1. TECH & PERFORMANCE / 2. WATERPROOFS / 3. WAXED COTTON / 4. WASHING & CARE
Lab Tests vs Real World:
A quick aside - No brand can call a garment waterproof unless the seams are taped. If they're not, you'll hear 'water-resistant', 'shower-resistant', etc.
Tech-heads, including us, often refer to the hydrostatic head test, where a fabric is tested for water permeability in grams of water vapour per square meter of fabric per 24-hour period (g/m2/d, or 'g' for short).
As a quide, a really excellent technical level is 20,000g and a mid-range is 5,000g. There's a fair bit of discussion around this lab test though, which can be too simplistic. It doesn't reflect real-world conditions, with fabric distortion, rubbing, movement, wind, drying, washing....A LOT!
That's why these numbers aren't the be-all and end-all. A sub-1,000g fabric can outperform a 20,00g in real world comfort stakes.
We test for the real world. Which brings us on to breathability...
A black plastic rubble sack is perfectly waterproof. If you made a jacket out of one you'd still get wet.
There's no point in having a superbly waterproof jacket if it can't breathe. Our bodies are sweating constantly, even at rest. If you start walking up a big hill, you will start creating a lot more perspiration, which will then create very humid conditions within your jacket.
If there's nowhere for it to go, that moisture will condense onto the inside of your jacket and wet out your clothes.
In humid exterior conditions, breathability is tested to it's absolutely maximum, because there is little 'gradient' of humidity for the vapour to pass through the fabric.
Literally NO jacket is perfectly breathable. If anyone says that it is, they're lying. Some are much better than others.
At FRAHM we concentrate on breathability (thus, comfort) combined with real-world rain performance. That's why we use a lot of natural fabrics, which often breathe better. Our extensive use of Waxed Cotton is an example.
Designs with taped seams, biased towards protection in constant or torrential rain
Designs biased towards breathability, with protection from showers
An unwashed waterproof is a dying waterproof.
Washing will not damage your rain jacket, it will prevent damage and maintain its technicality.
Waterproof fabrics degrade if not washed. The dirt and sweat builds up, clogging it up, at a microscopic level. Then, the bacteria get to work, eating your jacket as they feast on your gunge. Yep!
What can go wrong is washing your jacket incorrectly. We sew clear, plain-English instructions into every jacket.
The Nearly Universal Rules Of Washing coming up...
Here are the rules, unless it's dry-clean only (which we avoid in our designs).
Hand wash or machine wash gently (low spin).
Wash COOL. This is vital. Heat will kill your jacket.
Use non-biological, or better still, sensitive (awww) liquid. Bio tablets or liquid have enzymes in them that can destroy a jacket.
NO CONDITIONER! Conditioner literally blocks performance, coating all that tech. Luckily, if someone makes that mistake, simply rinse it thoroughly. Phew.
Dry flat away from heat (not on a radiator for instance!)
Wash if dirty. If unsure, wash anyway. If you're wearing it regularly but it looks clean, wash it.
IF IN DOUBT, LIVE CHAT US!