The Autumn season is upon us, and the end of Summer means the start of what British people like to complain about most; rainy weather. When it’s time to get the waterproof jacket out the closet, it might not be as waterproof as you think it is.
Over a period of time, waterproof jackets can lose their water repellent nature. There’s all sorts of reasons why this can happen, from friction against rough surfaces to temperature changes. So it is important to look after your jacket to be prepared for upcoming weather.
What makes a waterproof jacket waterproof? The initials ‘DWR‘ are found on the majority of waterproof jackets, whether it be in the label or the name. DWR stands for durable water repellent and is a coating that’s applied to fabric during production. This coating, alongside waterproof membranes, makes a coat or jacket waterproof. If you were to view DWR on a microscopic level, you’d see that the coating makes the fabric ‘spiky’ which forces rain water into beaded formations that slide off.
Steps to Re-Waterproof a Waterproof Jacket
1. Check for any lining issues in your jacket. If you find the inside mesh tearing off, the lining is peeling or there’s significant ‘bubbling’, we’re afraid all hope is lost. At this point no amount of cleaning or re-waterproofing will rejuvenate your beloved wardrobe piece.
2. If all is fine, it’s time to clean it. Cleaning the jacket, following the appropriate instructions on the label, can help to restore your jacket’s DWR. Sometimes dirt and oil can be clogged inside your the breathable membrane, making it feel as though water is penetrating through the jacket. We recommend using Nikwax Tech Wash or Grangers when cleaning your jacket. Simply add one cup of tech wash into the detergent dispenser of your washing machine and set the cycle to synthetics with warm water.
3. Set your jacket to the side to dry. Make sure to run through more checks of the jacket as a simple clean might have already re-waterproofed your jacket.
4. Wash again with TX Direct. TX Direct is a handy application that adds Durable Water Repellency and revives breathability straight to the fabric membrane in the wash. Follow the same steps as point 2 but with TX Direct, and make sure to use approx. 100ml of TX Direct per jacket. Don’t do more than three jackets at one time.
5. Wait for the jacket to dry and inspect. Sometimes even after you’ve waterproofed your jacket, you’ll still find water penetrating the jacket. This is a sign that there’s a tear. If this is the case, use Gore-Tex fabric patches or Mcnett fabric tape to repair.