Clothing made of membrane fabric, like any other high-tech products, needs a fairly attentive attitude. Recently, it has been quite popular among consumers. Membrane outerwear is very light and comfortable. However, caring for such things should be appropriate. Why is it not cold in a thin membrane jacket even in winter? What are the main advantages of this material? How to care for such clothes, how to wash a membrane jacket? These and other issues will be discussed in this article.
Advice for membrane clothing owners
The manufacturer’s requirements for the care of the products to the greatest extent determine those conditions under which the products will retain aesthetic and physical characteristics throughout the entire service life. Often, consumers who have not had previous experience in caring for such things, wonder whether it is possible to wash the membrane jacket in the car or is it only suitable for manual cleaning?
Attentive reading of labels on clothes and related instructions, as well as the exact observance of the recommendations contained in them, is the primary source of information on the procedure for using clothes. In order to more accurately understand the general principles of maintaining the functionality of things from membrane tissue, it is useful to know what it is.
What is membrane tissue?
It consists of at least two layers. The first layer is synthetic fabric. The second layer - the membrane - is a thin film coating with a special structure, applied by a high-tech method, on the inner side of the first layer. The membrane may be further coated with a protective layer of fabric, resulting in a three-layer fabric.
Pros and cons of membrane tissue
This unique material has several advantages:
- well protects from rain and snow;
- not blown by the wind;
- well conducts the evaporation of the body outside (provided that there is a pressure difference inside the clothes and outside, in other words, this property only works when making movements);
However, it has some disadvantages. Products from it require more careful care compared to things made of ordinary material. If you take care of things incorrectly, they quickly lose their ability to keep warm. The total service life can be up to 5 years, depending on the type of membrane and manufacturing technology. In addition, a careful and, most importantly, correct selection of things worn under membrane clothing is required (mainly these are things made of synthetic fabric that have the property of retaining heat and not absorbing moisture).
Due to its advantages, membrane fabric has become widespread in the production of clothes operating in extreme conditions. Naturally, in the process of wearing things are subject to various kinds of pollution, requiring the adoption of measures to remove them. No exception and membrane jackets. Manufacturers of membrane fabric can wash products made from it, including in a washing machine. as well as dry cleaning. However, it should be remembered that the less often things from such a fabric are machine washable, the safer they are. Nevertheless, it is important for the owners of such things to know at what mode to wash the membrane jacket in order to ensure proper care for it to the maximum. Of great importance is the tool that is used during this procedure.
This is the best option. Before washing the membrane jacket, you should unfasten the fur, if any. If it does not come unfastened, you can pack it in a sealed plastic bag and tightly bandage it.
Those who do not know how to wash a jacket from a membrane fabric should be aware that often surface contaminants are washed off quite well under a stream of warm tap water (at temperatures up to 40 degrees) or wiped with a cloth. Without consequences, you can use laundry soap or special detergent for washing such clothes, which are purchased in a hardware store or a store specializing in the sale of goods for sports.
After washing, wipes made of cotton and other materials with high hygroscopicity can be used to remove excess moisture. Dry washed clothing in a well-ventilated area at room temperature. The jacket should be spread out and laid out on a horizontal surface. In order to avoid disturbance of the membrane structure, it is impossible to smooth the wrinkled surface directly with a hot iron. It is allowed to iron clothes with an iron with the set minimum temperature, through a towel and without the functions of vaporization.
How to wash it is impossible?
It is important to remember that:
- Most membrane tissues cannot be soaked for a long time.
- During washing, clothing should not be subjected to significant mechanical stress. In the presence of persistent dirt, you can use a soft brush in combination with soap suds.
- Twisting negatively affects the properties of the membrane. It is necessary to dry the washed items either by skipping the spin stage and letting the water drain freely, or by squeezing without twisting the fabric.
How and at what temperature to wash the membrane jacket in the washing machine?
Such outerwear should be loaded into the drum separately from heavily soiled items. There is no need for preliminary short-term soaking.
