Warning messageYour browser is not currently set to Accept Cookies or check to see if you have another program set to block cookies
Warning message
You are currently using Internet Explorer 8 which is not supported by our new website. We recommend you update to the latest version of Internet Explorer or alternatively use a different web browser.

Berghaus Customer Service

WATERPROOF JACKETS: FUN FACTS & MISCONCEPTIONS

Fun Facts

  1. The first waterproof jacket was invented by Charles Macintosh, blending a fabric with rubber. His name was adopted for all raincoats in the UK, and is still used today.
  2. Rather than being waterproof, mammals that live in water form a waterproof barrier due to the denseness of their coats and the oil in their glands. These two factors combine to form a thick layer as close to a waterproof jacket as you can find in the wild!
  3. It is thought that cormorants hold their wings out to dry as they are unable to produce the levels of waterproofing oils for their feathers that other water birds rely on.
  4. The very first waterproof jackets made by humans are likely to have been made from vegetable fibres or seal intestines. The seams were sealed with glue made from boiling an animal’s connective tissues. Waterproof jackets are nothing new – they’ve simply evolved over time.
  5. The greatest challenge when making a waterproof jacket is to make it breathable – waterproof materials are all around us so keeping the rain off is the easy part. Stopping you from drowning in your own sweat whilst keeping dry is another matter, however.




Misconceptions

  1. There is an old myth that waterproof jackets never need washing, or that washing can ruin them. A jacket may need reproofing afterwards, but it’s essential to keep a waterproof jacket clean through washing – dirt and sweat can block the fibres’ breathability.
  2. One waterproof jacket is not suitable for everyone. The best jacket for you depends on your activity, base layers and your own personal heat retention system.
  3. Gore-Tex is crafted from fluoride, not petroleum as often thought.
  4. Gore-Tex is the name of the waterproof membrane that keeps you dry whilst allowing your body to breathe – it’s got nothing to do with the rest of the jacket, and so a ‘Gore-Tex jacket’ is a misnomer.
  5. There is no need to have a windproof shell as well as a waterproof one – a waterproof jacket will naturally be windproof.