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Differentiating Waterproof and Water-Repellent

Understanding the distinction between 'waterproof' and 'water-repellent' materials is crucial for making informed choices in selecting protective gear or clothing. In this brief overview, we'll explore the key differences between these two terms and delve into the practical implications of each. By the end, you'll have a clear understanding of what sets these materials apart and how they function in various situations.

"Water-repellent" means that the material will resist but not completely stop water penetration, while "waterproof" means that it will not allow water to penetrate.

For something to be called waterproof, a product must be tested and the effectiveness proven. This is done by testing the product for water resistance according to EN:511. The test involves submerging the product in water for 30 minutes and it should be dry inside when the test is finished.

The material in a water-repellent product is often treated to permanently repel water in simpler environments for a limited time. Often, this is sufficient for most purposes, but a water-repellent product does not provide 100% protection, although it works for most activities during a workday.

Waterproof Products

There are different types of materials that can function as waterproof protection in your clothes. The most common type is in the form of a membrane under the outer fabric. A membrane is like a plastic film that lies on the back of the outer fabric, made of polyester, which does not allow water droplets to pass through. However, the microscopic vapor molecules generated by excess body heat can escape through the membrane and out through the outer shell. This is how most waterproof clothing can breathe and maintain a comfortable temperature during activity, regardless of the weather outside.

Another way to achieve a waterproof effect on a product is to use a completely waterproof material that is rubber-based in one way or another. Rubber boots and latex gloves are examples of such products. But there are also PU materials in, for example, Galon clothing that have similar functions. However, this type of water protection does not allow excess heat and moisture from the body to escape through the material. The tight layer thus acts more as a barrier, and the product may feel damp because moisture from the body remains inside the garment. This requires that the product be properly dried between uses.


Waterproof and Water-Repellent Products

A water-repellent fabric has high water resistance, but it is not waterproof. Water-repellent materials can resist water absorption or repel water droplets upon contact. Often, these materials are treated to create a surface that repels water. Instead of soaking into the fabric, water droplets bead up, making it easier for them to roll off the material.

Applying a water-repellent treatment, impregnation, to your clothes can provide them with increased protection against water, but in heavy rain or prolonged exposure, water will eventually penetrate. Over time and with heavy use, and depending on how the material has been cared for over time, the material must be treated again to maintain its effectiveness.


Our Materials


AQUATHAN ® is one of the top materials approved for gloves by TEGERA. This unique material removes heat and moisture from the body while preventing moisture from penetrating. The material removes excess heat and moisture from the body while effectively protecting against external moisture. When you see the AQUATHAN ® label on a TEGERA glove, you can trust that you are getting a high-quality product with wind and waterproof properties.

TWR (Tegera Water Repellent)

TWR is a collective term to describe the water-repellent property and function that we achieve through the composition of various materials in the garment's construction.

In simplified terms, this means that the outer material is treated to become more water-repellent. The treatment provides a thin protective layer on the outer material that reduces the fabric's surface tension so that water runs off. In this way, water does not penetrate the outer fabric, which can affect the ability of your protective glove or shoe to breathe.

If the outer fabric is wet, moisture from the body will remain in your glove/shoe, and it will feel damp on the inside even if there is a waterproof membrane on the inside of the outer fabric.

Water-Repellant Options

For water-repellent options, navigate to the PRODUCTS section in the top menu, and utilize the filters to discover precisely what you require. Or contact us for advice.