When water drops no longer bead and run off the outer fabric of your rain jacket, shell jacket or other functional outdoor garment, its original water repellency has been washed out. If this happens, it’s time to re-waterproof the garment so that it regains its original technical properties.
The basic waterproofing of the outer fabric of a garment is often referred to as Durable Water Repellent (DWR). After approximately 5 to 10 washes, depending on the quality of the textile impregnation and the detergent, a garment’s waterproofing has been washed out. If this happens, it’s time to re-waterproof the garment so that it regains its original technical characteristics.
A wet outer fabric reduces a garment’s vapor permeability. This means that despite a good membrane that is designed to keep you dry and “breathes” at the same time, the garment will feel heavy and cold, and you can even feel moisture on the inside. By washing and re-waterproofing your garments and your equipment regularly, you improve the function and extend their lifespan.