February 22, 2010

How breathable foul weather gear fabric is made.

There are two ways manufacturers make breathable fabrics--Microporus and Hydrophillic.

Microporus fabrics work because water molecules are larger than air molecules--as long as the "micro pores" in the fabric are less than 10 microns across (the size of water molecules) air molecules can escape while water molecules can't get in. Of course water vapor molecules are smaller than water molecules, so the water vapor escapes with the air.

Hydrophillic coatings are more advanced and therefore more complicated.  These coating are composed of a mixture of hydrophobic (water hating) and hydrophillic (water loving) molecules.  In the simplest terms, moisture from inside the garment is absorbed through this chemical chain and pushed to the outside, while the surface fabric has pores that let air enter.

So whether you sailing, boating, or fishing, the first thing to look for is the type of breathable fabric.  Both work, but as always, you usually get what you pay for.

The next topic will be how the design of the foul weather gear affects it's breathability--even though the fabric is breathable the cut and style make a tremendous difference in effectiveness.

For a complete selection of foul weather gear for sailing, boating, and fishing, visit Whitecaps Foul Weather Gear at  www.WhitecapsFoulWeatherGear.com. They have great sale prices, free shipping and offer free merchandise. And their customer service is terrific.

We'd also like to thank Gill, www.Gillna.com for all their knowledge.

February 8, 2010

Breathability and foul weather gear

Breathable fabrics let the warm, moist air created by your body pass through the fabric instead of building up as condensation on the inside of the jacket or pants--and feeling damp and uncomfortable. 

The important point to remember is that there are different degrees of breathability. So whether condensation turns into that icky, damp feeling or escapes through the fabric depends also on the degree of your activity and conditions the fabric is exposed to.  In other words there is no such thing as a totally breathable, condensation-free fabric.

For a complete selection of foul weather gear, sailing gear, and rain gear, visit Whitecaps Foul Weather Gear at www.WhitecapsFoulWeatherGear.com  They carry Gill, GUL, Ronstan, Harken, Dubarry, Atlantis, and SailFast.  You'll get free shipping, free merchandise, and great sale prices.

We'd also like to thank our friends at Gill, www.Gillna.com for their help and knowledge.