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How does waterproof work ?

How does waterproof work ?

How does waterproof work ?

Some explanations to fully understand the waterproof concept and choose your leakdry waterproof socks, beanies and gloves.

Water repellency

Water repellency is the first level of water resistance. In practical terms, it allows the garment to resist light rain or drizzle.

Water repellency on a fabric is achieved by applying a treatment that allows water to run off the fibers. This is typically illustrated in pictures. However, water repellency alone is not sufficient for heavy or moderate rain.

A fabric can be waterproof without being water repellent, and it can be water repellent without being waterproof.

Waterproofing

Membranes play a crucial role in achieving true water resistance and good breathability. Some companies specialize in producing waterproof and breathable membranes, such as Gore-Tex or Sympatex.

Certain garments may be waterproof without incorporating a membrane, primarily for navigation purposes, but they are not suitable for sports activities as they do not wick away perspiration.

The magic lies in membranes that provide both waterproofing and breathability. Membranes can be designed in various ways, but they are typically referred to as "microporous." They consist of millions of tiny holes that are too small to allow water to pass through but large enough to allow water vapor (perspiration) to escape.

Practically, the membrane is an additional layer laminated to the fabric through a process called lamination. The resulting fabric is referred to as "laminated" fabric, which can be made of 2 layers, 2.5 layers, or 3 layers.

In the case of 2-layer fabrics, the membrane is on one side, and the fabric is on the other (for 2.5 layers, a very light protective coating is applied to the surface of the membrane). For 3-layer fabrics, the membrane is sandwiched between 2 layers of fabric (refer to the waterproof technology used in the Verjari waterproof collection for more details).

On technical garments, the garment's total impermeability is ensured with sealed seams.

Performance

Membranes can have different levels of performance, typically defined by two criteria: breathability and waterproofness.

Breathability is indicated by the MVP (Moisture Vapor Perspiration) expressed in g/m²/24h, representing the ability to wick away perspiration. Generally, a rate of 5000 corresponds to acceptable breathability, 10000 indicates good breathability, 15000 is very good, and 20000+ signifies excellent breathability.

Waterproofness is measured in Schmerber. The Schmerber determines the pressure at which the fabric starts to allow water inside.

1 Schmerber = 1 mm water column = 1 mbar.

Typically, a garment is considered waterproof starting from 1300 Schmerbers (light rain). At 5000 Schmerbers, the garment withstands normal rain; at 10000 Schmerbers, it can handle heavy rain; at 15000, it can withstand very heavy rain; and 20000+ indicates resistance in all conditions.

To test their garments, brands can either rely on independent laboratories or perform in-house testing.

Finally, external temperature, humidity, or pressure directly affect membrane performance, particularly breathability. For example, in cold temperatures (with a significant difference between body temperature and outside temperature), a membrane will perform much better.

Leakdry brand offers a range of waterproof garments using advanced waterproofing technology and breathable membranes, ensuring dryness and comfort during outdoor adventures. Whether you are an adventurer, a mountaineer, or an outdoor enthusiast, Leakdry 's products will be your reliable companions, allowing you to enjoy the pure joys of the outdoors.

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