How to Care For Your Gore-Tex Waterproof Jacket So It Lasts A Lifetime.

Breathe new life into your Gore-Tex Waterproof Jacket in just a few simple steps. When done correctly, it will extend the life of your jacket and increase its overall performance. Before we begin, it's important to understand the science behind what makes a good waterproof jacket

The Science Behind Why Your Gore-Tex Jacket is Waterproof.

Gore-Tex is a 3 layer laminate made of a waterproof membrane and coated with a thin layer of liquid called DWR, which stands for “durable water repellent”. DWR prevents the outer layer of fabric from becoming saturated with water and repels grease, oil, and dirt. 

When DWR is applied to the surface of the 3-layer laminate, the two waterproofing technologies work in conjunction to create the ultra-waterproof, windproof and breathable material that has redefined waterproof outerwear as we know it.

How Does DWR Coating Work?

DWR coating changes the contact angle created when water contacts a textile. An optimized DWR keeps water droplets in a rounder shape making it easier for water to roll off the fabric. A low contact angle makes water droplets flat and spread out like a splotch, inevitably seeping into your jacket, also known as 'wetting out'.


How DWR Works Image


How Long Will the DWR Coating Last On My Waterproof Gore-Tex Jacket?

Like all good things, the waterproof nature of Gore-tex fabric will weaken over time and diminish in performance. At this time it will require some maintenance to restore its waterproof nature. Reproofing your jacket is quick and easy and recommended to be done every 3-6 months, or after a particularly heavy use*. When this happens, follow these steps in order to get your Boathouse waterproof jacket to operating at peak performance once again.

*Heavy use such as finding yourself in Seoul, South Korea, stuck in the rain for four hours drinking beer with your teammate in an Olympic Gore-Tex Jacket like Boathouse CEO and founder John Strotbeck did in 1988. Read 4 hours in the rain and still bone dry in Gore-Tex

How To Revive The Water Repellency of Gore-Tex Fabric. 

Water droplet on Gore-Tex JacketReviving the DWR on your Boathouse Jacket can be as simple as washing and drying. Simply machine wash on warm permanent press cycle using only a small amount of detergent. Then tumble dry your jacket for 20 minutes to reactivate the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment on the outer fabric. You can do this anytime you notice the water repellency needs a boost. 

Tip: Time your DWR reproofing to end of summer before Fall Football Season gets underway. Read how waterproof Gore-Tex and fall football go hand in hand here: Fall Football and Gore-Tex.

If Washing And Drying Doesn't Restore The Waterproofing, Reapply DWR.

If you wash and dry your Gore-Tex jacket and it does not seem like the water repellency of the DWR has been restored, you may need to reapply the DWR using a spray on or wash-in product like Nikwax TX Direct Spray-On Waterproofing Spray or Grangers Performance Repel Plus. 

Can You Use DWR Spray To Waterproof Regular Clothes?

Don’t purchase DWR sprays for your Gore-Tex Jacket and think you can waterproof your entire wardrobe. This is because using a waterproof DWR spray to normal clothes provide some water resistance, but you cannot make non-waterproof fabric fully waterproof. Water will always find its way in, whether its through the fabric itself, a seam or a zipper.


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More information and reference material on how to restore the water repellency of your Gore-Tex: