Did you know there are different levels of waterproof?
Did you know that there are different levels of waterproofing? This is hugely important if you are looking for waterproof riding clothes. Not all waterproof riding clothes are equal!
1,000mm – 2,000mm – Showerproof under light pressure.
3,000mm – 5,000mm - Rainproof and waterproof under light pressure.
6,000mm – 10,000mm - Rainproof and waterproof under medium pressure.
11,000mm – 15,000mm - Rainproof and waterproof except under high pressure.
16,000mm – 20,000mm - Rainproof and waterproof under high pressure.
Types of waterproofing
There are a few ways of waterproofing garments, and these are important to consider when choosing your riding clothes.
DWR – This is a coating applied to the outer layer of fabric.
Membrane – This is where a waterproof layer attached to the fabric's underside to stop water from coming through the material.
Taped Seams – This is where the seams are bonded on the inside of the stitch line to create a waterproof barrier not to let water through.
Did you know that there are factors that will affect the waterproofness of your equestrian clothing?
Stables are dusty places! Dirt particles attract water and mask water repellent finishes. Unfortunately, dirt particles are prevalent! Yard duties regularly deposit mud, hay, straw and shavings dust particles onto our garments, not to mention the horse saliva! These elements sit on the top of the fabric, causing the water to get stuck on the material rather than running off.
Washing Your Waterproof Riding Coat
The number of times you wash your waterproof riding coat will impact its waterproof level.If you regularly wash your coat, depending on your garment's waterproof type, it will stop the effectiveness of the waterproof level. The DWR coating will wash out, and membranes will break down over time.
When force or rubbing is applied to the fabric, it can push water through the fabric. This can happen when riding, especially if you wear a body protector or air jacket.
The higher the waterproof level, the less breathable the garment is. The membrane in a waterproof coat will determine the waterproof level. The higher the level, the less breathable it becomes. This can cause condensation on the inside of the garment when worn during sports.
Ways to prolong the life of your waterproof riding garment
So how do you prolong the life of your favourite waterproof riding jacket or waterproof riding trousers?
When washing, use a waterproof detergent, such as Tech Wash by Nikwax (others available). It revitalizes breathability, removes dirt particles and cleans safely.
These days it's very easy to reproof your garment with products like NikWax TX (others available). They ensure your garment stays waterproof when washing and prolongs your coat for another season, reducing your carbon footprint!
Horses for courses!
Try to keep your garments for the purpose they were designed. If you want to stay dry when riding, look for a long waterproof coat for riding out. If you need a coat for yard duties, find a practical, durable shorter waterproof riding jacket for the job. You also then have a back-up, should one need reproofing!
Do not hot wash your garment or leave it to try on the radiator. It will perish the membrane and cause it to crack, allowing water in!