You’ve probably heard the following: For your jacket to last as long as possible, you need to wash it as little as possible. Thus, this statement, which is still generally rooted in the subconscious of people, certainly does not work like this and it is the main cause of losing the product functionality too early and of your disappointment.
The membrane is a thin layer of functional film laminated on the top fabric. Its task is to withstand two completely opposite parameters, namely, to release as much water vapor produced by our body as possible and, on the other hand, not to release a drop of water and not to blow through. Does it seem impossible? Today it is already possible and what was unthinkable a few years ago is quite common today.
Today’s modern laminates can "breathe out" even quite high physical activity while maintaining waterproofness. This is achieved mainly by thinning the membrane, which today is only 7 microns thick. Depending on whether the membrane is still connected to the lining or not, we distinguish whether it is a three-layer or two-layer laminate.
As we have written above, one of the main tasks of the membrane is to transfer the water vapor produced by our body during sweating to the external environment. The problem is that sweat is not only water, but also contains salt and fats, which settle in the membrane, gradually contaminate the membrane and, if not washed away by regular maintenance, slowly degrade the membrane.
This will happen sooner or later to all of our functional clothes, each of us has a different production and composition of sweat. For this reason, the first symptoms always occur in the neck and lower part of the hood, where contact with the skin is most intense.
Then it can easily happen that we take the jacket we haven’t washed from our wardrobe 6 months later and we suddenly realize it has started to let water through, which will definitely not please us thinking of those considerable costs and we wonder how it is possible with such an expensive product.
Keep calm, nothing is lost yet. Thanks to our own production, we can solve most problems.
Do a small analysis of what actually happened to you, here are the most common situations:
The final parameters of the laminate are not only affected by the membrane, but it is mainly the top fabric.
So, the parameters of the laminates can be very different in the end, even if the same membrane is used everywhere.
Over time, every membrane and its special features will expire. However, the jacket or pants do not need to be thrown away. You can still wear them for normal everyday use or skis.
Of course, if you are planning a more demanding hike, where you need 100% protection against rain, be sure to look for a new product.