Splash! All about waterproof fabrics

Let anyone who has never complained about a wet t-shirt or bag cast the first stone on us... What if you invested in waterproof clothing or leather goods? Thanks to their waterproof fabrics, you no longer need to worry about unexpected bad weather or an awkwardly knocked over bottle. All...

Technical fabrics

Waterproof fabric, or impermeable in French, refers to a water-resistant material. This technical specificity can be revealed on three levels: either the material is naturally waterproof thanks to the fibers that compose it, or it is treated with a waterproof coating to become a water-repellent fabric; or finally, the density of its weaving is very high, which gives it particular water resistance.

The subtlety between a waterproof material and a water-repellent fabric? Their resistance over time. The waterproof fabric will be the most robust: often made from rubber or plastic, its waterproofness is total, unlike water-repellent fabric. Generally made of cotton or polyester, a material becomes water-repellent after a durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment applied to its exterior surface. Thanks to this finish, water runs off the fabric, without impregnating it. However, the hydrophobic powers of water-repellent fabric are not permanent; it is therefore sometimes necessary to reactivate them with a new treatment.

In any case, whether waterproof or water-repellent, waterproof fabric is attractive today with its different aspects (coated cotton, oilcloth, ripstop nylon, polyester outdoor fabric, etc.) and is used in many areas. Including that of fashion!

Waterproof materials and fashion

It is to Charles Macintosh, a 19th century Scottish chemist, that we owe the invention of waterproof fabric. He filed a patent for his discovery and thus marketed the first waterproof coats under the brand “Mackinstosh” in 1824. Since that day, the English have called this waterproof garment…a mackinstosh ! If we find them in interior decoration (oilcloth tablecloth, cushion cover) or exterior decoration (garden bench, deckchair canvas), waterproof fabrics have also become essential in the field of fashion. Through their resistance and hydrophobic characteristics, they are the best allies of fans of outdoor activities (marine navigation, cycling, climbing, trekking, etc.), but not only that! They are also available as fashion objects through clothing, bags or small leather goods to wear every day. Their plus? They protect against dirt and are therefore easy to maintain fabrics: a damp cloth is enough to clean a small stain that might have been lost along the way.

So, rather waterproof or water-repellent fabric? Backpack or tote bag ? Shoulder bag or handbag ? One thing is certain, you can leave with a light heart, your belongings are well protected. It's time to sing in the rain!