For 14 years we have been using the same two different types of waterproof base fabric for all our products because our customers love them. There has been no reason to fix it as it is not broken, but we have come across a very nice new fabric, which we have put through all the rigorous tests such as how much dog hairs tend to stick to the fabric, how it wears when it is used for the best dog beds and of course the all important hydroscopic head test, which shows exactly how waterproof the fabric is. Fabrics can be waterproof or water resistant and there is a vast difference between them in that respect. When you make a horse rug, it is important that the fabric is water resistant so that rain does not soak in when the pony is out in the field all day and night in the rain. However, when pony runs around the place when it is maybe raining, but warm, it might sweat and it is therefore important that the fabric that his rug is made out of is breathable. There is a big contrast to what you need when you make waterproof dog beds simply because instead of the horse being UNDER the rug, the dog is lying ON its bed. If a dog is a bit wet or even has just been swimming round the pond, his coat will be holding water. When the dog goes on to his bed and presses down on it with his big, sleepy weight, he then FORCES the water on to the fabric, which is too much for it. A water resistant, breathable fabric will, when the pressure gets too high (the hydrostatic head) give in to the pressure and let water in. That is just no good for dog beds if you want the best of the best.
As we make the best dog beds you can possibly buy (so our customers say!), we take the above issues very serious indeed. So serious that we don’t even trust the textile and textile coaters’ description and promises of the hydrostatic head, we have that measured at an independent laboratory and compare the fabrics before and after several washes.
So given this new fabric stands up to the testing, analysis and use under a dog, we are now in the dilemma how to go about changing the fabric that our customers know so well. We are tempted, if the testing comes out to its favour, to have three main fabrics, but we will end up confusing everyone that come to us looking for durable dog beds. It is already an issue to try and explain the difference between the two at the moment.
We shall keep watching these new test beds and make a decision some time in the next year. When you make luxury dog beds, you have to take the time to test them for heavy, sustained use, and that is exactly what we do here at Tuffies.