Anyone who has noticed my ads, or the header picture for this page, knows that I love animals. Living with them AND textiles can be a project however. Here are some of the animal friendly projects I’ve done over the years:
Small stencilled curtains for the lower part of glass doors to protect them from dog drool AND keep the dogs from getting too excited at outdoor goings-on.
A Roman shade that only covered part of the window so that the dogs could see out.
Stencilled linen drop cloths to attractively protect the furniture from dogs.
Special washable cushion covers for a home with a cat with a urinary infection
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Oatmeal linen is the most pet friendly fabric. Its slightly rough and texture and uneven color shows spots and marks the least.
Stay on top of the fur removal as best you can. My dog is a Korean Jindo - a true fur machine with a tough over coat that seems to hook in to fabric. I find a sticky roll type lint remover works best. During shedding season I use it daily! A damp sponge can work for cat fur and feels less wasteful - it won’t hurt the linen. Pet fur has natural oils and can stain fabric if left on too long.
Pet drool (!) is a protein based stain and responds well to immediate attention with spray spot removers like SHOUT. Don’t wait too long! Use an glass cleaner like WINDEX on roller shades and try to avoid scrubbing over any stencilling.
As for that beloved cat with the urinary infection....that is really tough. The smell of cat urine is very difficult to remove but a surprisingly effective tool is...air! Hang your textile where there is good air circulation all around it (NOT a closet). It can take weeks but eventually those odor molecules basically float away. I once saved a vintage portiere by airing it for a month where there was agentle, constant breeze. This works for mildew as well.