By Ella Brown
Reading Time: 2 minutes
What is water repellency?
A water-repellent textile is one that has the ability to make a water droplet "bead" and roll off of the material instead of soaking into it.
Water repellency and waterproofness work together but are not the same. A water-repellent textile has a coating of a Durable Water Repellant (DWR) that is applied to its outer side when it is manufactured. There are a variety of DWR treatments out there, but some of the most common treatments are wax, silicone, and Polyutherene. The main difference between the types of treatment lies in the price, which usually includes the durability of the product.
Water repellency and waterproofness work together but are not the same. If a textile is water-repellent, it simply means that it has undergone a treatment that allows the water to glide off its surface. If a textile is waterproof, it means that a water-repellent treatment has been applied to its outermost surface, but it has also been waterproofed from the inside out. Learn more about waterproofness here.
How is water repellency measured?
The water-repellent level of a textile is defined by EN ISO 4920 and is classified into five levels:
- 100 (ISO 5): Extremely water-repellent
- 90 (ISO 4): Very water-repellent
- 80 (ISO 3): Water-repellent
- 70 (ISO 2) or 50 (ISO 1): Non-repellent
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We advise you to choose rainwear with a water repellency of 100 (ISO 5), which is the case with all TOMO Clothing rainwear.
Like all products, the waterproofness of a material fades with the duration the textile is exposed to rain and its intensity, but also with the wear and washing of rain equipment.