Can Moleskin Fabric Get Wet? [And Is It Waterproof?]

Moleskin cotton fabric is a popular choice for both pants and shirts due to its softness, durability, and texture. It is very unique compared to other types of cotton. But what about wet weather conditions? Can moleskin get wet and is moleskin waterproof?

Yes, moleskin cotton can get wet and the fabric itself will not be ruined (which means it is machine washable). But if you are wondering if moleskin is waterproof, it is not. When untreated moleskin fabric is exposed to rain, it will get soaked. Moleskin cotton is not ideal for wet conditions.

Some companies may treat their moleskin fabric with a water-resistant spray, which makes it capable of repelling light precipitation. But untreated moleskin fabric is not waterproof and will absorb water and will be heavy when wet.

In this article, let’s take a closer look at how moleskin handles wet conditions. Let’s also discuss the best way to care for moleskin cotton.

Can Moleskin Get Wet?

Yes, as we discussed above, moleskin cotton can get wet and the fabric will not be ruined. Like other types of cotton, moleskin cotton can get wet (for example, in a washing machine), and the fabric will not be ruined.

But is moleskin cotton waterproof?

Is Moleskin Waterproof?

Moleskin cotton is not waterproof. Some types of moleskin clothing are treated with spray to be water-resistant, but untreated moleskin cotton will absorb water and eventually get soaked if exposed to wet and rainy conditions.

Moleskin fabric can obviously handle a bit of moisture like light precipitation or mist without getting soaked, but if you are facing moderate to extreme conditions, untreated moleskin cotton will not be your best choice.

What Types of Fabric Handle Rain Better Than Moleskin?

  • Waxed Cotton – Waxed cotton clothing will repel water. Although waxed cotton is very popular, and often used in jackets, it is nothing like moleskin. Waxed cotton is very durable, but not as comfortable as moleskin cotton.
  • Wool Wool is naturally water-resistant, which means it can take on light precipitation and keep you dry. No, don’t expect it to protect you from extreme rain, but if you will be facing a light rain shower, wool is a great option. Another awesome thing about wool is it often retains its insulating qualities even when damp (warmth of wool explained).
  • Nylon – Nylon is a very popular fabric for rain jackets and other type of outdoor clothing. Nylon jackets are usually insulated with some other type of material to help retain warmth. Nylon itself is very lightweight and is more common in activewear.
  • Polyester – Just like nylon, polyester is another synthetic fabric that is a very popular for rain gear. Polyester is very common in jackets and hiking pants. It is more common in activewear.

Even fabrics like denim and flannel can be treated with a water-resistant spray to help repel precipitation, but if fabrics like moleskin, denim, and flannel are not treated with a water-resistant spray they will not stand up well to rain.

Is Moleskin Fabric Machine Washable?

Moleskin fabric can be machine washed with cold water and hung to dry. This type of moleskin cotton clothing does not do well in the dryer, and it should be line dried.

You can wash moleskin fabric by itself or with other clothing. Washing moleskin cotton in cold water is recommended to avoid shrinkage.

Generally, most moleskin cotton fabric can be machine washed and line dried. You will notice fading and wear over time, but this should be minimal if you are properly caring for the fabric garment.

However, you should always follow the garment’s specific instructions for care. This ensures the longest life for your garment. Dry cleaning moleskin is also an option if you want to avoid the potential issues that come with a machine wash.

How Does Moleskin Compare to Other Types of Cotton?

Moleskin is made from heavier-weight cotton than most other types of cotton, so it will hold up better when wet than some lighter-weight fabrics. However, since it is absorbent like some of the lighter-weight kinds of cotton, moleskin may not be the best choice if you are looking for something to wear in wet work conditions.

But moleskin makes for a nice outdoor work shirt due to its durability. A moleskin work shirt or work pants will not be lightweight and flimsy, meaning they will stand up better to work conditions than other types of cotton (heavyweight cotton explained).

Canvas and denim are other types of cotton that are very good for work wear, and even certain types of heavyweight cotton flannel. But moleskin should not be your first choice to wear in wet weather (no untreated cotton fabric will do well in wet weather).

When it comes to wet weather protection, canvas may be the best option of the cotton fabrics (is canvas waterproof), but there are also many other synthetic materials that are much better suited for this type of weather. Moleskin should not be used as your go-to fabric for inclement weather protection.

Generally, all types of cotton do poorly in water and wet weather (is corduroy waterproof?). Cotton fabrics will quickly become saturated and heavy, losing their shape and stiffness. Cotton may also mildew if it gets wet then is not cared for properly. No, water by itself won’t ruin a moleskin shirt, but if it gets soaked, and then is not properly dried, mildewing can occur.

Moleskin cotton fabric can be more expensive than other types of fabrics in stores. Because Moleskin is a thicker fabric, it makes more sense for cold weather than it does for warm weather. And as we discussed earlier, moleskin is not waterproof, and won’t make sense for wet weather.

If you are looking for something to use in wet weather, maybe these articles will help you find options:

If you want to see some of my favorite options, visit our article about the best moleskin shirts to use on the job. Just don’t plan for any of these shirts to keep you dry in extreme weather. Moleskin is a durable material that makes sense for brushy terrain, and can also function as a nice layering piece in cold weather. But moleskin is not waterproof.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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