Modern waterproof fabrics need maintenance in order to keep them clean and to maintain the waterproof and breathable performance. Thankfully, this is very easy, so let’s give that jacket and over trousers a bit of a freshen up!
Your waterproofs have a factory applied water repellent finish which is there to prevent the outer layer of fabric from absorbing water, this allows the fabric to breathe into the atmosphere as it cannot breathe into a film of water. Maintaining this repellent finish is key to the performance of the fabric and the whole process starts with a good clean!
The garments should be washed at a cool (30 degree) cycle in a washing machine or by hand – just make sure that there are no fabric softeners or detergents in the system. If you are using the machine, it’s a good idea to clean out the detergent drawer, just to be sure. A soap rather than detergent product such as Nikwax Tech Wash is ideal for this, just follow the instructions on the bottle.
Now for the all-important re-proofing. This can either be done in the machine or using a spray on proofer such as Nikwax TX Direct. Whichever you choose, this part of the process will bring back that water repellent finish or DWR to the surface of the fabric, preventing water from penetrating the outer surface of the garment.
Finally, drip dry or cool tumble (according to the manufacturer’s instructions) and you are ready to go!