top 6 waterproof fabrics

top 6 waterproof fabric (and water resistant) for sewing

Choices are the Hinges of Destiny


There are a number of different varieties of fabrics available in the market. Analyzing the property of each fabric and deciding on which fabric to choose according to your design is a skill! Sewing a raincoat using a silk fabric doesn’t make sense ,right? Well, today you will learn more on the top 6 best fabrics that are water proof(and water resistance) for sewing.

What are water proof fabrics?

Water proof fabrics are the fabrics that are naturally ,or have been treated to become impervious to penetration by water or other liquid. The word waterproof makes reference to conformance in governing requirements and certain conditions of a laboratory test method. Waterproof breathable fabrics comprise of an outer layer called the “face fabric” usually made of nylon or polyester, and a laminated membrane or coating.

What are water repellent fabrics?

Durable water repellent or DWR is a coating that is put onto the fabric at the factory to make them water resistant or hydrophobic which means; the ability of a fabric to repel or fail to mix with water. It is commonly used in co-occurrence with waterproof breathable fabrics such as Gore-Tex to prevent the outer layer from becoming soaked with water. As a result,water cannot penetrate easily, especially as it is treated for such a purpose with a surface coating.

lets explore some of the most common types of waterproof fabrics

  • Vinyl and plastic
  • Polyester and nylon
  • Wool
  • Oil cloth
  • GORE-TEX Pro
  • Polyurethane Laminate (PUL)

vinyl and plastic

A pure vinyl layer is capable of protecting appliances and systems in opposition to the collection of water and other liquids. .PVC is often called “vinyl” and this type of clothing is called PVC clothing. It is a shiny clothing manufactured from the plastic polyvinyl chloride which looks similar to a shiny patent leather.

Almost all the clothes that we use are made of plastics like polyester,nylon and poly amide. In fact most of the modern fabrics contain about 64% of plastic. But, every time we wash these materials they throw off a million of plastic microfibers. Therefore the fabric might lose its ability to resist water gradually.


Both nylon and polyester material have the ability to resist water,but polyester resist it better than nylon. In addition, as the number of threads used to weave the polyester fabric increases, the material becomes more resistant to water.

However neither material is fully waterproof unless it is coated with special material. Polyester is also known as “everyday waterproof” which means although it is not 100% waterproof it is protective enough for most of the everyday situation, such as being out in rain or snow, until it is not completely immersed under water for a extended period of time.


Wool is known to be highly water resistant. Specially, untreated wool that still contains the fatty lanolin from the original can be almost waterproof. But it is always comfortable wearing dress made out of wool in wet weather.

Coats that are made out of wool are water resistant, but not waterproof. wool will not shrink if it gets wet. The one major thing that makes wool practical in outdoor wear and for bedding is the fact that even when its damp, it still keeps the wearer warm. this is because of its high absorbency, as it as good ability to hold moisture for a longer period of time than other fabrics.


Oil cloth is also known as the enameled cloth or american cloth. It is a is close-woven cloth or linen cloth with a coating of boiled linseed oil which makes the material waterproof. An oil cloth is a plastic and more specifically a vinyl fabric which comes to the market in rolls.

Oil cloth is used to manufacture tablecloths, coverings, bags, kitchen accessories and many other. It is probably one of the best known type of waterproof fabric that is manufactured from 100% vinyl which is completely waterproof. It is shiny, durable and quite thick and therefore it is not easy to work or handle unlike other waterproof fabrics.


Gore-Tex is a durable waterproof fabric. this kind of material protects the wearer with assurance. it has the strong ability to keep the person wearing it dry even in a soaking downpour or jarring snow conditions. It is extremely breathable and can repel any sort of liquid allowing water vapor to pass through.

It is ornamented to be lightweight, waterproof fabric for all weather condition. but,one drawback is that you need to maintain the fabric clean to get more life-time. Else,over time as perspiration from body escapes out through the material it can buildup of surfactants that reduce the effectiveness of the waterproofing.


Polyurethane laminate is a composite fabric manufactured by laminating a cloth fabric to one or both sides of thin film of polyurethane. It is breathable, durable and light-weight material also said to be 100% waterproof. One among the two sides of this material is made out of polyester knit therefore it can be slightly stretched.

PUL have a wide range of applications in medical , automotive,and garments usages as it is soft and flexible and also can be readily cleaned and sterilized.

Check our previous post, Top 7 Embroidery Designs of India

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