Today we're posting about one of our favorite topics: water resistant fabric! What is it, why do we use it, and why does it make our dog beds more durable? Read on for the answers!
The majority of our dog beds here at Kingboy are made with a strong but soft outdoor-friendly fabric that has a durable water resistant ("DWR") coating applied to it. DWR coatings make fabrics resistant to water and other liquid by creating a barrier on the surface of the fabric, which prevents liquids from penetrating the fabric. Said differently, DWR fabrics work by allowing the material to shed liquid instead of soaking it up upon contact. To the naked eye, this effect can be seen as water droplets beading up and rolling off the surface of the fabric. This feature can be especially useful for outdoor clothing/equipment as well as items that are frequently exposed to liquids, such as shower curtains, bath towels, and, of course, DOG BEDs!
There are several different types of DWR coatings available, each with their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Some of the most common types of DWR coatings include silicone-based coatings, fluoropolymer-based coatings, and wax-based coatings. There are two common methods used to apply the DWR coating – spray-on and wash in. Spray on applies the coating to the outside of the fabric, while wash in DWR applications will treat the inside and outside of the fabric, which typically results in longer-lasting water resistance. The DWR coating in the fabric Kingboy uses for our water-resistant dog beds is a wash in coating, which means it penetrates the fabric and makes it waterproof on both sides.
A unique feature of many water resistant fabrics is that while the DWR coating prevents water droplets from passing through the fabric, it still allows water vapor to pass through. This results in an important "breathable" quality that DWR fabrics offer despite having strong water-resistance. This is important for dog beds because while dogs do not sweat like humans, the heat from their bodies can still get trapped in between their body and non-breathable fabric. That's why breathability is an important creature feature that has been prioritized here at Kingboy during development of our top quality dog beds.
In order to classify water resistant fabrics properly, standardized laboratory testing procedures have been established so that all manufacturers are tested to the same standards. The DWR fabric we use passes an absorbency test known as AATCC 79, a test method which is designed to measure the water absorbency of textiles by measuring the time it takes a drop of water placed on the fabric surface to be completely absorbed into the fabric.
While all DWR coatings can wear off over time if the fabric is washed frequently, the saturated coating that is applied to our fabric is very durable and long-lasting -- we know this because we've been using our dog beds in our home for years! However, to maximize the life of the DWR fabric coating, we recommend spot cleaning or wiping off liquids that may get on your dog bed first before washing them in a traditional washing machine. But you absolutely can (and should!) wash your Kingboy dog bed in the washing machine to make sure it looks and smells super fresh. After all, your dog's sense of smell is 10,000x stronger than yours!
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