12/08/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/08/2021 04:33
In recent decades synthetic technical jackets, gilets and jerseys etc. have evolved to become highly specialized garments which protect the wearer from the external elements but also work to regulate heat and moisture generated during exertion.
This is in large part down to the development of breathable microporous membrane fabrics such as Gore-Tex and eVENT etc. - that stop rainwater from getting in but allow moisture vapour to escape - and has led to a new generation of light and versatile outerwear that is a far remove from the stiff and sweaty waterproofs of old.
Such fabrics are measured in terms of their waterproof rating (the amount of rain the fabric can handle in 24 hours before it soaks through) and their water vapour transmission rate (the breathability of the fabric in mm per 24hrs).
Most water-resistant outerwear - from light showerproof gilets to fully waterproof jackets and trousers - are treated with a coating called a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) which will keep out all moisture. The DWR consists of a chemical solution which is hydrophobic, meaning it is actually repels water and prevents the outer layer of the fabric from becoming saturated (a process known as 'wetting out'). This will enable moisture from outside to get in, as well as affecting breathability and so allowing buildup of internal moisture
However the DWR will wear off over time, reducing the garment's water-repellant properties and shortening the time in which it wets out. This means that you will need to use special non-soap detergents to wash such clothing, so maintaining the original DWR as long as possible, and very so often re-apply a chemical solution that restores the DWR (when you notice the garment wetting out, or according to the manufacturer's guidelines).