Protection against wind and weather
impregnating outdoor jackets
There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. But what do you do when your favourite weatherproof jacket suddenly starts letting in the rain? Then it’s time to renew the impregnation. Read on to find out how you can continue to enjoy your high-quality functional clothing for a long time to come.
The impregnation on outdoor clothing, functional textiles, and raincoats will eventually wear out, allowing in rain and wind. The jacket will feel damp on the inside because fine salt crystals accumulate in the membranes of the garment when you sweat. The membranes’ job is to ensure that water vapour can get out when you sweat, while stopping wind and water from getting through. Over time, these membranes can become clogged with salt crystals, dust, and dirt.
Wash and impregnate regularly for the best performance
If you regularly wash and impregnate your functional jacket in the right way, it will stay weatherproof—and keep you dry and warm. That’s good for the environment and your pocket. You can use your jacket for longer, which reduces the need to produce new textiles using lots of water and energy.
As a rule of thumb, wash as little as possible but as often as necessary. With normal use, you should only need to wash the jacket up to three times a year. Depending on the textile manufacturer, you then need to reactivate the impregnation applied by the manufacturer. This can usually be done by applying heat—e.g. in the tumble dryer. After around every fourth wash, you should renew the jacket’s impregnation using an impregnation product.
Time to renew the impregnation? Do the water droplet test!
The water droplet test helps you determine whether your jacket needs to be impregnated. Lay the jacket down and apply a droplet of water to the fabric. Wait a little while and then pick up the jacket. If the water droplet runs off, the protection is still effective. If it has already been absorbed into the fabric, the impregnation needs to be renewed.
How to impregnate your outdoor jacket
Before impregnating, you should wash your jacket to remove any dirt, dust, and sweat from the fibres. The best way to do this is with a special detergent. Never use fabric softeners, as they clog the membranes. Before washing, close all zips, do up any buttons, and turn the jacket inside out. Don’t forget to empty the pockets—it’s amazing what you find in them. Most jackets should be washed at 30°C or 40°C on a gentle spin cycle. Just make sure that you follow the care label.
Now it’s time for the impregnation. You can use either a wash-in impregnation product in the washing machine or an impregnation spray.
Impregnating in the washing machine
Immediately after washing, you can impregnate the freshly washed jacket in the washing machine using a wash-in impregnation product. The impregnation effect will increase with the application of heat after treatment. The easiest way to do this is to dry the item in the tumble dryer. If your jacket cannot be tumble-dried, use a hair dryer or iron. Please also refer to the care label of your outdoor jacket.Impregnating with a spray
Impregnation sprays should be used on dry fabric. After washing, leave your jacket to dry. Then hang your jacket on a hanger and spray it evenly with the impregnation spray from a distance of around 30 cm, without saturating the fabric. After drying, you can respray particularly worn areas, such as the elbow or seams. Take care not to inhale the aerosol (air–spray mixture) of impregnation sprays. Only impregnate your jacket outside and air it thoroughly afterwards. Please also refer to the care label of your outdoor jacket and the instructions on the impregnation spray
Let’s go outside!
Now that you’ve impregnated your outdoor jacket, it will stay warm and, most importantly, dry—whatever the weather. Have fun walking, running, and cycling!