With so many products available at the tip of our fingers, as well as some amazingly durable fabrics, it’s easier than ever to have a beautiful home that will stand up to the wear and tear of kids and pets! Read on to learn just how much easier these products can make your life, and ease some of the stress you feel as the brigade runs past with their not-so-spotless paws.
Fabrics can be broken down into two broad categories: natural and synthetic. Both have benefits so understanding what they are is the first step in selecting a fabric that will work best in your home:
A) Natural textiles are fabrics made from plant and animal fibers. Age-old and timeless, some examples of natural textiles include: cotton, wool, silk, jute, bamboo, and leather.
Unlike their synthetic counterparts, natural fabrics are environmentally-sustainable, renewable, and typically provide more texture than man made fabrics. Each natural fiber has its own set of pros and cons so the textile should be chosen by the application. In general, natural fabrics are typically susceptible to damage from sunlight and moisture.
B) Synthetic textiles are man-made fabrics.
“Sunbrella” and “Crypton” are two of the most commonly known names. Available in a rainbow of colors and patterns, synthetic fabrics are extremely durable. As stain-resistance is their biggest benefit, these fabrics can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Most are fade-resistant as well so UV rays won’t cause the fabric color to fade regardless of how long it’s exposed to sunlight. Polyester and Microfibers are two other common synthetic fibers that can stand the test of time for their durability and stain-repellent properties. They are both great choices for frequently used upholstery.
Tips for Choosing a Kid and Pet-Friendly Fabric:
- Choose a tightly-woven fabric for furnishing and rugs in areas that bring in heavier traffic. A tight weave provides a fabric with more durability.
- Opt for patterns that are woven into a design rather than one printed directly on the fabric. These will stand up better to kids and pets.
- Apply a stain-resistant finish to natural fibers to help provide protection from daily use
- Select patterns to help you hide stains. Solid colors tend to highlight stains while patterns (especially small patterns) can mask a multitude of sins.
- Pick out UV-resistant synthetic fabrics for areas that get a lot of sunlight, so that they will not fade over time.
Fabric Pictured Above are Examples of: Natural woven (right) and Patterned Fabric (to hide stains)