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function Water-resistant & waterproof

On both water-resistant and waterproof garments, the fabric is coated or laminated on the inside to hinder rain and moisture from penetrating the textile. The fabric surface is treated to repel water. Waterproof garments have sealed seams; on water-resistant garments, critical seams are sealed.

function Water-resistant & waterproof

Modern water-resistant garments are coated or laminated on one side, commonly on the inside, to hinder rain and moisture from penetrating the textile. A water-repellent finish on the outer surface protects the fabric from getting wet-through, which in turn prevents the body from cooling. The coatings are made with minimal pores that keep rain out but allow sweat vapour to escape, to avoid overheating and dampness. ‘Waterproof’ denotes a higher functionality and is achieved by sealing the garment with taped seams and water-proof zips.

The modern water-proof raincoat, generally known as a ‘mackintosh’, dates to the early 1820s and was sewn from a rubber-laminated three-layer fabric. Plastic rainwear, such as vinyl-coated nylon, was introduced on a mass-production scale after 1945. Through history, and throughout the world, water-resistant clothing has been made using seal and whale intestines, grass and leaves, animal furs, natural-rubber impregnation, oiled silk weaves, linen canvas and waxed cotton. The multi-functional rainwear and outerwear of today relies on the invention of lightweight and breathable synthetic coatings in 1970.