Best Upholstery Fabrics For Pet Owners

The best upholstery fabrics for pet owners is a topic that is an element of upholstery that has become increasingly common over the last decade.

Nowadays it seems like everybody has introduced a furry or feathered friend into their home, especially during the pandemic. Some couples are now even opting to take in a pet over having children. However, much like children, your furniture can be damaged by your faithful companion.

Claw marks, biting, dirt and smells are some of the impacts that your pet can have on your furniture, all whilst suffering general wear and tear over time. Although some of these issues can get away when you clean your upholstery properly, some of these effects are much more permanent. 

With all of this in mind, what are the best upholstery fabrics for pet owners?

Tightly Woven Fabric

Tightly woven fabrics are a great upholstery fabric when you have pets. can include denim, canvas or microfibre. 

These fabrics are a solid choice for any pet owner that is looking to keep their furniture clean and keep fur from building up within the cushions themselves. On top of this, some tightly woven fabrics, such as denim, are treated to make them even more stain resistant. This will help any mucky paws or slobber staining the fabrics. 

Stain resistant doesn’t mean that the fabric is immune to stains. You should still consider additional methods of keeping your fabric protected if you have pets. 

One of the downsides to tightly woven fabrics is that they aren’t as comfortable to sit on compared to softer materials. 


Leather is a material that is utilised across many different industries, including upholstery, for its durability and strength. This makes it a strong choice for furniture upholstery amongst pet owners. 

Due to the nature of leather, it doesn’t absorb stains, bad odours, and can handle rougher handling compared to most other fabrics. Pet hair simply sits on its surface, making it incredibly easy to wipe away, keeping the furniture clean. 

Much like tightly woven fabrics, leather isn’t always the most comfortable to sit on. On top of this, leather isn’t completely scratch proof. Rougher biting and scratching will ultimately leave marks on the surface of leather, damaging the appearance of the furniture. 


Microfiber often stands out as an excellent option for upholstery. As a fabric that is tightly woven, microfiber is incredibly resistant against wear and tear.

Much like other tightly woven fabrics, microfiber is known for being stain resistant, however, unlike the other fabrics mentioned, microfiber is much more comfortable. With both comfort and durability achievable with microfiber, it has become extremely popular amongst pet owners. 

Again, as with the other tightly woven fabrics, microfiber can become susceptible to odour over time. By choosing a fabric that is easily machine washable, you can get around the issue of pet odour. 

Fabrics to Avoid

Some fabrics are much tougher to maintain, making them impossible to work with if you have pets. Here are some fabrics to steer clear of:

Silk: While luxurious and beautiful, silk is highly delicate and easily damaged by claws. It also stains easily, making it impractical for households with pets.

Velvet: Velvet’s plush texture can be very attractive to pets, but it attracts pet hair and is known for being difficult to clean. The pile of the fabric can also be damaged by claws, leading to unsightly marks and worn spots.

Linen: Linen is a breathable and comfortable fabric but is prone to wrinkles and stains. Pet claws can easily snag the loose weave of linen, and it doesn’t handle pet-related stains well.

Tweed: Tweed’s textured surface attracts pet hair and can be difficult to clean. The nubby texture can also be uncomfortable for pets, and it can easily snag. If you’re looking to turn your sofa into your cat’s personal scratching post, tweed will achieve that for you. 

Wool: Wool is durable but can be challenging to clean and maintain. It can also retain pet odours, making it less desirable amongst pet owners..

Avoiding these delicate and high-maintenance fabrics will help ensure your furniture remains presentable and functional in a home with pets.


In some cases, certain fabrics must be used on upholstery when you need to choose the right fabric for antique furniture. In cases like this, you may need to consider alternatives to help preserve the upholstery of your furniture item. 

Limit Your Pets Access

This alternative isn’t for everyone, but by removing your pets access to the furniture piece altogether is going to ensure that it remains in good condition. Limiting your pets access can include:

  • Stopping your pet from sitting on the furniture.
  • Only allowing your pet to have access to the room where it is situated whilst you are there. 
  • Cutting off access to the room for your pet entirely. 

There are several reasons why you should not let your dog onto your bed or couch including hygiene and behavioural concerns. By providing your furry friend with their own comfy bed and space, you will be eliminating a whole host of issues, including damage to your upholstery. 

Cover Your Furniture

A quick and easy way to protect your upholstery fabric is by covering the furniture in a cover. This can be a thick throw or blanket that will be resistant to many effects that having a pet can bring. 

This will give you the freedom of choosing whatever fabric you want for your couch whilst giving it better protection against your pets. 

Our Fabrics

No matter what fabric you’re looking for when upholstering your furniture, South West Upholstery surely has it. From leather to microfiber, we have the best fabrics for pet owners.

We provide top-of-the-line upholstery services around Bristol, Bath and the Southwest region. 

Click here to check the different upholstery materials we offer or contact us today to find out more.

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