Blue and Green Upholstery Foam | Hollow Fibre/Duvet | Polyester Wadding | Closed Cell Foam | Material Weight | Animal Print Faux Fur | PU Nylon | Sherpa Fleece | Spacer Mesh | Velcro and Chico Fastenings | Waterproof Qualities
Blue and Green Upholstery Foam
Blue upholstery foam is exactly what it says – a very good quality foam that is blue in colour and is normally used in upholstery.
The foam we use is 33/190 Blue Polyurethane foam. The 33 identifies the Density e.g. 33 kg per cubic metre, and the 190 identifies the Newton Value ( i.e. the firmness of the foam.)
We also use Green Upholstery Foam, which is very similar to the blue foam, but is not quite as firm. We often use it in our smaller beds where blue foam might be a little too firm for a small lightweight pet. The foam is a grade 33/160 Green Polyurethane foam, and has very similar qualities to the Blue Foam.
Both foams are fire retardant and pass BS 5852-2-1982 using ignition source 5 Crib.
Blue and Green foam is dense and gives very good support. These foams are a far superior quality to the fillings you would usually find in a dog bed.
With our own brand foam beds you have the option to buy a separate waterproof cover to go over the foam, thereby keeping it dry and clean. All the cover usually needs is a wipe over, but it is fully removable and can be washed on a 30 degree cycle if necessary.
Hollow fibre usually looks and feels like a duvet i.e. soft and snuggly. There are various types and qualities available and we source some of the best on the market.
The hollow fibre in our larger beds is usually in separate sections so they can be washed in a standard washing machine if necessary. A lot of beds on the market have the fibre in one large piece with the sections stitched, which is fine until they start to smell and then they cannot be washed because they are too bulky.
We use a variety of thicknesses and weights in our wadding beds.
800gm or 1200gm polyester fibre wadding is compressed to about 40mm high, giving a firm yet soft feel, very like foam - but at a cheaper price. It is very lightweight and creates a nice springy bed. It needs to be contained in an outer fabric otherwise it can tear easily or become stuck to a Velcro fastening. It wears really well when protected with a waterproof cover. It does not look so inviting as hollow fibre, as it is not so thick and bouncy, but it often keeps its density and bounce longer and, when properly looked after, it does not go hollow and lumpy. Although it is washable at 30 degrees, it rarely needs washing when covered in a waterproof liner.
Closed Cell Foam
Closed cell foam is foam that is, quite literally, made with its cells closed. This means that water, oil and bugs do not penetrate into the foam. It is also waterproof. The foam we use is very light, but it gives excellent support. Although you can push it together with your fingers, when it is used as a bed filling it disperses the pet’s weight over its entire surface, so the foam hardly dents at all. It just has that bit of ‘give’. It is ideal if you have a large heavy dog that needs support and would otherwise ‘go through’ a lighter filling. .
We have also used it successfully in the prototype car beds we will be introducing later this year, as it is very light, stays in place when a dog jumps into the car and cushions movement. As it is only 15mm thick the bed is very unobtrusive and it gives a firm surface that can be used for other purposes when your dog is not being carried in the car.
It can also be used in conjunction with a softer upper layer of foam, hollow fibre or wadding and is great as a crate mat as it does not ‘ruck up’.
Closed cell foam will not bend or roll up like ordinary foam, although it has a small degree of flexibility. If the feel is too firm for your liking then you can always put a softer bed, such as Vetbed, on top to create a warm soft washable top layer.
Where possible we refer on a product page to the gms (grammes per square metre) of a material to give an indication of its weight and quality. For example, a 350gsm fleece would mean that one square metre of the material weighs 350gm. This would be a heavyweight fleece. A 160gsm fleece would be a micro fleece i.e. a very lightweight fleece.
Weight often indicates strength, but not always. For example, a 6oz PU nylon fabric is very strong but only weighs 170gm a square metre.
Animal Print Faux Fur
We use 100% polyester animal print faux fur fabric for the outer covers of some of our beds. This material is very strong, ladder resist and the outer side of the material feels like fur. The inner side is smooth polyester. It is machine washable, very durable and quite funky!
We sell removable outer covers in different patterns and colours and more will be introduced over the coming months. A new cover will completely change the look of your pet's bed.
Nylon with a PU i.e. waterproof backing
PU nylon is strong nylon with a waterproof backing. PU nylon only retains its waterproof qualities if it is washed correctly. No biological detergent can be used to wash the fabric otherwise over a period of time the waterproof backing will disintegrate. Most waterproof lfabrics only need a wipe over with a damp cloth. If washing is necessary we recommend the use of Nikwax products or, if the staining is slight, you can wash just in warm (30 degrees) water. Dog hairs do not stick to this fabric. Its only down side is that it is does sometimes make a very slight 'crackling' noise as the pet lays on it.
Strong, stretchy and tough yet soft to the touch. Fleece does not absorb much water and therefore dries very quickly and does not stain easily. It is washable at 30 degrees.
100% polyester spacer mesh is used on the base of some bed covers and in our luxury crate mats. We also sew two layers together to create a tough basic insulating layer in a bed. When sewn together it acts like a layer of rubber. It is smooth on one side and has mesh on the other side.
When used to create a crate mat the two plain sides are usually sewn facing each other as the mesh is more attractive on the outside. It is very strong and air traps in the mesh creating an insulating layer. Although the mesh is thin it is very dense and does not go flat. It gives a bed a bit of 'bounce' and is ideal for creating a layer of cushioning. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with another type of filling to add an extra layer of padding.
It is fully machine washable at 40 degrees.
Velcro and Chico fastenings
We use both Velcro and Chico 'sticky' fastenings. Chico looks and feels very like Velcro - it is almost impossible to tell the difference.
We sometimes use Chico fastenings that turn in on themselves on our outer covers, so both sides of the bed can be used and no stitching is visible.
We refer to some of the beds and covers as being waterproof. This means that the material used is a waterproof material i.e. it does not let water through. If you poured water onto the centre of a ballistic nylon waterproof bed, for example, it would puddle on the material and not pass through, as shown on the photo of the PU nylon above.
However, the seams of the covers are not sealed and will let water through. If the waterproof cover and its contents were immersed in water the contents would become wet. Further, like all waterproof fabrics, they only remain waterproof if they are cared for properly. If you washed a waterproof Cordura bed or a ballistic nylon bed in detergent the waterproof backing on the bed would eventually disentegrate and would no longer be waterproof. For this reason we recommend the use of Nikwax products that are specifically manufactured to help you keep your waterproof bed in good condition.
The Materials we DO NOT use
So many dog beds are filled with cheap fibre filling that is not designed to be washed. Initially, they look great, bouncy and full - but soon they start to smell and need washing. They often only have a thin cheap cover that quickly tears. You put them in the washing machine and then your problems begin.
The filling goes lumpy, starts to fall apart, goes thin and very quickly needs throwing out.
Often the filling is integrated into the bed and so the whole bed needs replacing. This is why we use quality fillings that don't go lumpy and flat and many of our beds have fillings covered in a waterproof fabric so the filling does not need to be washed.