An Overview of Gore-Tex

In 1969 Bob Gore expanded and stretched polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) to create a a very strong and microporous material.  Later in 1978 GoreTex was introduced as the world’s first completely waterproof, windproof, and breathable fabric.  From mountain peaks to city streets Gore-Tex jackets, pants and shoes has been keeping people dry and comfortable no matter what mother nature dishes out.

Gore-Tex Graft

Surgeons are staring to use GoreTex in vascular grafts. That’s because the properties of GoreTex are pretty unique. The pores are actually 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water, of course, making GoreTex waterproof. There are nine million microscopic pores per square inch in this material, also making it very windproof; and the pores are 700 times bigger than a molecule of water vapor, making this fabric very, very breathable.

What’s unique about GoreTex is actually the layers that it has. On the outer layer there’s DWR, a Durable Water Repellent, which is a polymer that’s abrasion-resistant; and its weight, densities and textures can be changed or altered the outer fabric. Underneath that laminate of course is a GoreTex membrane that has all of the crazy waterproof, breathable and windproof properties to it. And underneath all of that, on top of the seams is seam sealant, called Gore Seam. It seals all the microscopic holes that the stitching and sewing causes.

Gore-Tex Seam Seal

Gore-Tex Seam Seal

To properly maintain your GoreTex make sure you wash at 104 degrees with powder or liquid detergents, but no fabric softener. If you decided to dry clean make sure you request clear distilled solvents. You can iron GoreTex, but it’s suggested you put a piece of fabric between the iron and the fabric. Also, I would not suggest bleaching this fabric whatsoever. Now, if you’d like to dry this GoreTex (which you shouldn’t have to because of course it’s waterproof), tumble dry on low setting. What’s good about tumble drying GoreTex with DWR is it actually reactivates the DWR properties. And if you need to remove any stains on GoreTex, make sure you use a prewash treatment such as Shout or Spray-n-Wash.

If you are planning a mountainous adventure or a quick grocery run chose Gore-Tex jackets, Gore-Tex Pants and Gore-Tex Shoes. They will keep you dry and comfortable no mater what the conditions.