What is Waterproof?

Waterproof fabrics are textiles that obstruct the penetration of water through their surfaces. There are different types of waterproof fabrics available in the market and each kind of fabric boasts its own degree of resistance to water. Coated fabrics, laminated fabrics, and breathable waterproof fabrics are among the frequently used waterproof textiles.

Coated fabrics, through the application of a layer of polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), create a barrier that prevents water from infiltrating the material. Coated fabrics, although not as expensive as laminated fabrics, might lack overall durability.

On the other hand, laminated fabrics involve the bonding of a waterproof membrane, such as Gore-Tex, to the fabric's surface. This membrane comprises small pores that allow water vapor to escape while blocking water from penetrating the fabric. Compared to coated fabrics, laminated fabrics are more costly but offer better breathability and durability.

Breathable waterproof fabrics permit water vapor to escape while preventing water from entering the fabric. They typically use a microporous membrane that has tiny pores that are too small for water droplets to pass through, but large enough for water vapor to escape. Some of the commonly used breathable waterproof fabrics include Gore-Tex, eVent, and Dry.Q.

Waterproof fabrics are common in outdoor garments, such as raincoats, hiking jackets, and ski wear, as well as various other applications, including tents, backpacks, and boat covers, where water resistance is crucial.