Gore-Tex is a waterproof breathable fabric. Gore-Tex materials are based on thermo-mechanically expanded polytetrafluoroethylene and other fluoropolymer products. Now used in a wide variety of applications such as high performance fabrics and protective, breathable rain wear.
The simplest sort of rain wear is a two layer sandwich. The outer layer is typically nylon or polyester which provides strength, the inner layer is polyurethane providing water resistance. Gore-Tex requires that all garments made from their material have taping over the seams, to eliminate leaks.
Care for Gore-Tex Garments
Dirt and sweat will block the pores that allow Gore-Tex to breathe, garments that uses it should be kept clean for best performance as well as for hygiene and appearance reasons.
Wear and cleaning will always reduce the performance of Gore-Tex garments by wearing away the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) surface of the fabric. The DWR prevents the face fabric from becoming wet and reducing breathability; however the DWR is not responsible for the item of clothing being waterproof, a common misconception!
When the face fabric becomes soaked due to an absence of DWR there is no breathability and the wearer's sweat will cause condensation to form inside the garment. This can give the appearance that the garment is ‘leaking’ when it is in fact not. The DWR is still crucial to the best performance of any membrane based waterproof garment.
The durable water repellent (DWR) can be re-invigorated by tumble drying the garment or ironing on a low setting. If this does not work re-proofing the garment with a wash-in ‘re-proofer’ can add water repellence to the face fabric once again.
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