Is Polyester Waterproof?

Is polyester waterproof? The real question is – is any material really waterproof? The short answer is no, at least not 100%.

Many times people will throw around the terms waterproof and water-resistant as if they are interchangeable. But they don’t mean the same thing.  

There’s a major difference between waterproof and water-resistant. Creating something that can be called waterproof is dependent upon the materials and construction techniques used.

The costs of creating waterproof apparel are very high and usually prohibitive. One of the techniques used is called ultrasonic welding, which takes great skill and is extremely expensive. Essentially this method allows for the joining of non-synthetic fibers without using thread that could compromise the waterproof ability of the material. This technique is used only on items that must be absolutely 100% waterproof.

However, polyester is considered water-resistant. In fact, it’s one of the two most common types of water-resistant fabric along with nylon.

Why is this? It has to do with how tightly the fibers are woven together. Polyester is also considered “everyday waterproof,” which means although it’s not 100% waterproof, it is protective enough for most everyday situations, such as being out in rain or snow, but not completely submerged under water for a prolonged period of time.

The threads that make up polyester materials are considered waterproof, but when woven together, the overall garment is not. This is because in order to achieve complete waterproofness, a garment’s seams must be completely sealed using a technique like the aforementioned ultrasonic welding. A traditional seam will not do the trick. All zippers and entry points must be accounted for as well.

Being water resistant means that the way the polyester material is constructed is extremely dense. Think about it this way – the less holes something has, no matter how big or small, the more water resistant it is and the dryer you’ll remain. A dense fabric and construction means it takes more time for water to seep in.

So, is polyester waterproof? Not exactly, it’s not a naturally waterproof fabric. However, it is water-resistant and can provide the perfect solution to an early-season chill or pop-up drizzle during the final stretch of the game. Our new Storm Dfend™ collection from Holloway delivers the best of both worlds incorporating comfortable, breathable, high-stretch fabric that feels lightweight and delivers true weather resistance. Shop now!

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