Waterproof vs Water Repellent
Water proof and water repellent are terms that are often used in the textile industry, though they can be used in many other industries for making water proof materials. These fabrics are used to make items such as umbrellas, raincoats, and tarpaulins etc. Resistant, repellant and proof are degrees to which a material stays away from getting wet. While water proof is the highest degree and means that the material will not soak in water under any condition, water repellant means the fabric is not that good at keeping water at bay when it has to face water. Let us find out the real differences between waterproof and water repellent to enable readers to choose materials wisely.
One thing that people should remember is that water proof is the highest degree of protection from water, and they get best protection when they buy a water proof product. Swimmers and divers buy water proof watches that do not let water seep inside the watch up to a certain depth, and do not buy if the watch is just water repellant as it will ultimately make way for water after resisting it for some time. The same applies for fabric, which lets in water after some time, if it is water repellant only and not water proof.
Water repellant fabrics are considered to be better than water resistant fabrics simply because they are tightly woven, also because they have a chemical coating that cause water drops to form beads when it strikes the surface of the fabric. These beads slide away rather than go inside the fabric. This chemical coating remains for a time period as it is likely to come off with dry cleaning of the fabric or simply wear off with the use over a time. On the other hand, one can increase longevity of water repellant fabric by silicon spray. It is prudent to go for dry cleaning, only if, it is recommended by the manufacturer.
Water proof fabrics are the ultimate in providing protection against water, and you are guaranteed not to get wet even during heavy rains. These fabrics have a texture that is very tightly woven and feel like polyester or rubber when worn. They have a chemical coating that is more durable, and this coating closes water out, though keeps the fabric breathable.
Most of the fabrics that are meant to be worn by us are water repellant to let our perspiration evaporate. The reason why they are not water proof is that, in that case, even our perspiration will remain locked inside causing too much of an inconvenience.
What is the difference between Water repellant and water proof?
· Water repellant and water proof are two degrees of resistance to water and are marked on fabrics.
· Water repellant fabrics do not allow water to seep in as it resists water for some time. Water hitting the surface turns into beads that slide away from the fabric rather than seeping inside. Eventually, however, such fabrics allow water inside.
· On the other hand, water proof fabrics are suitable to be worn in heavy rains as they do not allow seepage of water inside under all conditions.
· The chemical coating on water proof fabrics is durable and remains on the fabric even after it is washed.
· The fabric is more tightly woven in case of water proof fabrics and gives a feel of rubber and nylon.