Earlier this week, I discussed the “Best Fabrics for Pet-Friendly Spaces”. Now it’s time to chat about the worst fabrics for upholstery in pet-friendly spaces and why! Scroll down to see my “Worst Fabrics for Pet-Friendly Spaces” list!
In my research to see what others online are saying, I noticed several resources say that silk is pet hair resistant. While that may be true, silk is a very fragile and high maintenance fabric. It can easily stain, rip or tear. And it doesn’t respond well to liquids, making it very tough to clean, too. Due to these factors, and the expense (!), I personally do not recommend silk on upholstery. And, depending on the client and the space, I often don’t recommend it at all in a pet-friendly space (i.e. window treatments or pillows, etc).
While a luxurious upholstery fabric, Velvet, is another fabric I don’t recommend. It is a high maintenance and delicate fiber for anyone, but especially pets. It’s super easy for the fibers to be damaged and crushed. Any rough playing, cleaning, or scratching/digging on the fabric can permanently damage the fibers. Professional cleaning is also recommended, and that can add up quickly! And on top of all that, pet hair clings to it like a magnet!
The Loose Weaves category include many types of fabrics. These include linens, cottons, tweed, chenille, and many other open weave upholstery fabrics. The looser the weave, the more likely these fabrics will snag or unravel. Claws easily get caught in the fibers, while dirt, hair, and dust get trapped. And, over time, that trapped debris embedded into the fibers, will cause the furniture to smell. It is best to save the open weave fibers for machine washable knits or fabrics to use as accents in your space, like removable pillow covers and blankets that you can easily and regularly clean.
If you’re like me, your pets have full or almost full access to your house. I even jokingly say that the sofa we bought when we first moved to the new place (3 years ago already!!) was a purchase for them, not us! And, almost daily, I get asked what fabrics are best for pet friendly homes. Below, I’ve created a brief review of the types of fabrics that are best for you and your pets. Stay tuned for the second part of this topic to be posted later this week: the worst fabrics to use with pets.
Most think of healthcare or educational settings when mentioning commercial fabrics, but the reality is that there are so many uses for these fabrics, including among pets!! Options are seemingly endless and often quite luxurious, rivaling some of the top residential fabric brands out there. They come in a large variety of patterns, solids, and textures; are stain, odor, bacteria, and water resistant; and, due to their durability and technology used to produce the fibers, they are easy to maintain.
Crypton is a specific name brand for this technology, and many other fabric companies have begun to develop residential fabrics using this brand technology in their own brand. It is becoming easier to find on the market.
High Performance Sunbrella and Indoor/Outdoor
We are long past the days of “crunching” or that plastic fabric when sitting on indoor/outdoor fabrics! In fact, most would NEVER guess these fabrics are outdoor safe! Technology has indeed come a very long way! Sunbrella is a top leading brand in the industry, however, there are others as well. All come in a variety of patterns, colors, and textures.
This type of material is also a favorite of mine for pillows and accent furniture (chairs, ottomans, etc.), but easily work for larger pieces (think sofa, sectional, headboards, etc). Very easy maintenance with these fabrics in case of spills or areas needing to be cleaned. Some can even be cleaned with a diluted bleach solution!
Leather is resistant to smells and doesn’t attract pet hair. In fact, it’s super easy to wipe clean with a dust cloth. If scratches occur, a high-quality leather can typically be buffed. Distressed or patterned leathers may even disguise added scratches. There are also vegan leather options with similar characteristics and options to natural leather.
That being said, not all leather out there is the same. It is critical to make sure the leather that you are looking to put on your furniture is high quality. Leather is sold in different quality types: genuine/bonded, bicast, split-grain, top-grain, nubuck, and full-grain. Genuine/bonded and split grain are the lowest quality, top-grain is the upper mid to high-level, and full-grain is high-level. I highly recommend the top-grain or full-grain leather qualities for furniture in any house hold, but especially with pets.
I’ll be sure to go into detail on each of these in a future blog post.
This is one of my favorite fabrics for pets and their owners. It wears exceptionally well, is easy to clean, and typically is available in a variety of colors, although mainly only solids or a heathered look. This material does attract pet hair, but it is very easy to brush off because it does not embed itself into the fibers. It’s also resistant to nail or claw punctures! Add accents with pillows and throws (perfect for those nesters!!) in various prints, colors, and textures to add a personal touch.
Ultrasuede is the name brand and original microfiber invented (Japan, 1970s). Since then, many other fabric houses have developed their own microfibers, in varying price points (usually less expensive). While just about any of the microfibers on the market today are quite durable and hold up to pets well, the name brand, Ultrasuede, is still the best on the market. If you were to compare samples of the typical microfibers in competition to the Ultrasuede, you would see some differences, including that Ultrasuede is usually thicker than the other variations.