When selecting furniture for a home with a dog, the material of the couch is among the most crucial choices. Here are the best pet-friendly fabrics and the worst ones you shouldn’t buy.
If you have pets, you are aware of the harm they can cause to your furniture. Your couches, armchairs, and ottomans could be damaged by claws, teeth, or fur. Knowing the upholstery materials that are the most pet-friendly is crucial.
The best pet-friendly fabrics will be discussed in this blog.
Best Pet-Friendly Fabrics
In the home, leather is one of the options that are most resilient and is simple to clean with fabrics. It doesn’t have to be real leather necessarily, but leather is one of the best “pet-proof” choices for purchase if you have a dog.
Compared to a fabric option, a leather sofa is much easier to clean up muddy paw prints and any accidents, and most leathers can withstand a little soap and water spray over harsh chemicals. There is no chance that crumbs, muck, or mud will become trapped in the fibers of leather because it is made without a weave.
When people consider how distressed leather can become, leather always astounds them. It often doesn’t seem like a material that will hold up to the mess that dogs and other pets make, but it is excellent at withstanding minor damage. When living with pets, top-grain leather is frequently the best choice because spills and stains can be cleaned up right away.
Pet owners have a lot of options when it comes to polyolefin if they want the appearance and feel of woven upholstery fabric. This synthetic material is well known for its resilience and toughness. If you prefer the appearance and texture of traditional upholstery fabric, polyolefin is a fantastic substitute.
But with these fabrics, you should be aware that they are woven. As a result, there is a chance that cats could rip or scratch the weave by getting their claws caught in it.
Since a dog’s nails are less pointed than a cat’s, they wouldn’t harm the fabrics in any way. However, if you have a cat who enjoys scratching and whose claws you don’t regularly trim down, this option might not be the best one for you.
Denim is one of the strongest and most resilient fabrics you could choose for upholstery, despite the fact that new couches made today tend to be fairly rare. Additionally, it resists stains, and thanks to the tight weave of its fibers, it can withstand snags, rips, and scratches for an extended period of time.
Cotton is used to make the tough material known as canvas. It is extremely resistant to claws, saliva, and even urine. Unfortunately, it is not frequently used for sofa upholstery, much like denim. However, there are many choices for canvas benches and chairs if you’re looking for pet-friendly outdoor furniture.
Despite having a similar appearance to suede or silk, microfibre is a synthetic material that is more resilient to stains. Due to their extremely tight weave and inability to readily trap pet hair and dander, microfiber fabrics are a good option for households with pets.
The only drawback is that because microfibre is frequently made of polyester or nylon, which are synthetic fibers made from petroleum, oil-based stains can be challenging to remove.
Leather-like in appearance and feel, vinyl is a synthetic plastic. Leather requires more upkeep than vinyl, which is more easily maintained, reasonably strong, and durable.
Vinyl is less sturdy and more prone to scratching, scuffing, and cracking than leather, so even though you can save money by choosing it over leather, you will sacrifice durability.
Worst Fabrics to Buy
- Chenille: Because of its texture and softness, chenille is frequently used for upholstery. Chenille is a hard-wearing material, but despite this, pets should avoid it because their claws can easily damage the many tiny loops that make up its pile. Additionally, it is frequently unrepairable and easily contaminated.
- Linen: There are both tight and loose weaves of linen available. Despite being highly resistant to pilling, tight-knit linen doesn’t hold up well to heavy wear and is easily stained. Additionally prone to shrinkage, linen presents a difficult cleaning challenge.
- Silk: Although pet hair can be removed from silk and fabric blends made of silk, this material is one of the worst options for pet owners as it readily absorbs moisture, stains, snags, and rips. Cleaning it is also challenging.
- Olefin: Olefin is a different fabric made from petroleum. So even though it is stain- and moisture-resistant, it does draw oils. Olefin is a material that should be avoided because it is susceptible to friction damage.
- Rayon: A cheap synthetic material that is mildew and fading-resistant is rayon. Pet owners shouldn’t use it, though, as it is prone to wrinkles and shrinkage and is easily worn. It also absorbs moisture and loses strength when wet.
- Acetate: Another artificial silk substitute is acetate. Acetate isn’t dirt-resistant, it stretches easily, and it has a tendency to wrinkle even though it is resistant to mildew, shrinkage, and pilling.
