How to care for a fabric collar

Fabric collars are for sure something special, a beautiful decoration for our pets and they often catch the eyes of people passing by.

That’s why many people love them at a first glance, but before buying you should know that fabric collars need more care than many other. The lifetime of the fabric is even with a proper and careful handling always shorter than the lifetime of the leather, nylon or metal.

Choose the dog equipment according to the needs, for different activities you will probably use various collars or other suitable equipment.

Fabric collars are suitable for use on walks, as decorative collars or for wearing ID tags. In case of very rough and continuous use, swimming and exposure to dirt (for example mud), they do not work best and are destroyed faster.

Even with the proper use of fabric collars, their wear and tear is normal and expected.

How the wear and tear is most likely to be visible somehow depends on the fabric characteristics, since a certain type of fabric likes to fade, the other type poorly tolerates rubbing, the third gets frayed easily etc. The basic characteristics of individual fabrics given in posts should be understood as general guidelines rather than rules, since the speed and degree of wear and tear vary significantly on a case-by-case basis and depend on how you use and look after your collars. Some use a delicate silk collar for several years with a minimal wear, and some destroy the most durable upholstery fabric within a few months, so it becomes unrecognizable.

The most common factors that speed up the wear of fabric collars

Dirt/infrequent cleaning

Fabric collars get dirty sooner or later, just as this happens to all of our clothes. With dogs that are not bathed on a regular basis or do like to roll in a mud, collars wil get dirty more and sooner. Dirt (skin debris, grass stains, mud, saliva, dust, manure …) can get really deeply embedded into the fabric, the colors become fuzzy and the pattern is unrecognizable.

If the collar is not being washed regularly or in time after getting dirty, it’s impossible to remove dirt and smell from the fabric. In addition, dust and other fine particles get trapped in the fabric, and are destroying metal parts by rubbing against them.

Moisture and salt

Fabric collars are not suitable for swimming in marine and fresh waters, because they need a long time to dry, develop a scent easily, even mold can grow on them fairly quickly. When exposed to the water and the sun fabric and seams will fade quickly and lose their best properties, metal parts will even rust where they are touching the fabric.

If a dog occasionally swims with a fabric collar, wash the collar as soon as possible and leave it to air dry, otherwise try to use a simple nylon collar or a metal chain for swimming. Also, fabric collars should be properly dried every time they get wet (after each walk in the rain). Never leave a wet collar on a dog.

Pulling on a leash

Collars of dogs that pull on leads are worn out considerably faster. This is particularly true for martingale collars, where due to the pulling force, the fabric is constantly rubbing against the metal parts of the collars. The lifespan of collars with dogs that walk on a relaxed leash is much, much longer than with dogs that pull and behave explosively on a leash.

Scratching and chewing

Dogs that are strongly or often scratching, will destroy their collar very quickly. The same applies to dogs that have their equipment at the reach of their teeth. No fabric, no nylon will not resist long, neither successfully to dog claws and teeth. Make sure that collars and other equipment are taken away when not in use, and prevent the dog from scratching or biting during use.

Continuous wearing

Unfortunately, fabric collars are not the most suitable for 24/7 wearing, most of them are meant to be worn on walks only. If a dog constantly wears only one collar, it will be destroyed faster. Similarly, this would happen to our socks, we would throw them in trash quickly if we only wore one and the same pair all the time.

How can we take best care of a fabric collar?

Regular cleaning

Wash the collar when needed (at least when you notice that it is dirty) by hand or in a washing machine. Hand washing is recommended especially for special occasion collars, while others can be easily washed in a washing machine.

We advise you to close the collar in a pillow case or a bag for delicate laundry. This not only prevents the metal and plastic parts from hitting the drum and the glass of the washing machine, but also protects the collar from unnecessary rubbing. The best temperature for washing a collar is 30 – 40 degrees C. We advise you to wash them together with similar colors using the usual laundry detergent.


Always stretch the collar and leave it to air dry in the shade after washing it and walking the dog in the rain. Do not use a wet collar on dogs because wet materials worn out faster and more than dry materials.


The more collars you use, the less you will need to care for each of them and they will remain beautiful for a long time; this is similar to our clothes. In any case, it is best to have at least two collars so one can be washed and dried when needed and have one for reserve “just in case”.

Also, make sure that you take off the collar after each use (after a walk) and you replace it with one that is suitable for a specific purpose. For home wear or wearing ID tags this can be a house collar, an older collar, etc.

Removing of pilling and snagged threads

It is best to remove pilling and individual snagged threads from the fabric surface (including the lining) on a regular basis, as this will slow down further wear and improve the appearance of the collar. You can do this in many ways: with scissors, with machine pilling remover, with a razor blade, or with a lighter. Of course, everything should be done as carefully as possible not to unnecessarily damage the fabric even more.

Regular check ups

Collars and other equipment should be inspected regularly to detect wear and tear of the fabric (aesthetic meaning), nylon core, metal parts and seams. Visibly worn collar is not suitable and is no longer safe to use.

What do we never do with fabric collars?

Avoiding and delaying with cleaning

Most often, collars needed to be replaced by those who do “nothing” with them. Collars that are never washed and are continuously worn by dogs from the first day they are put on, can quickly go just straight into the trash bin.

Brushing, rubbing, soaking

Never brush the collar with a nail brush or even a sorghum brush, rubbing with a wire sponge and soaking in the water are extremely inappropriate as well. With such treatments, the collar will be worn out faster, as if it has been regularly and properly maintained.

Washing with aggressive cleaning agents (chlorine) and disinfectants

Aggressive cleaners (especially those based on chlorine) will damage the fabric and metal parts which, as a result, become porous. Do not use aggressive stain removers, bleaches and softeners.

Drying in the sun or in a drying machine, ironing

All methods are unsuitable because UV rays and high temperatures have a bad influence on all parts of the collar.

Washing at high temperatures

Most materials do not stand high temperatures well, the visual effect is also poor, as the fabrics irreparably shrunk, wrinkles, fade or color bleed.

Most common misunderstandings

Fabric collars are suitable for every dog

Not true, or, to put it better, they are not necessarily suitable for every owner/for every lifestyle. Especially if you are not willing to maintain the collar regularly and properly and also replace it with a new one when needed, then the fabric collar is not right for your dog.

The fabric must withstand everything exposed to, as this is its intention

Not true, if the fabric is in use and exposed to external influences, it will also get worn out.

One collar is suitable for every day and all the opportunities

Not true, probably none of us wears an evening dress when digging in a garden? Collars made of fabric have different properties than leather, plastic or metal products, and therefore they must be used accordingly. For those who want to use for example, only one collar, which they expect not to change in a few years, fabric collars are not at all suitable.

Taking care of other products

The rest of the products (leashes, harnesses, softshell products …) are very similar to fabric collars: wear is normal and expected. It is important to clean them regularly, check them and replace them with new ones when needed.

You have a choice, you can seek for an advice

Buyers who know what they are buying or already know what to expect from a fabric collar, are almost without exception satisfied with our collars. Sometimes, however, it happens that the buyer has expectations (let this be the price, characteristics, appearance, way of ordering …) that our products and the way we work can not fulfill. Therefore, we always emphasize that the market is huge and it offers a wide choice. To be satisfied, you have to choose the product that will suit you and your dog, use it properly, and look after it. we will gladly help as best as we can anyone who seek an advice from us.

Good to remember

You use Galgina products exclusively at your own risk.