What is Water Repellent?

Water repellent refers to the ability of a material to resist the penetration of water to some degree, but not completely. Water-repellent fabrics are designed to protect against light rain, snow, or drizzle, but they are not completely waterproof. These fabrics are typically treated with a water-repellent finish during the manufacturing process.

Water-repellent finishes can be administered to an array of textiles, such as organic fibers such as cotton and wool, along with synthetic textiles such as polyester and nylon. This finish operates by creating a barrier on the surface of the textile, which causes the water to accumulate and slide off rather than absorb it.

Water-resistant textiles can be used for various purposes, including open-air equipment such as anoraks, trousers, and marquees, as well as furniture, knapsacks, and sacks. However, as time passes, the water-resistant finish might wear off due to use and washing, and the textile may need re-treatment to keep its water-repellent attributes.

It is essential to take note that water-resistant textiles are not equivalent to waterproof textiles, which are designed to prevent water from penetrating the fabric completely. Waterproof fabrics are often made with specialized materials like Gore-Tex or coated with a waterproof membrane, making them suitable for more extreme weather conditions.