The Best Pet Friendly Fabrics for Furniture

Picture of dog relaxing on a fabric sofa

The time has come to update your furniture.  Since you’ll be investing a considerable amount of money into the project, you want to make it count by purchasing furniture that can withstand the beating it will take in a home with pets.  Do you have to sacrifice the style you want for upholsteries and designs that are more utilitarian in nature just because you are a pet owner?

Furniture manufacturing companies have recognized the need for pet friendly furniture.  Most pet owners would much rather spend more money up front to purchase furniture that will stand the test of time and pet-related abuse than have to make more frequent acquisitions of furniture that is just not up the challenge of a home with pets.

Leading furniture companies realized that pet owners don’t want to choose from the same few boring options.  They want color, texture, patterns, and style choices to enable them to select furniture that is reflective of their tastes and lifestyle.  And…they stepped up to the plate to deliver.

The Problems of Pets and Fabric

Can our pets and fabric live together in peace?  The answer is most definitely ‘yes’.  However, it helps for us to understand ahead of time some of the challenges our furniture fabric is up against.

Pets can potentially contribute the following to our furniture:

  • Excess pet hair that sticks to or becomes woven in fabric
  • Dirt from mud or other household debris
  • Odor from health conditions or food, bone, or toy particles
  • Saliva and urine stains
  • Scratch marks and tears from nails

Just from reading this short list, we can see that the fabric we choose for our furniture can easily become tired and old looking without proper care.  The best prevention we can put in place is choosing fabrics that are durable, easy to clean, and up to the task of the wear and tear of pets.

Pet Friendly Fabric Choices

So, we know what the problems are; now it’s time for the solutions.

What are the best pet friendly fabrics for furniture?

We’re glad you asked!

Here is a list of some of the top fabric choices for families with pets.

  • Leather—Many families would dismiss leather as an option for furniture upholstery because of its penchant to scratch, and even tear, under the burden of pet abuse. While it is true that leather does scratch more readily than other fabrics, the scratches are quite easy to buff out and tearing is no more problematic than with any other upholstery material.

For those concerned with unsightly scratch marks, distressed leather is another great option.  Many people love the look weathered leather gives to their home, and it is a wonderful solution for pieces of furniture that take more of a beating in a home.

Leather has much to offer.  Because of its slick surface, pet hair rarely sticks to it making it also quite easy to clean.  Due to its non-porous surface, it is odor, stain, and spill resistant; all big plusses in a fabric for furniture for pet owners.

  • Synthetics—Synthetic fabrics are available in a wide variety of materials. Microfiber is an extremely popular option because of its versatility and potential.  Synthetic fibers come in many colours and even in patterns.  They are comfortable and soft, but what makes them most appealing to pet loving families is their ease of maintenance.   Synthetic fabrics are easy to clean, and by their nature, are resistant to tearing and staining.  Though not completely odor resistant, they still offer more protection against odors than more traditional upholstery fabrics such as tweeds and cotton.  It is also possible to have synthetics treated with stain protection such as Scotchgard to add another layer of security against odors and stains.
  • Crypton—Crypton is a revolutionary high performance fabric. It boasts the high honour of being one of few upholstery fabrics that have been awarded the prestigious Greenguard certification.  This certification is given only to companies whose product meets the exacting standards for fabrics approved for heavy duty home and commercial use.  Crypton earned this distinction for its high quality fabrics that are soft and luxurious while also being odor and stain resistant and exceptionally easy to clean.  Crypton is the industry leading choice for furniture upholstery fabrics for pet loving families.
  • Sunbrella—Sunbrella is a fabric designed to weather the toughest use imaginable. Available in an array of colours and patterns, Sunbrella has fabrics for both outdoor and indoor use.  These materials are resistant to sun and water damage.  For couch cushions with removable covers, they are quite simple to clean by tossing in your washer.  They can also be given a quick wipedown with a damp cloth and mild soap cleanser to refresh their bright and lively appearance.

For best results, it is recommended to immediately remove dirt, hair, and other particles from the fabric with a vacuum or cloth.  Sunbrella offers some stain and odor protection through its tightly-woven fabric design.  It is also recommended that the fabric be treated with Scotchgard or a similar stain protection product to ensure that the fabric continues to look fresh and new.

Ready to add some new furniture to your home?  Choose from one of these great fabric options designed to keep your well-loved furniture looking its best at all times.  You will love it, and Fido will too!



One Response

  1. Hi Jason, great post! My client would like to share your post on her website. She works with Sunbrella Fabrics making custom slipcovers and recommends them for pet owners. If you agree to allow us to use your post, we will give you credit for the post and a link back to your website. Please let me know if this is OK. thanks, Domenic

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