Gore-Tex is renowned as a technical fabric, used by various brands to create jackets, footwear, gloves, hats and more. It is a durable waterproof, windproof and breathable material, used to make high performing clothing for the outdoors that upgrades the wearer’s comfort and protection.
The History of Gore-Tex
The concept for Gore-Tex began in 1958 where Engineer Bill Gore and his wife Vieve spent hours in their basement experimenting with chemical compounds. However, it wasn’t until 11 years later when his son Bob made the discovery that changed it all.
Bob developed ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene), this is a microporous material that is permeable to vapour, liquid and has good weathering properties. Gore-Tex revolutionised the textile and clothing market.
Through the years Gore-Tex grew, with the first ePTFE products coming onto the market in 1969. In 1976 the first Gore-Tex jacket fitted with the signature membrane, the first fully waterproof jacket on the market. Then, in 1989, came Gore-Tex’s famous promise that all their products were ‘guaranteed to keep you dry’.
How Does Gore-Tex Work?
Gore-Tex is waterproof, windproof, and breathable, but can one material really do all these three things?
The membrane of Gore-Tex is full of tiny holes, in fact one square inch has 9 billion pores. These pores are 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet; this ensures that no water can pass through the material.
To make the material breathable, each pore is 700 times bigger than a water vapour molecule (sweat), this allows sweat to escape through the pores while you’re moving.
No matter what you’re doing, whether you’re skiing down slopes, or hiking in the woods, Gore-Tex is windproof, meaning that the wind can’t get through to chill you.
How do Brands Use Gore-Tex?
The Gore-Tex membrane is extremely thin, about 0.01mm, which can then be bonded to high-performance linings and outer textiles which creates the Gore-Tex Laminate.
The laminate can consist of various layers. A two-layer construction is where the membrane is bonded to a face fabric on one side and can have a liner on the other, this can then be used as an option to add insulation.
A three-layer construction is where the membrane is sandwiched between to face fabrics on both sides. This helps to create a fully waterproof lining and restricts the movement of the Gore-Tex between the layers.
Gore-Tex jackets provides the best protection you need for most outdoor activities, great to use for hiking. Walking boots made from Gore-Tex are breathable and waterproof, great for muddy walks and stops feet from excess sweating during warmer days.
Gore-Tex gloves become waterproof and breathable, keeping hands warmer when it’s cold and keeps the gloves dry when damp. Hats made from Gore-Tex are ideal for keeping your head dry with its waterproofing technology, and wicks moisture away when warm.
Gore-Tex’s promise to guarantee to keep you dry makes this technological fabric one to keep an eye out for. Shop some of our products using Gore-Tex to create durable outdoor apparel and accessories here.