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Durable Waterproof(DWR)?Do You Really Understand It?

If you enjoy doing outdoor activities, you should know the importance of staying dry. Especially in harsh weather conditions, skiing, climbing mountains, traversing swamps, or hiking; there are few things worse than getting wet on cold conditions. That’s why many people look for outdoor gear that offers water resistance. Now we’ll discuss some of the technology that can keep you dry in a rainstorm, durable water repellent (DWR).

What is DWR?

Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment is a special coating added to our waterproof/weatherproof garment fabrics that prevents water from soaking in from the outside, prevents letting us get cold and wet in wet environments, and allows the fabric surface to stay shiny and sweat and body heat to escape smoothly from the inside towards the outside! The DWR coating also makes the surface of the fabric drier, making the clothing lighter and more comfortable. Especially in some outdoor equipment used in extreme weather conditions that may be life-threatening, such as ski jackets and ski pants, all will have a waterproof coating.

How DWR works

DWR works on the principle that the special material allows raindrops to form water droplets and roll off when they fall on the shell, rather than being absorbed directly by the fabric. From a subtle point of view, the DWR coating will form a fine structure in the fabric fibers first, which can prevent penetration into the fiber, and achieve the waterproof effect. At the same time, this material can also enhance the durability of the equipment to a certain extent, providing long-lasting protection in bad weather.

Advantages and disadvantages of DWR


  • Outdoor equipment with DWR coating usually has several advantages.
  • long-lasting and efficient waterproof performance.
  • efficient breathability.
  • Keeping dry in wet weather.
  • additional enhanced abrasion resistance.


  • The disadvantages of DWR coating are mainly
  • materials with environmentally harmful substances.
  • Natural wear and tear and gradual reduction in performance.
  • not applicable to all materials.

How to maintain and care for it (DWR)

Ski Jacket DWR Care.How unfortunate is it that an expensive piece of equipment often ends its useful life prematurely because of improper washing practices or lack of proper care?

How exactly do we clean and store our outdoor clothing as non-destructively as possible, and on top of that, extend the product replacement cycle.

As the number of washes and wearing time increases, dust and natural microbial action, the use of bleach detergents, the back of the shoulders, front and back lapels and waist and elbows and other easy to rub parts of the garment will make the fabric DWR water repellent components gradually lost, and even lose its proper waterproof performance. Do the following to make DWR last longer.

  1. Avoid frequent washing: DWR is a layer of coating attached to the fabric, frequent washing will often wear and tear and accelerate its loss.
  2. Avoid using hot water for washing: High temperatures can cause damage to DWR.
  3. Avoid using common detergent or laundry detergent: Common detergent may have residue and cause the membrane pores to be blocked, reducing the effect. Use professional detergent to achieve better cleaning and reduce loss.
  4. Low temperature washing: Using low temperature washing can well reduce the damage to the FWR coating, usually the recommended temperature is above 30℃.
  5. Regular inspection and reactivation of the coating: even if a piece of equipment is well maintained, it is not able to get a permanent DWR coating. Check during the period if the coating is found to be unable to bring the rain together into water beads. You need to pay attention to the performance of the re-repair.
  6. Avoid folding and storing: All DWR coated equipment should not be stored in a folded manner and should be hung up; folding and prolonged gravity will cause damage to the DWR.

How to reapply the “durable water repellent” (DWR) layer

A durable water repellent coating, also known as DWR, is often applied to the outer material of a ski jacket to make it waterproof. This coating is made of a polymer that increases the fabric’s surface tension, causing water droplets to roll off. The garment becomes more hydrophobic and water-resistant with DWR application. This treatment should be applied to high wear areas of the jacket for optimal performance.

If the ski jacket fails to repel water droplets after washing, it should be treated with DWR again.

To reapply DWR, remove the clothing from the washing machine, shake out any excess water, and zip it up. Spray DWR uniformly over the wet garment’s surface, paying extra attention to areas that will see a lot of wear.

Next, put the garment in a tumble dryer and dry it at a medium setting (40℃/104℉) for 40 to 50 minutes. It is not recommended to use a washable DWR coating. Turning the garment inside out before drying can increase DWR absorption into the top fabric layer.

To remove moisture from the surface of a rash guard, use a towel or dry cloth if a dryer is not available.

Watch the detailed tutorial.

DWR Sustainable Development

DWR is now widely used in outdoor apparel such as rushing pants, hiking shoes, down jackets, softshells, fleece jackets, quick-dry pants and skin windbreakers, and even some technical gear. DWR has a critical role to play in outdoor gear, especially in the apparel category, but it is a potential threat to the environment.

Fluorinated waterproof fabrics are functional chemical coatings containing perfluorocarbons (PFCs), which the outdoor industry has long relied on to make waterproof clothing. However, they are non-biodegradable chemicals that come at an environmental cost. PFCs are very effective at repelling water, but because of their environmental impact, we are removing them from our garments altogether.

Manufacturers are currently converting non-critical products with DWR coatings (which make up about 90% of waterproof gear) to PFC-free products in 2023, including waterproof accessories, interlayers and some jackets. For critical DWR application products, such as all-weather waterproofing gear, there is not yet a DWR solution that meets the functional needs of these garments. The remaining 10% of the product is one of the current challenges that needs to be broken through, and most of the world’s top chemists are involved in researching this material.


Can I dry it in the sun?

In spring, autumn and winter, there is basically no problem with drying outside; however, to avoid exposure to the hot sun in summer, for example, remember one key point, DWR coating should avoid high temperatures.

How long can DWR coating last?

DWR coating does not have a specific service life, it is related to many factors; depending on the use and care, it is possible to use for several months and years. If you want to use it for a longer period of time, pay attention to the details of maintenance.

Can DWR coating be washed in the washing machine?

When washing jackets with DWR coating, machine washing may be better than hand washing; however, care should be taken to keep the jacket’s zipper and Velcro tightly closed, use a detergent designed for outdoor gear, use a gentle wash mode, and do not turn on the tumble dry mode.

Does DWR coating affect the breathability of the fabric?

DWR does not normally affect the breathability of the fabric, but if there is too much dust or other impurities attached to it, it may affect the breathability.

Extended Reading

How To Clean Gore Tex Ski Jacket

What is the waterproof level of the ski jacket

When To Replace a Ski Jacket

How to Wash ski jacket

Fabric Care Symbols: The Ultimate Expert Guide

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