound range of the room, but it can be used for certain applications where control of standing waves is necessary. It is not good for absorbing harsh frequencies that are being reflected in various directions such as when a drum kit is being played in a small room. Muslin also has too much absorption in the higher frequencies so it is better suited for an application where there will be no reflections of sound off of it other than those absorbed by the panel itself. For example, acoustic panels used for deadening can be made from muslin and can also be hung from hooks in a dry environment (like a garage or outdoors).

Acoustic panels can be made from muslin, but the panel would only be effective in controlling standing waves. If you are trying to control bass response or overall room sound, then this material won’t provide the desired results.

In conclusion, the best fabric for acoustic panels depends on the type of panel you are making and the purpose for which they will be used. The final decision of what type of fabric to use should eventually come down to your personal preference as well as budget restrictions. With that said, I hope you have found the information on this page helpful and informative!