By far, the most popular fabric options we offer on Humanscale Freedom and Liberty chairs are Wave and Vellum, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between them just by looking at our online swatches. I will attempt to shed a little light on how they are the same and different.
First, the similarities: both are four-way stretch synthetic knit textiles. They have very similar ratings in terms of durability and are both relatively easy to clean as upholstery goes. Neither affects the cushioning or support characteristics of the chair appreciably. Now the differences.
Wave has a 3D texture to it, in the form of small “waves”. It has a thin foam layer (~2 or 3mm) backing it, so it feels just a tiny bit more raised than Vellum. To look at, Wave is also the shinier of the two.
While it is strong, Vellum is super thin. It has a very dense knit that looks flat compared to the texture of Wave. Vellum has a matte finish and a smooth feel to the touch.
Overall, I do not especially recommend one over the other. The choice largely has to do with whether users like Wave’s texture.
If you require fabric swatches be mailed to you, let us know and we are happy to send some.