- Cotton: Since cotton has a flat weave, it resists scratching better than other fabrics. It absorbs liquid quickly, has a tendency to wrinkle, and is quite fragile even though it is simple to clean.
- Velvet: While velvet has a soft and strong pile and can conceal dirt well (if you choose a dark color), it is very easy to stain, attracts pet hair, and can be crushed by vigorous activity.
- Tweed: Pet hair may be hidden by tweed, but it also traps hair in its fibers, making it difficult to remove. Tweed is simple to clean, but any damage is probably irreparable.
Tips for Pet Owners When Choosing Upholstery Fabric
Think about how your pets treat your current upholstery before purchasing new furniture or reupholstering your current pieces. You are able to pick just about any fabric you want, provided they don’t lie on your furniture.
Avoid using natural fibers like cotton, wool, or linen on furniture if they lie on it but don’t scratch or claw it. These materials are more prone to wear. Avoid fabric upholstery and opt for leather or vinyl instead if your pets chew, scratch, and/or lie on your furniture.
When selecting pet-friendly fabrics, it’s a good idea to go with dark or patterned fabrics because they can hide drool, paw, scratch, and hair-shedding marks.
To help hide hair in between vacuuming, it’s a good idea to match the fabric’s color to your pet’s coat.
Although artificial fibers might not be your first aesthetic choice, they are the closest thing to pet-proofing you can find. This is due to the fact that synthetic fabrics are more resilient than natural fabrics, don’t show scuffs as easily, and are typically cleanable with a soap-and-water solution.
Use slipcovers, blankets, or throws to add extra protection, or consider having your upholstery Scotchgarded, if at all possible. Choose a fabric with a tight weave that is evenly textured because this will be more durable and less likely to trap pet hair than a fabric with a heavy texture and a large weave.
A tight weave fabric also has the benefit of being relatively easy to buff clean, and spills will bead on the surface, giving you time to clean them up before they are absorbed.
Never forget to look at the cleaning code when purchasing fabric. W stands for water-based cleaning, S stands for solvent or dry cleaning, S-W denotes that the fabric can be cleaned either dry or wet, and X denotes that the fabric can only be vacuumed. Always choose fabrics in the W category if you have pets.
What Makes Fabrics Pet-Friendly?
Generally speaking, the best fabrics for dogs and other pets have a tight weave, are stain-resistant, and are dyed a darker color. In the event of accidents, tight weaves fend off moisture.
Since many performance fabrics are naturally stain-resistant, families with young children would benefit the most from their use. Additionally, darker shades naturally hide stains much better than lighter ones.
If you also have cats, the same dog-friendly fabrics will probably withstand the claws, lint, and hairballs from your feline companions just as well as they can Fido’s occasionally muddy paws. Get a couch with removable cushions as bonus advice so you can wash the slipcover whenever you need to.
More Tips for Maintaining Your Dog-Friendly Couch in the Future
With these hints and recommendations, I hope you have a clearer understanding of what constitutes a pet-friendly couch. To close out this guide, here are some more recommendations:
- If a sofa’s upholstery isn’t removable, spend money on a high-quality, pet-friendly slipcover. These machine-washable covers can keep your sofa safe from long-term scratches and bites in addition to the occasional spill.
- Trim and tidy up your pet’s claws. When they come inside from the outdoors, especially if they played in the mud or dirt, wipe down their paws. To prevent them from shedding all over the couch, brush and groom them frequently.
Final Words: Best Pet-Friendly Fabrics
The most crucial guideline relates to the fabrics you must stay away from. Fabrics that are frequently not pet-friendly include tweed, velvet, silk, and chenille. Try to avoid purchasing these for your house. They’ll be a blast for your pet to play with. Additionally, you will end up spending more money than you anticipated on replacement furniture.
Regardless of the fabric you decide to use for your upholstery, keep it looking good for as long as possible by having it professionally deep cleaned once or twice a year or whenever it needs sprucing up.
Is Chenille a Good Fabric for Pet Hair?
Because of its texture and softness, chenille is frequently used for upholstery. However, while chenille is durable, it is not a pet-friendly fabric because its pile is made of many tiny loops that can easily be destroyed by animal claws. Additionally, it is frequently unrepairable and easily contaminated.
Does Chenille Fabric Hold Up?
Chenille is a desirable material because it is both resilient and soft. It also has a very nubby pile (made up of tiny little loops), which is great for hiding dirt. Be careful though, as animal claws, particularly cat claws, can completely destroy that same pile.