This time of year people naturally gravitate to the outdoors. This is especially true in more northern regions of the country where we know that only too soon the cold air and snow will return! With the current economic situation and the prevalence of "staycations" - it's only natural that more and more people are decorating their patios and deck areas for maximum summertime use. And the #1 decorating tool this season - outdoor area rugs.
Sometimes referred to as "all-weather rugs," they can make any outdoor space feel more like an extension of your home. But gone are the days of having to accept a bland, rubberized mat as a covering for your outdoor "floors." Today you have literally hundreds of choices in a wide range of colors, patterns and styles. And they are more durable to stand up to the elements than ever before.
Before you buy an outdoor rug, think about how it will be used. It may make logical sense to purchase a natural fiber rug - such as one made of bamboo or jute - for outdoor use, but in reality these don't do well if left outdoors permanently. For a covered porch, entry way or sunroom, they make an excellent choice. But they tend to deteriorate if they consistently get wet.
Instead, you should buy a rug made entirely of polypropylene, including the backing and any trim. This will not only stand up to the weather, but polypropylene also resists mold and mildew. When it gets wet and then dries, it will maintain its size and color.
By the way, a common name for polypropylene is olefin. Same thing. Just easier to spell and say!
In the world of textiles, fabrics and fiber manufacturing there is something called moisture regain. It is a measure of how much water something like a rug will absorb. Cotton, as you might well suspect, is basically off the chart. When it gets wet, it absorbs it all and does a great job of retaining it. Polypropylene, on the other hand, is at the other end of the scale with a rating of 0.05. There are some specialty fabrics intended for outdoor use that drop to 0.01.
Another benefit of polypropylene for outdoor rugs is how easy they are to clean. You can use a mild detergent and a scrub brush, although most people tend to just spray them with a garden hose. As mentioned previously, it will hold its color and shape without a problem.
One of the leading manufacturers and importers of indoor/outdoor or all-weather rugs is Capel Rugs, based in Troy, North Carolina. Their Capel AnywhereTM line, introduced in 2007, includes several beautiful collections of durable, polypropylene rugs for porches, patios, decks, verandas and pool areas. They're also perfect for high-traffic areas inside the house.
Rugs Direct has close to 100 Capel Anywhere rugs in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Again, gone are the days of buying a small rubber mat and calling it an "outdoor rug." Today you will find beautiful, durable "anywhere" rugs in sizes up to 7' x 10' to truly transform your outdoor spaces into an enjoyable, usable extension of your home.