Waterproof/Breathable Fabric Peformance

To ensure your garment breathes to its full potential it is important to maintain the water repellency of the outside surface. It is also important when you are physically active to wear as many non moisture absorbing layers as possible underneath the jacket. If you wear natural fibres (merino or cotton) keep them as light as possible and reduce the number of layers you use. For maximum breathability we recommend faster drying non moisture absorbing polyester fabrics for your thermal layers.

All waterproof breathable fabrics require regular cleaning. Jackets should be washed once a year and if worn regularly, you should wash them more often than this. A jacket may look clean on the outside but the most harmful contamination occurs from direct skin contact. The neck and hood regions are the most susceptible to this. Over time contamination from the skin will weaken the glue that holds the laminated layers together or the bonding between a coating and its outer fabric. This can cause irreversible damage and reduce the functional lifespan of the garment. Two-layer fabrics with an exposed underside are very susceptible to this and need more cleaning than three-layer fabrics. There is no need to overwash your waterproof garments. A quick hand wash of a jackets neck and hood region maybe all that is required to maintain its cleanliness and prolong it’s life. Wearing collared garments or bandanas around the neck reduces the risk of contamination and the need to clean the garment as often. If the primary use of the jacket is to be worn while carrying a heavy backpack we would recommend using the heavier more durable mesh backed three-layer fabrics.

* DWR is the Durable Water Repellant coating on the outside of the garment’s face fabric. It is an important part of the garment’s performance as it allows water to bead off the surface. This maximises the breathability. DWR coating is applied as a specialised process during the manufacturing of the fabric. Over time it can wear down. When this happens the outside fabric will ‘wet out’ making it feel cold and clammy. In this state breathability is impeded.

The DWR can be rejuvenated by the use of a cool iron after washing. After extended use, a complete re-application of this will enhance the performance of your jacket. We have developed our own DWR treatment, a solvent based, environmentally friendly, flouropolymer spray called Gecko Guard. After testing water based DWR products we decided we needed a more durable, more effective product for our garments. We believe Gecko Guard is the best aftercare DWR treatment available.

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