- 100% waterproof
- Very breathable
- Extremely light
- Able to insulate at cold temperatures
A GORE-TEX® product is a membrane that can release moisture vapours, whilst also preventing substances such as oil, dirt and stains, and wind or rain penetrating.
This is created with a wafer-thin expanded Polytetrafluoroethelene (ePTFE), in which each pore is 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, yet some 700 times larger than a body moisture molecule, allowing evaporated body moisture (perspiration) to escape whilst blocking the entry of rain and snow.
The Laminate of GORE-TEX® is the above membrane, bonded with the main body fabric, usually a synthetic. It is laminated to either one or two surfaces, the different processes then being described as two- and three-ply.
Three-ply is more durable as there is no friction on the actual membrane and it is completely protected.
A two-ply fabric is more susceptible to abrasion on the inner surface.
Sealed seams are used to offer complete weatherproofing. A special tape system is used to seal off the holes created when the garment has been stitched during manufacturing.
Membranes are efficient in that they can out-perform a similar garment that has been coated to be waterproof - such as a DWR- by about 25-30% greater efficiency on moisture movement and control.
GORE-TEX® is the most established brand of microporous membrane and is a fabric GORE-TEX® say that it is Guaranteed To Keep You Dry.
GORE-TEX® offers three benefits, as it is breathable, waterproof and windproof.
are constantly upgrading their membrane to improve on durability, weight and breathability. As such there are many different types of GORE-TEX on the market today.
The three main types of GORE-TEX®
- GORE-TEX® - Stylish, Versatile and Durable
- GORE-TEX® Active - Extremely breathable, lightweight, minimalist design
- GORE-TEX® Pro - Extremely Rugged, Versatile, Breathable
GORE-TEX® is commonly used in both fabric and leather boots as a lining material. GORE-TEX® it is more breathable in a leather than a fabric boot because in the fabric boot it is glued to the cordura and the adhesive impedes its breathability. However, in a leather boot it is fixed only at the heel and toe and breathability is able to function fully.
However both leather and fabric boots can benefit from GORE-TEX® liners.
The main purpose of the GORE-TEX® lining in a leather boot is to aid after-use drying; as a by-product it also makes the boot waterproof. GORE-TEX® liners also help a leather boot to dry out during general wear, providing a barrier to sweat, and also providing a ‘back-up’ for the waterproofing qualities provided by the treatment of the leather should this wear down.
In fabric boots GORE-TEX® liners are used in order to make the boot or shoe waterproof as outer fabrics usually have little to no water resistance. GORE-TEX® linings can lose their waterproof and breathable capabilities either if the boot becomes waterlogged following prolonged use in wet terrain.
GORE-TEX® designed for use in the outdoors is also coated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) at the final stage of manufacturing. A DWR treatment is used to keep the breathable pore based fabric of GORE-TEX® free from beads of moisture and rain, allowing them to fall away.
DWR typically has a shorter life span, and retreatment is necessary.
Whilst the GORE-TEX® pore construction is still working, you may notice leaks and seeping of moisture. If your GORE-TEX® garment doesn’t seem to be in as good of a condition as it once was, you need to retreat the item in order to increase its water repellency.
To re-treat a GORE-TEX® product, simply wash it and then apply a reproofer, which can be a wash-in or spray-on water repellent. Granger’s Extreme Wash-In contains a flouro-chemical and is water-based and is the GO Outdoors recommended product for all GORE-TEX® products.
This coating should be applied ‘little and often’ after the initial breakdown of the DWR coating.
After the treatment has been applied, apply your GORE-TEX® wear to a heat source (eg. an iron) which will encourage the activation of the water repellent properties.