trekking technical jacket is the piece of equipment that keeps you dry during outdoor activities. But it requires care in order to continue to be windproof, waterproof and breathable. With a little care it can go a long way and remember, a jacket that you care of is a jacket that cares for you.
Bellow, some useful advice about how to look after your jacket
HOW TO CLEAN
1. READ THE CARE LABEL
Read the manufacturer care label on your jacket and follow what it says about water temperature, what to avoid, etc. Almost all technical waterproof outerwear is made of synthetic fabrics such as polyester, polyamide, nylon, etc.
The common “DO NOTs” for technical waterproof outerwear:
Do not bleach.
Do not dry clean.
Do not iron.
Do not use powder laundry detergent.
Do not forget to close all velcro straps and zippers.
Do not use fabric softener.
2. INSERT JACKET
Brush off any loose mud or dirt. Close any zips and flaps. Try not to fold your jacket too much when placing in the washing machine. Place the jacket in washing machine alone or with same-category items. For example, multiple technical jackets may be washed together. Do not mix them with clothing of different fabric (cotton, wool, etc). Different fabrics need different care and cleaners. Τry not to overload the machine.
3. ADD CLEANER
Use liquid mild detergent without softener. For better results use a technical cleaner designed for synthetic technical fabrics (ex. Nikwax Tech Wash)
4. RUN WASH CYCLE
Usually, you must set the temperature to 30 degrees and run through the complete wash and rinse cycle. Rinse twice in order to completely remove all detergent residues. Remember to always check the label of your garment for exact care details.
5. DRY JACKET
The drying stage is essential to restore the water-repellent properties. Το let your jacket dry completely in the open air, flat on a clothes rack , or on a hunger, is the best practice. Do not use clothespins. Warning: never dry your jacket directly on the sunlight or on a radiator. Alternatively put it in a dryer on a synthetic program for a short time (10 to 15 min). Ιt is important not to over-dry the garment and most important, follow the care label for specific drying instructions.
HOW TO RE-WATERPROOF
If your waterproof jacket is not so waterproof anymore, the question is, “Can I make my jacket waterproof again?” And the answer is “Yes, you can.”
1. CLEAN JACKET
Always wash a waterproof-breathable jacket first, before applying any waterproofing. If you try to waterproof something that isn’t clean it doesn’t work out that well and maybe it will works against you when you are in the field. Refer to the entire section above, but skip the final “drying” step.
2.a. WASH FOR A SECOND TIME with DWR Wash-In
Do not dry the jacket after the first wash cycle and wash the jacket again, but this time, use a liquid DWR (Durable water repellent) product (ex. Nikwax TX Direct Wash-In), instead of your detergent or the technical cleaner you used in the first wash. The DWR products that are “wash-in” use the washing process to reapply the waterproof functionality to the jacket.
2.b. DO NOT WASH FOR A SECOND TIME and USE DWR Spray-On
Some DWR products are “spray-on” (ex. Nikwax TX Direct Spray-On). That means that they can be applied directly to the fabric. So there is no need to dry or to wash the garment again. As the jacket comes out wet after the first wash cycle, all you have to do is to lay it flat horizontally and spray the DWR product evenly outside, from 15 cm away. Let it rest for 2 -3 min and remove any surplus product with a damp cloth.
3. DRY JACKET
Let your jacket dry completely in the open air for both Wash-In and Spray-On procedures. Alternatively for Wash-In procedure only, you can dry your jacket in a dryer on a synthetic program for a short time (10 to 15 min). Warning: never dry your jacket directly on the sunlight or on a radiator. Please note: it is important not to over-dry the garment and most important is to follow the care label for specific drying instructions.