Different Types of Waterproof Material

Different Types of Waterproof Material

Fabrics labelled waterproof repel water instead of letting it soak into them. The amount of water resistance depends on several factors including fabric weight, weave density and coatings.

A good choice for heavy-duty outdoor use is 2 layer fabrics with a membrane like GORE-TEX, Pertex Shield AP or Polartec Neoshell. These have ePTFE membranes that combine high levels of waterproofness and moisture permeability.


Polyester is an incredibly common material that is used in everything from clothing to outdoor gear. It is also often found in household items such as bean bag chairs. The fabric is durable and wrinkle resistant, making it easy to care for. It is also water-resistant, which makes it a good choice for use in raincoats or umbrellas.

Polyester can be made waterproof with the help of a treatment or coating. It has a tight weave that Waterproof Material helps to prevent moisture from seeping through, and it is often combined with other materials such as cotton or nylon to make it more durable.

While polyester is water-resistant, it does not offer complete protection against weather conditions. It is best for wearing in light rainfall or when you are not submerging the garment in water for long periods of time. The polyester that is used to make outdoor gear or clothing can be treated with PUL (polyurethane laminate), which makes it flexible, breathable and waterproof.


PUL stands for Polyurethane Laminate Fabric and is a soft, flexible plastic fabric that’s both waterproof and breathable. It’s made by attaching a layer of plastic film to a base fabric like polyester in a chemical heat process. This bonded fabric is commonly used for things like nappy bags, cloth pads and children’s raincoats.

It’s machine washable and tumble-safe, so it’s very easy to take care of. Unlike cotton, it can be sterilized too, which is great for medical applications.

It can be a little tricky to sew, but it’s not impossible. It’s best to use small needles and avoid pins, as even one hole will compromise the fabric’s waterproofness. Instead, many people prefer to use clips (like these ones) or a fusible seam tape. Some sewists suggest not sewing PUL at all, but if you must, try to use only very narrow zigzag stitches.


Microfiber is a man-made synthetic material that consists of polyester and polyamide polymers. It is a fabric that is very fine and soft. It is also water-resistant. It can be made of 100% microfiber or mixed with other polymers such as cotton, wool and viscose.

Microfibre is a very fine synthetic fiber that has many advantages over natural-fiber fabrics. It has a very smooth, silky feel geogrid manufacturer to it and is very water- and stain resistant. It is often used to make activewear such as shorts and T-shirts that help wick away sweat during strenuous activity.

It is also a very popular material for cleaning products, towels and mops. Microfiber cloths are great for wiping down surfaces as they have thousands of tiny fibers that trap dirt and other particles like bacteria (although not all bacteria). Cloths not made from microfiber tend to push the gunk around, but a microfiber cloth catches it.


The vinyl sleeve on a record is a good example of vinyl’s durability. It can resist abrasion and wear and tear, and its thick surface helps protect the record from damage from repeated playing. It can also withstand exposure to chemicals, such as oil and alkalis.

In his 1999 obituary in The New York Times, the inventor of PVC, Waldo Semon, noted that when he first brought home a flask of the vinyl chloride substance for experiments, people thought it was worthless and threw it away. But Semon’s “lightbulb moment” came in the 1930s when he realized that PVC could be made into fabric, enabling shower curtains and raincoats to become widely used.

Today, the versatile PVC has grown into a major material that has found wide use in many different industries. PVC is able to be manipulated into either rigid or flexible plastic and possesses numerous useful properties, including chemical resistance and excellent UV stability.


Wool is warm even when it’s wet and is a good choice for clothing, waterproof mattress pads, and other outdoor gear. It’s also naturally water-resistant, but can be made even better by adding a hydrophobic preparation to the yarn before it’s spun, woven, or knitted.

While wool isn’t completely waterproof, it has excellent water-repellent properties due to its complex structure and lanolin coating. The outermost layer of a wool fiber, called the epicuticle, sheds liquid water like shingles on a roof. However, the tiny spaces between these scales admit water vapor that slowly enters the wool. This keeps you warm and dry when it’s raining or humid because the air in between the scales adsorbs humidity, preventing it from reaching your skin. Likewise, if you perspire, the air in between the scales adsorbs your sweat, keeping you cool and dry. This is a much more effective process than what happens with cotton, which immediately fills up with the first drop of water that hits it.


Oilcloth is a durable fabric that’s waterproof and can be easily wiped clean. It’s often used to make tablecloths, aprons and outdoor gear. It’s available in many different patterns and colours, from funky Mexican blooms to modern British chintz.

Traditionally, oilcloth was made by coating lightweight cotton with boiled linseed oil. The oil helped the cloth repel water, making it an ideal waterproof material for sails and tarpaulins. Today, oilcloth is usually manufactured from vinyl bonded to cotton fabric scrim or synthetic fibres.

The best way to care for oilcloth is to wash it in warm water with a mild detergent. It’s not suitable for machine washing or dry cleaning. Oilcloth can also be damaged by prolonged exposure to sunlight. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to store oilcloth rolled up rather than folded.

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