What Upholstery Fabric Do I Need For My Sofa?

We know the moment when you see that gorgeous velvet sofa, and the first thing coming to your mind is: “I can do this. Dacota will understand that she is not allowed up there”. But let’s think real. It won’t happen. Even if you become a cat whisperer and you succeed in keeping her off the sofa, it won’t be enough. Your fluffy friend will leave its hair everywhere, including your sofa. It doesn’t matter what kind of animal you have – a cat or a dog, their hair manages to find its way through the air onto your fabric. Your role here is to decide on the upholstery fabric that will work best for you before you go shopping.

Things you should take into consideration are:

  • How will your pet’s hair show up on the upholstery – embedded in the weave or not?
  • Will the fabric show the scratches from your pet’s nails?
  • Is the fabric easily damaged?

Of course, it should be such a type that it could be easily cleaned from all kinds of paw prints and drool marks.

1. Patterns - OK, Tweedy Textures - NO

Upholsteries with patterned fabrics are perfect if you want to hide pet hair. Moreover, if you choose a predominant colour, the pattern will camouflage either the hair or the pet marks. Probably, you are tempted to go with tweedy fabrics, but you better stay away from them. Yes, they can help you camouflage the pet hair, but the weave wedges the hair in its fibres, making cleaning difficult.

2. Synthetic Fiber (Ultrasuede/Polyester)

More people go for natural these days, but synthetic can be an excellent option if you are a pet owner. This includes all kinds of nylon, polyester, acrylic and other similar materials. You probably won’t be very excited about this choice, as it doesn’t fit everyone’s aesthetic criteria. However, the durability of the material makes it a great choice when you have pets at home. Cats don’t like scratching such fabrics, especially if a scratching post is nearby. Other pros are that pet hair can be easily brushed away and cleaned using a brush, microfibre cloth or a lint roller. Soapy water on a damp towel will do a great job of cleaning any spills and stains.

3. Low pile upholstery fabrics

In case bad odours are an issue for your pet, you should consider investing in low-pile upholstery fabrics like synthetic velvet or microfibre. They are best for preventing odours at home simply because they have less material, so less space for the smells to get trapped in. Also, these fabrics are usually tightly woven, making them easy to clean and claw-proof. Microfibre, in particular, stretches very well, which means it’s resistant to pulls and tears.

4. Leather

Leather’s attractiveness is gained from a few factors, such as its odour resistance and pet hair repelling. If somehow your pet finds its way onto your cushions, don’t worry. You can wipe them off easily with a damp cloth. Or if something worse happens, for example, if your cat scratches your sofa, you can quickly buff it out. Besides, distressed leather will be an excellent choice because it will draw less attention to scuffs and scratches.

5. Woven Fabrics

Some woven fabrics are a great choice when you have pets at home, thanks to their subtle patterns and visual texture. This includes felts, herringbone and chenille. These are all very durable and stain resistant. They all possess dimensionality, which makes them great for disguising stains and making pet hair less visible. These fabrics will serve an even better purpose if you opt for darker hues rather than light colours of upholstery.

6. Outdoor Fabrics

You may be surprised, but if outdoor fabrics can withstand all kinds of rain, wind and general wear-and-tear, then dealing with a dog or cat should be a breeze. It’s very suitable for indoor upholstery covering. Using it has many advantages, such as its cleaning easiness, availability in almost every store, scratch resistance, etc. It’s not as soft as synthetic fibre, but it’s better than most other options out there. This fabric can be found in different colours, prints, and even in natural materials. Regular upholstery cleaning for these types of fabrics will be super easy. Therefore, if your pet’s favourite chair is made of delicate fabric, it might be worth the effort to buy slipcovers made of outdoor material.

Important: Fabrics to avoid for outdoor use include Velvet, Chenille, Wool, Silk, Tweed, and Linen

7. Protected Fabrics

Some innovative furniture companies produce their couches and chairs using protected fabrics. These fabrics have built-in moisture and odour-resistant qualities, and stains never set into the fibres. There’s also a budget option to get protective covers for your existing furniture. A less visible alternative is to use a spray type of protection, like Scotchgard. It’s usually sprayed over carpets and upholstery after deep cleaning. It makes the fabric moisture-resistant, so every spill waits for the surface to be wiped away.

What Upholstery Fabrics Are Best?

When it comes to the furniture in your home, you don’t want to choose upholstery fabrics that are only good-lookers. You also need to look at their durability and ability to stand up to pet hair, sand, and other potential messes.

To sum up, no matter which of the mentioned above upholstery fabrics you choose, it’s highly recommended to protect your furniture by scotchgarding it. Another thing you could do is to buy slipcovers or just throw a blanket on your sofa. That way, they will be protected for longer.