When it comes to outdoor gear, Gore-Tex is a name that is often mentioned. From jackets and gloves to shoes, Gore tex technology is used in a wide range of products. And if you keep seeing the Goretex logo and want to know what exactly is Goretex and what is so special about this material that it has become so popular keep reading the article. Here, we will dive deep into everything you need to know about Goretex.
What is the meaning of Gore-Tex?
In its simplest form, this material is a fabric that is both waterproof and windproof while also being extremely durable. This material is well-known for producing the best waterproof, windproof, and breathable textiles available, and if you are even remotely interested in active outdoor recreation, you have most likely seen the Goretex logo on a variety of outdoor items. In wet and rainy weather, you can stay dry and comfortable in cloth of Goretex materials because it is both waterproof and breathable. Goretex is made of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, abbreviated as PTFE.
Who invented this technology?
Wilbert L. Gore and his son, Robert W. Gore, created this material. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) was first expanded by Bob Gore in 1969 using heated rods (ePTFE). A happy accident born of frustration led him to discover the optimal conditions for stretching PTFE. He gave the heated material an abrupt, accelerating yank rather than slowly stretching it. Upon stretching by an unexpected 800%, the solid PTFE transformed into a microporous structure. He observed that rapidly stretching PTFE under specific conditions led to the formation of a very robust, microporous material, it also possessed minimal water absorption and good weathering qualities, making it the ideal solution for outerwear! In 2006, Robert W. Gore was admitted into the United States National Inventors Hall of Fame for his creation.
By 1978, W.L. Gore & Associates had released the original version of gortex, which was the world's first outerwear that was completely waterproof, windproof, and breathable. With the expiration of the primary gortex patent, more items have been introduced to the market that utilizes comparable materials.
How does it work?
It is relatively simple to make a rain-blocking material. Creating a material that stops rain while yet enabling sweat to escape, on the other hand, is a considerably more challenging undertaking. So, how does such an effect come about? Goretex technology achieves this through a variety of features.
This technology is famously promoted as "Guaranteed to Keep You Dry," meaning that it is both waterproof and windproof. A gortex membrane's minuscule pores are approximately 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet, implying that no water can pass through fabrics connected to the membrane. Yet, because these pores are 700 times larger than a molecule of moisture vapor, perspiration can flow through the membrane. Furthermore, the chemical structure of the membrane is so complicated that most air molecules become scrambled and are unable to pass through it.
The Goretex membrane is used as a lamination between a lining and outside materials to manufacture gortex goods. This lamination procedure can be used in a variety of ways to meet various performance requirements; the most popular stacking configurations are:
2-Layer Construction means that the gortex membrane is only connected to the exterior cloth and not the liner. Clothing with this configuration can now have a separate lining that can be paired with insulation such as down fill.
3-Layer Construction means that the gortex membrane bonded to both the outside textile and the lining, and a more durable fabric is created. This style is perfect for lightweight shell coats.
Z-Liner – This construction is similar to the 3-Layer variant, however, the membrane is linked to an exceptionally lightweight fabric that floats freely between the outside textile and the liner in this structure. This technique is ideal for creating sophisticated winter apparel with multiple layers of fabric and insulation.
And last but not least, the sealed seams provide complete weatherproofing and prevent leaks in these goods. For example, if you looked inside a conventional waterproof jacket, you'd probably notice strips of tape used to cover any holes that have formed around the stitching. The more taping a jacket has, however, the less breathable it is, whereas sealed seams do not impact breathability.
What are the different types of this technology?
This technology is always being improved, and as a result, there are now many distinct varieties of products made of these fabrics on the market.
The original fabric, invented in the 1960s, is still widely used in rain shells, jackets, and other uses. While not as durable as other materials, it is extremely adaptable.
Gore tex Pro
This version is made as a more durable option, meaning that it is often used in heavy-duty outdoor applications such as rock-climbing equipment. Pro is also popular in cold-weather clothes because of its improved performance.
Gore tex Shakedry
This sort of waterproof fabric, being one of the newest types of the lineup, is more lightweight and breathable than the original or Pro version, meaning it is perfect for high-intensity sports activities such as running and cycling.
Gore tex Invisible Fit
Invisible Fit (which directly attaches to the outside surfaces of footwear, meaning that it completely prevents water entrance and subsequent waterlogging) was made in direct response to other technologies that had solved the challenges inherent in incorporating waterproof fabrics in shoes.
Gore tex Surround
Surround footwear technology prioritizes breathability over waterproofing, although it nevertheless offers substantial waterproofing benefits.
Gore tex Paclite
Paclite was developed in the late 1990s and is lightweight and flexible, meaning it is easier to include in jackets that pack into their pockets, which were popular at the time.
Gore tex Infinium
The company recently released its Infinium range, which includes fabrics that offer benefits other than waterproofing. Materials of the Infinium series improve breathability, insulation, and other properties that are beneficial in outdoor clothing.
What types of products are made using this technology?
Ski coats, lightweight shells, and hiking boots are generally made with these materials. Top outdoor businesses use these materials to make the lightest, most durable textiles for their goods.
Hiking jackets employ gore-tex materials most obviously. You want a waterproof garment that lets sweat out but keeps the elements out. This is possible using several technologies but the market leader is gore-tex. Jackets with this technology are waterproof, breathable, and windproof for most outdoor activities.
Walking or hiking shoes
Outdoor boots which use this technology are both waterproof and breathable. Such boots will keep your feet dry in rainy and muddy conditions or on a hot summer day.
Outdoor gloves are another product that benefits from gore-tex technology. Gloves that use this technology are both waterproof and breathable, so they keep your hands warm when it's chilly and dry when you perspire - even in extreme weather.
🏕 What is Gore tex?
It is a patented fabric technology that is designed to be waterproof, windproof, and breathable. It is used in a wide range of outdoor gear, including jackets, pants, shoes, and gloves. There are other similar materials on the market, but this one is the most reliable.
📦 Is Goretex really waterproof?
Yes, this material is considered to be highly waterproof. The membrane is able to keep out rain, snow, and other forms of moisture, while still allowing sweat to escape.
💡 What are the benefits of using Goretex?
The ability of this material to be waterproof while also maintaining breathability is the primary benefit of using it. This makes it an excellent choice for use in situations where you could potentially be exposed to wet conditions, such as when you are hiking, camping, or skiing. It is also long-lasting and durable, it is able to withstand harsh environmental conditions.