What’s the Best Outdoor Rug Material For Rain?

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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You’re sure to be familiar with rugs; these durable, aesthetic objects that can add a lot of beauty to a home.

The best material is polypropylene. Rugs made of this can withstand both moisture and heavy foot traffic. Not only that, but they don’t fade, and they resist stains as well. 

Rugs in general come in a variety of designs and textures, all designed to enhance a space.

Outdoor rug materials tips
Outdoor rug

Polypropylene can be used both indoors and outdoors, to great effect.

Learn more below!

Rug Materials (and How They Handle Rain)

So, is it only propylene rugs that are good outside?

There are a couple of other materials that could also work.

Let’s take a look!

Jute

Jute rugs are named for what they’re made of: the jute plant, which originates in Asia. Jute rugs are woven, with a wide weave.

Are they soft? While jute rugs are not the softest, they can still be pretty soft.

It depends on the rug – and this is something you can usually learn in a review!

Jute outdoor rug material facts
Jute outdoor rug material

Jute rugs are typically easy enough to clean with simple vacuuming and spot cleaning. These are very popular rugs that can suit anywhere in the home.

They are typically indoors-only, however! 

This is because jute should generally not get overly wet. While it can handle some moisture from, say, shoes, anywhere it will rain or snow simply won’t work!


As a Result: When jute rugs get wet, they brown. The main downside of ever-popular jute rugs is that the fibers may crack and shed over time. Otherwise, this rug material is a real winner!


Wool

Wool rugs are those made from shaved sheep fur (rather than a hide).

They are known for being quite soft and cushy, making them very popular. Unlike Jute, Wool can usually be washed – carefully – with water.

Wool outdoor rug material facts
The wool outdoor rug material

Some will do best with handwashing, while others can handle a gentle laundry cycle. Usually, air-dry is best with either! 

So, can wool get wet in general?

It can, and it won’t usually take damage from it. Wool generally just soaks up water.

Keep in Mind – This is still not ideal as an outdoor rug material, however. Why? Because when the rug soaks up water, it becomes susceptible to infestation from moisture-loving bugs, or even mold.

Wool rugs can handle heat and cold okay but are not resistant to weather.

This means it’s best to keep them indoors, along with your jute rugs. This will increase their durability greatly, and keep mold and bugs in check!

Shag 

Shag rugs are true their name, with long, shaggy fibers that create a truly plush surface.

These are well-loved for their ability to make a room cozier and more opulent. Shag rugs are both stylish, and comfortable.

They are typically made from faux fur (not real fur, or they’d simply be called fur rugs), sometimes along with wool and even backed with leather (the last is less common).

Shag outdoor rug for rain facts
Shag outdoor rug material

So, can shag rugs get wet? Can you put them in your washer?

First of all, yes, shag rugs can get wet, briefly. As with wool rugs, being exposed to moisture for too long can make shag rugs an ideal spot for bugs and mold.

For this reason, you probably want to keep them inside of your house rather than out. Usually, the best way to clean a shag rug is with a good vacuuming and dry shampoo combo.

For really dirty rugs, you could employ a steam cleaner, or even – carefully – put it through your washer.

If you’d prefer to try the washer, first make sure your rug doesn’t have a leather back.

This won’t make it through very well. Also, make sure the washer is set to gentle rather than normal. Finally, it’s best to air dry your shag rug after!

Hide 

Next on our list of rug materials, we have hide rugs.

These are made from skinning an animal, and they include the skin (leather). These can have a stylish, rustic look.

Cowhides and sheep hides are the most popular (the former of which can also be called wool).

Hide material outdoor rug
Hide outdoor rug

Sheep hides are fluffy, while cowhides tend to be a bit rougher (but still soft). When it comes to whether or not you can get a hide rug wet, the answer is a definite no.

That is unless you want your rug warping its shape. This is the effect that moisture tends to have on hides, at least the leather part.

This means hide rugs must be kept from rain and snow, as indoor rugs.

If you need to clean a hide rug, never fear:

  • Simply employ a soft sponge, a bit of dish soap, and a little bit of water.
  • Just make sure that the sponge isn’t too wet; it should be damp, no more.
  • A little scrub with this sponge should do the trick!

A Synthetic Material 

Next up are rugs made from a synthetic material, usually nylon or polyester (or propylene, covered below).

These are specially made for excellent durability, and most of them are water-proof (making them a great rug material for rain).

Synthetic outdoor rug good for rainy weather
Synthetic outdoor rug material

Synthetic rugs differ from say, hides, in that they are made from unnatural materials.

They’re often also made by machine, and this makes them highly affordable, and there are many styles and colors to choose from.

Works Best – If you’re looking for a great outdoor rug, a synthetic rug may be just what you need. It will repel most water, making it naturally resistant to moisture-loving bugs and mold.

Thanks to their low-absorbancy, synthetic rugs are stain-resistant and also easy to clean. For these reasons, synthetic rugs are quite popular!

Polypropylene 

Polypropylene rugs are some of the most durable rugs out there, beating their ultra-durable nylon and polyester counterparts.

Polypropylene rugs known for their toughness and water resistance. They’re also stain-resistant and resistant to bugs or mold.

They handle traffic well. This equals very long rug longevity. Along with this, polypropylene rugs are often quite affordable compared to, say, hides or wool.

There are many colors and patterns of propylene rugs available, as well. These rugs are both practical and aesthetic, making them highly sought-after!

Final Words

So, now you know the best outdoor rug materials for rain: polypropylene first, as it’s the most water-resistant and durable.

This is followed by other synthetic rug types, such as nylon and polyester. Shag, wool, hides, and jute are all prone to harm from water, despite their otherwise quality.

For rain, a water-resistant synthetically-made rug is your best bet. Best of luck!