Building My Own Acoustic Panels - Fabric Question

Hah! FINALLY just now getting around to my panels. (took me long enough!)

I have the panels built, and have the insulation (SafenSound) and fabric to cover.

So, a question about fabric . . .

I know everyone says that the fabric should be permeable enough to be able to blow through (a rough gauge of how permeable it’ll be for sound waves – don’t want it to be reflective). The fabric covering I’ll be using is fine there.

However, I also got some landscape fabric to finish the backs of the panels, and I have enough that I could also do a layer of that extra fabric on the front, underneath the finishing fabric (to contain microfibers). I can blow through the landscape fabric as well. If I double up those two fabrics it’s tough to blow through. I’m “thinking” it’s okay though: both fabrics are permeable, and doubling them up should lead to more absorption (since neither fabric, separately, has a reflective quality). I mean, heck, I can’t blow through all of the insulation either!

But I just thought I’d be on the safe side and run it past y’all. Would it be reasonable to double up these two fabrics on the front of the panels?

It shouldn’t be much of an issue. In reality, fabric is less important than people make it out to be. Yeah, you don’t want to cover it in leather for obvious reasons, but for the most part, sound passes quite easily through most fabrics, and even if it doesn’t, most fabrics don’t reflect a ton of sound. And on top of this, most fabrics that do reflect sound tend to reflect high frequencies more, which isn’t a big deal because it’s the low frequencies that are the hardest thing to absorb. In fact, sometimes putting a reflective surface on an absorber will make it absorb low frequencies even better. That’s why a lot of bass traps keep a paper membrane on the outside.

Excellent. Thank you, Bos. I’m gonna go for it. Much appreciated.

A fabric you might look at is called “Cambric”. You usually only see it on the undersides of upholstered sofas and chairs, most often colored black. It is a thin, light fabric. I have never tested the strength of it. Fabric stores should carry it. I think it is also available in white, off-white, or gray. The lighter colors would probably take a fabric dye easily. I think, looking at the thickness, it would work nicely on bass traps.