(pronounced GRAYD-ehd en)
This term has to do with fabric selections for furniture – usually of the commercial variety. When a textile is “graded in” to a furniture manufacturer’s line, it means that the manufacturer has already struck a deal with an existing, branded fabric manufacturer to offer a particular fabric style (or multiple styles) as part of the furniture vendor’s line. In other words, it’s an easy way for a designer to have access to a more extensive range of fabric options without having to go through the hassle of constantly using COMs. The two entities will go through all of the hassle of working out the details on fabric testing (to meet codes), pricing, shipping, phase-outs, etc. The more textile manufacturers’ styles that a furniture vendor can grade in, then the more attractive their furniture line will be to specify. The furniture vendor will then offer a list of graded in fabrics from which the designer can choose. They will designate which styles are what Grade – for example: A, B, C or D or 1 through 7. Grade A / Grade 1 might be the least expensive offerings and Grade D / Grade 7 might be the most pricey.
See also: COM