Water resistant? Waterproof? What’s the difference?
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Water resistant? Waterproof? What’s the difference?

Water resistant? Waterproof? What’s the difference?

What is the real difference between a water proof and water resistant garment? Certainly, most of us have seen these terms being used. If you did, you most probably are wondering what the difference is.


“Water resistant garments have a lower level of rain protection.” They repel water to a certain extent. However, this doesn’t mean they are completely waterproof. If they are exposed to more than a certain amount of water, it will soak through. In other words, water will not pass through the fabric easily, because it is designed and created to endure, but not completely block the penetration of water.


“Waterproof garments have the highest level of rain protection.” The main feature on a water proof garment is that it cannot absorb any water at all. This fabric has been treated to become resistant to penetration by water.

The term ‘waterproof’ is a government requirement or standard for some workwear items. The fabric is usually coated with a ‘protective’ layer like PVC, PU, Rubber, Polyvinyl, Silicone elastomer etc.

Achieving a 100% waterproof product entails a process where a technique is used to seal off microscopic sized pores in the fabric, to increase resistance to water molecules. There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration when determining the level of water proofing. The fabric gets tested with various jets of water in controlled conditions to determine the level.


Because most jackets have zippers, pockets and front openings, a rubberised coating or storm flaps are required to keep water from seeping through.

CARE for your waterproof or water resistant products

Negligence of the product can lead to damage of the protective layer, affecting the durability of the product. Read the care label on the fabric carefully and wash the garment by hand if possible. Alternatively, if it is machine washed, preferably wash it on a gentle cycle and slow spin.


References: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/water-resistant | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterproof_fabric | https://www.rei.com/blog/hike/what-does-it-mean-if-a-jacket-is-water-resistant

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