If you have indoor pets, you'll always have to deal with pet hairs and scratches on the furniture. But some fabrics wear better than others. Check out these five pet-friendly fabrics that can keep your furniture looking great, even when your pets curl up and make themselves at home.
Leather makes a good choice for people with pets because fur and hair won't stick to it. You can simply vacuum it away and use a commercial cleaner to keep the leather supple. However, leather does scratch (which doesn't have to be a bad thing). If you have a cat, it's a good idea to keep their nails trimmed as sharp claws can actually puncture the leather, leaving small holes.
After a while, leather develops a patina that some people think looks great. A pet can contribute to the darkening of leather, especially if they have a favorite spot on the couch. If you want your leather to stay pristine, keep your pets off of it. Or if that's not possible, consider using a slipcover or blanket to protect your sofa.
Synthetic microfiber wears like a dream. It doesn't rip or scratch easily, and you can quickly remove accumulated hair with a lint brush or even just by wiping it with your hands. Most stains come out of microfiber with mild soap and water.
Rugged, durable and easy-to-clean denim makes a good choice in casual rooms. While the informal fabric may look out of place in fancier living rooms, comfy family rooms, sunrooms and cottage interiors can benefit from denim furniture. You can spot clean denim with mild soap and water or a baking soda paste. And the tight weave of the fabric makes it easy to vacuum off any stray pet hair.
Canvas slipcovers make an especially good option in homes with pets. The durable cotton fabric doesn't tear easily, and you can simply remove the slipcover if it gets dirty and toss it in a washing machine. They are also fairly inexpensive—especially when comparing the price to the cost of a new couch. So if your slipcover becomes ruined with claw marks or stains, replacement is much less of a financial hurdle.
Stain- and odor-resistant treated outdoor fabrics repel moisture and even fend off bacteria, so you can share your couch with your pooch without compromising your own comfort. You could bring outdoor furniture into the house, or make slipcovers to cover pre-pet purchases. Or simply choose from an extensive selection of fabrics, styles, and colors to upholster a new piece of furniture, a design trend that outdoor fabric and furniture manufacturers both seem perfectly willing to accommodate.
Rule of Thumb
As a general rule for choosing pet-friendly fabrics, look for something with a tight weave. Patterns, textures, and darker colors help hide pet hair and dirt until you have a chance to clean. If you have a pet with white hair, a lighter fabric will be a better choice in this instance. Keep in mind that chenille, velvet, silk, and tweed are all fabrics you should avoid when shopping for pet-friendly furniture.