Before washing the membrane jacket in the washing machine, it is necessary to check the pockets for foreign objects. To avoid deformation of the links of the zippers, it is advisable to fasten them, and also fasten the valves on the buttons and straps.
Buttons that are present on clothes are not recommended to be fastened, since the threads with which they are sewn become loose during washing, and the loops can stretch and lose their shape. It is advisable to turn the clothing inside out so that all the accessories are inside and do not come off, do not lose their appearance and do not spoil the drum of the washing machine.
Since the membrane in jackets is a rather thin polymer, washing is allowed in delicate modes at a temperature not exceeding 40 degrees.
A thorough rinse at low speeds is recommended to completely remove the detergent residue.
It is advisable not to spin the product or use machine drying. After the end of the washing process, it is not allowed to dry such clothes on any heaters with a coolant temperature above 40 degrees. In order to avoid damage to the membrane, it is best to dry the jacket without using forced heating methods, namely, the method used for hand washing.
How to wash a membrane jacket?
You can use a small amount of any liquid detergent for such a fabric. It is not recommended to wash clothes made of membrane fabric with ordinary washing powder with coarse and coarse, poorly soluble particles, as well as with detergents containing conditioners and bleaches. Their presence leads to a decrease in the breathability of the membrane.
Conventional stain removers and chlorine products are not acceptable. Under the influence of chlorine molecules, the pores of the membrane become larger and begin to pass water. Thus, the water-repellent properties of the fabric are reduced.
Before washing the membrane jacket, it is advisable to purchase special funds for this procedure. For example, Granger's, Nikwax or Holmenkol. They are well washed out of the fabric, do not contain surfactants and particles that can damage the membrane material or reduce its physical properties.
Dry Cleaning Features
Manufacturers do not recommend dry-cleaning jackets made of membrane fabric. It is simply unacceptable to subject certain materials to such a cleaning method. If, for some reason, dry cleaning cannot be avoided, then when handing the product to the collection point, it is necessary to indicate the use of a colorless distilled hydrocarbon solvent during rinsing, as well as the use of the DWR composition during washing or subsequent processing.
During the washing process, an intensive effect is applied to the surface layer of the membrane fabric, which is an ordinary synthetic fabric coated with a long-term water-repellent coating (DWR coating). Under the influence of detergents, the protective coating is gradually washed off, and the fabric loses its water-repellent properties. In the future, when exposed to moisture, the fabric gets wet and does not allow the membrane to fully work. As a result, the subsequent operation of the clothes increases the load on the membrane.
In this regard, it is required to regularly treat the top layer of clothing with special impregnations that support the water-repellent properties of the material. Specially designed products with DWR coating from NIKWAX, WOLY, SALAMANDER can be purchased in specialized stores for sports and recreation.
Other tips and tricks
In the case of forced washing in the field, you can restore the water-repellent properties of the fabric by rubbing the surface of the jacket with shavings from ordinary or laundry soap.
If the surface synthetic layer of the membrane jacket is contaminated with any oil, it should immediately be removed by applying a suitable cleaning agent and rinsing with water. If the stain remains after such washing, it is recommended to dry the product in a natural way and then wash it at home using suitable means.
If the jacket is contaminated with tar or grease, it is important to prevent the stain from spreading over the surface and drying out. You can remove such pollution from the surface of the jacket with any blunt improvised item, scrubbing dirt from the edges of the stain to the center. After removing dirt, it is recommended to immediately clean the cleaned area. You can wipe the stain with ice or water.
Dirt, oils, insect repellents, heat sources, antistatic agents are the main enemies of the membrane’s beneficial properties. If possible, avoid them.
There are not many options for washing a membrane jacket, and they practically do not differ from the usual ways of caring for outerwear. The only thing is that this material cannot be washed with ordinary powders. For this procedure, it is necessary to use special liquid formulations. In any case, before washing the membrane jacket, you must familiarize yourself with the information from the manufacturer on the clothing labels and in the accompanying instructions.