A Guide To Pet-Friendly Fabrics For Your Home
We all love our pets – and we love our homes, too. We certainly don’t want our cherished décor damaged by our cherished pets. And we spend a LOT on our pets – for 2018, pet owners spent over $72 billion on their pets (about $14 billion more than in 2014!). This includes food, vet bills, toys, and pet beds and furnishings.
So how do you know which materials to choose for comfort, durability, and keeping your pets from being “in the doghouse?” Get tips for pet-friendly fabrics from experts in interior design in Scottsdale.
Consider The Function
Consider the following. How are you using the fabric? Window treatments, drapery, seating, upholstery, pillows, accents, bedspreads/comforters, and walls all have different functions and require different fabrics.
Consider The Durability
What level of durability do you need? Are pets allowed on the bed or furniture? Do you have dogs, cats, or other indoor pets? How large are the pets? Accidents happen, and we must choose fabrics that clean easily and wear well. My rule of thumb is if they can reach it or lay on it, make it washable and durable! In our Arizona climate, sun and heat also damage fabrics. We need to consider using sun-resistant fabrics, tinting windows, or adding high-quality linings to avoid shortening the life of your fabrics.
Choose Fabric Protection
Fabric stain protection is also recommended on many upholstery fabrics. But now we have more “CRYPTON” fabric choices than ever! I have a friend who calls it Kryptonite! The fabric protection is integrated with the fabric at the molecular level. Food and liquids roll right off!! We also have many more washable fabrics that can go in the washer and dryer or that have a “W” rating. The “W” rating means that you can spot clean with water vs. the expense of professional cleaning or concern for the unknown chemicals in store-bought spot removers.*
Consider Outdoor Fabrics
Some outdoor fabrics like Sunbrella are treated for soil resistance*, yet may be cleaned with bleach. Outdoor (and “marine”) fabrics are natural for homes with pets. You would be amazed at the variety of outdoor fabric choices that look perfectly at home indoors! For our harsh sunshine, make sure the fabric is Solution Dyed Acrylic – it resists fading for far longer than other outdoor fabrics.
Other fabrics I frequently recommend for homes with pets include faux suede or micro-fibers – Ultrasuede is a famous brand name. And now we have unbelievably gorgeous faux leathers that are also stained and microbial resistant and rated for hospitals and hotels!* This is terrific for anyone with in-home environmental concerns. And let’s not forget about the durability and beauty of leather.
The Beauty of Natural Leather
For pets, I recommend a distressed or weathered look if that’s your style. Nothing wipes clean like leather! Your pet’s fur and hair will not stick to leather or pleather (faux leather), making it very simple to wipe off or vacuum it away. You should use a commercial leather product to keep your leather supple and looking new if that’s your style. Otherwise, leather and faux leather develop a patina that many homeowners love and cherish. The good news here is that if you have pets that lie on your furniture in one particular favorite spot–it will speed up the darkening of leather to achieve your patina look much quicker.
Microfibers are synthetic, and they wear like a dream in any situation for window treatments and design solutions in Scottsdale. It will not scratch or rip easily and you can simply remove pet hair with a lint brush or simply wipe it with your hand. In addition, almost all stains come out of microfiber fabrics easily with mild soap and water.
Denim is a rugged, durable, and easy-to-clean fabric that makes it a great choice in more casual rooms. This casual fabric may look a bit out of place in a fancy living room, comfy family rooms, and formal areas, but all rooms can benefit from denim furniture. It can be spot cleaned with mild soap and water or a baking soda paste. The tight weave of denim makes it easy to vacuum off any stray pet hair for easy maintenance.
You may choose to have canvas slipcovers for your furniture in a home with pets. It’s a durable cotton fabric that doesn’t wear easily and you can remove it and throw it in the washer and dryer to clean it. Canvas is also a fairly inexpensive item, so if your slipcover gets damaged, you can simply replace it at a low price.
Rule of Thumb for Choosing Pet-Friendly Fabrics
As a general rule, when looking for pet-friendly fabrics, you should look for anything with a tight weave. Remember that patterns, textures, and darker colors are excellent to help hide pet hair and dirt until you have a chance to clean the fabric. If your pet has white hair, it’s best to choose a lighter fabric color from a window treatment store in Scottsdale to make the hair less noticeable. Remember that the big four fabrics to avoid in a pet home are velvet, tweed, silk, and chenille.
Some of these fabrics can be costlier than others, but many are surprisingly reasonable! And remember that $72 billion? Why not spend a bit more on yourself and make certain your furnishings are long-lasting? Plus, the fur kids are always happier when you are happier!
Custom Wool Pillows
Another unique tip to pet-friendly fabrics…have those old, worn, wool rugs (that aren’t worth repairing) made into toss pillows for your furniture! Wool is extremely soil resistant.
Check the Fabric Labels
*Always check fabric labels to make certain that you and your pets aren’t sensitive to the contents. Choosing the right fabric and following the proper cleaning and care guidelines will enable you to enjoy your furnishings for years to come.
Contact Amy Wolff Interiors
When selecting pet-friendly fabrics for your home, durability, stain resistance, and ease of cleaning should be prioritized. Choosing fabrics that can withstand daily life with your furry friend will create an inviting space for you and your furry friend. With this guide, you can make informed decisions that will allow you to enjoy a stylish yet pet-friendly home for years to come.
If you would like specifications on any of the fabrics mentioned or advice on pet-friendly furnishings, just call me, as your premier interior designer and decorator in Scottsdale at 480-780-1367, or email [email protected].