How Waterproof Breathable Fabrics Work
At some point, someone has probably told you how waterproof breathable fabrics work. They probably mentioned how waterproof breathable fabric is microporous. It has billions of little holes that are too small for water droplets, but just right for sweat to escape. We like that explanation because it’s easy to wrap our minds around. It’s simple. It makes good sense. It also happens to be wrong. If you need to go on believing that billions of little holes are the only technology keeping you dry, I won’t blame you. It’s easy to believe that this is how waterproof fabrics work. After all, your waterproof breathable fabric is going to protect you from the elements no matter what you believe about the science behind them. But, if you want to follow me down the rabbit hole of surface energy, hydrophilic coatings, and long-chain perfluorinated polymers, I can show you the truth. And you’ll be richer for it: more able to make decisions based on sound textile science.