Kid Friendly Fabrics

Nov 6, 2017

I'm sure you have seen mentions here and there of "kid friendly fabrics." What are they? How do they work? Where do you find them? I imagine these are questions most people have when they see designers talk about light colored fabrics they chose for homes of families with small children. I don't see them go into detail so as someone who has lived with these fabrics for several years I'd like to share my thoughts.

This is just an average day after school. I've heard psychologists say they are bonding when they wrestle like this.

My sofa and two side chairs are both covered in Sunbrella fabric. They are the same outdoor fabric you already know, but the fabric is made for indoor use. They can mimic cotton, linen and even velvet.

The two cream colored chairs are from Pottery Barn. Most of their upholstered fabrics come with the option to be covered in Sunbrella. Mine are similar to a linen weave. The fabrics aren't quite as soft as a typical linen fabric, but once you combine that fabric with the down cushions it is one of the most comfortable chairs.

The sofa is from High Fashion Home. If you order online the only fabrics are standard linen, but if you visit the store you can choose from hundreds of fabrics including kid friendly ones. I initially chose a Sunbrella navy velvet fabric for this sofa. What a different look that would have been! Unfortunately, it was just a promotional fabric at that time and it was undetermined when I could get enough fabric to cover the sofa. The only fabrics they had at the time simulated linen or cotton. It's amazing how things can change in just a few years. There are so many new kid friendly options available now.

How resistant to stains are these fabrics? I would recommend to test out a sample before buying furniture covered in it. I spilled my two biggest vices on the samples, coffee and red wine. Both came out immediately after spills. I was thrilled! I did notice once I bought the furniture it was a little more difficult to remove stains that had been there a while. The reality is it isn't that hard to get out stains in any fabric if you remove it immediately. The hard part is removing stains that have been there for days, weeks or even months. In my experience, most of them can be removed easily with water and a paper towel. There are some stains that required a bit more work, but they all eventually came out. The issue was the integrity of the fabric was compromised the more I worked on it. The bottom line is it was definitely worth the extra cost for these fabrics regardless if you have kids or pets. I do not think these fabrics would have been worth it with very young children. My kids are older (school aged) and do not eat or drink in the living room. I think back to when they were toddlers and preschoolers and realize the leather sofas we had were probably the best choice. I wiped them down with a wet towel daily.

Restoration Hardware has been offering their Perennial fabrics for years. I've tested them out and they appear to be very similar to Sunbrella when it comes to stain resistance.

Crypton fabric is the newest fabric available. I have to be honest that I don't have any experience with this fabric, but it seems to be similar to Sunbrella and Perennial fabric with regards to texture and stain resistance.

I am happy to see more and more retailers offering kid friendly fabrics. I honestly can't imagine going back to regular fabric on light colored fabric furniture.  It is quite a bit more expensive, but you won't have to replace the furniture as often so it does pay for itself. I do not have one stain on my furniture at this time. I can't say that will always be the case, but after two years that's amazing!


  1. I think the fabric on my family room sofas are stain resistant, but not the kid-friendly fabric you write about. If only I'd have had this when my son was younger, although truth be told, I'm the sloppy one!

  2. None of my fabrics are kid friendly. I agree that RH is good. Excited to see Crypton. They get better and better every year! PS blog looks great Jennifer :)