Waterproof garments were first introduced to the world in 1978 through outdoor gear markets after Gore-Tex, a famous fabric manufacturer, developed a popular laminate technology. Other waterproof and breathable laminates have followed since then, for instance, eVent, Polartec among other generics.
A rain jacket is essential for your wardrobe if you live in areas where snowing is expected. The weather can be unpredictable during winter, with showers happening all over. Even people who don’t enjoy the outdoors still need a waterproof jacket as rain may pour anytime. Rain jackets are made of waterproof and water-resistant materials. The material depends on the functionality of the jacket.
What Are Rain Jackets Made Of?
A rain jacket is made of water-resistant and waterproof fabrics. The coat may have one, two, or three layers of materials. A three-layered rain jacket will usually have some more fabric to improve stability. A rain jacket may have a datable lining, making it an all-year-round jacket. Whether the rain jacket is waterproof or water-resistant depends on its functionality.
A water-resistant rain jacket means that it is not 100% waterproof. The water-resistant jacket only keeps you dry in light rain, although it’s not perfect for a wet adventure because it can’t keep you dry for long as it soaks under heavy rain.
On the other hand, a waterproof jacket keeps the wearer dry no matter how heavy it is raining. The waterproof jacket is the perfect choice for an outdoor enthusiast and an essential attire for people who spend time on yachts.
What Materials Are Used To Make Rain Jackets?
Today, apparel manufacturers use different materials to make rain jackets. Some of the water-resistant materials that they use to make rain jackets include:
1. Laminated Cotton-Apparel manufacturers use laminated cotton for rain jackets because it has an added layer to the ordinary material. Moreover, this material is breathable therefore ideal for outdoor wear.
2. Nylon And Polyester- Apparel manufacturers also use synthetic materials like nylon and polyester to make rain jackets. These materials are not waterproof but great for jackets used in light rains. Nylon is a cheap and durable synthetic material making it suitable for rainwear.
Moreover, it is lightweight and weatherproof. Nylon and polyester are frequently used to produce rain ponchos, jackets, and umbrellas. Nylon is perfect for traveling because it is foldable and packable.
Some waterproof materials used to make rain jackets include:
1. Gore-Tex: Gore-Tex has become synonymous with waterproof outdoor clothing. The material is used chiefly for making activewear, including waterproof jackets and coats. Gore-Tex is created through the lamination of a specially formulated membrane such as Teflon to a high-performance textile which makes it waterproof. Besides being water repellent, waterproof, and durable, Gore-Tex is lightweight and breathable.
2. Microfiber: Manufacturers use polyester microfiber material as it has a special waterproof coating making it ideal for raincoats.
3. Wool: Wool isn’t inherently waterproof, although it is a durable fabric used in making some rain jackets, especially military, vintage, and high-end ones. Wooled rain jackets are pretty common in Europe as it’s much colder there and in colder areas of America. Wool is used alongside other materials as a lining to add extra warmth. Some heavy wool rain jackets brands include Burberry, Crombie, and Brooks Brothers.
4. Polyurethane Laminate: This is a very long-lasting material and may also be a blend of cotton and polyester. The material is 100% waterproof. It is also breathable, hence, ideal for outdoor wear.
5. Cotton: Cotton is used to make some rain jackets, including the famous mackintosh manufactured from rubberized cotton. Rubberized cotton is a cotton fabric that is chemically treated. Cotton duck and oilcloth are used to construct heavy and work-related rain jackets. Many high-end fashion rain jackets are made using a smooth twill fabric known as gabardine.
Types Of Rain Jackets
The purpose of any rain jacket is to protect yourself from rain. However, wearers feel the need to stay dry, which is different. Some rain jackets are designed with the thought of substituting umbrellas, while others are perfect for extreme outdoor adventures.
Other rain jackets are for people who want to stay stylish by looking good and staying dry at the same time. Here are the three types of rain jackets:
1. Emergency Rain Jacket
An emergency rain jacket is usually a single-use one. It is a plastic jacket that you can fit into your pocket. The jackets offer protection for some time, although they aren’t as breathable as other rain jackets. Emergency rain jackets are also quite uncomfortable. They are only worn once and discarded, contributing to the global plastic waste.
2. Sports Rain Jackets
Sports rain jackets are different from each other. They are specially designed based on the sport. Some are designed for hiking, others for running, cycling, and mountaineering. These jackets are entirely waterproof and water-resistant. Moreover, they are breathable hence comfortable when outdoors.
3. Stylish Rain Jackets
Properties Of High-Quality Rain Jacket Fabrics
1. Waterproof Fabric
Waterproof fabric is a prominent feature to look for when buying a rain jacket. Before buying, you should read what materials were used in the manufacturing process from the tag. The brand should also indicate the level at which the fabric is waterproof.
2. Sealed Seams
A waterproof jacket should have sealed seams as open ones won’t serve the purpose. If the seams aren’t sealed in any way, the jacket may still leak. A rain jacket that’s not thoroughly seamed is not entirely waterproof.
When walking outdoors, you may sweat, and that is why it’s good to ensure that the material used to make your rain jacket is breathable. This means that it can absorb moisture and release it, keeping you dry at all times.
Waterproof and breathable fabrics have been used to make rain jackets for some time now. The materials prevent rain from soaking in. A waterproof rain jacket is suitable for outdoor wear as it keeps the wearer dry. Breathable fabric ensures that moisture is absorbed and released to keep you dry.