What is Gore'Tex Fabric? What are the different types of Gore-Tex fabrics?
Discovered in 1969 by Bob Gore, Gore-Tex is a waterproof and windproof, but breathable fabric membrane that keeps water in liquid form (even under pressure) out of a fabric, but allows water vapour to pass through. The membrane is made of expanded Polytetrafluorethylene (ePTFE).
Image: A closer look at the ePTFE Membrane. (Gore.com)
It's the same compound used to make Teflon, although the Gore-Tex membrane is stretched. This membrane contains pores that are smaller than a water droplet, but larger than a water vapour molecule. So rain and snow cannot get in, but sweat can get out.
Image: Gore-Tex Composite Fabric (Wikipedia Commons)
Gore-Tex comes in a variety of fabric ranges for varying end uses including:
Gore-Tex Pro Fabric
3 layer construction featuring Gore's latest technology with 100% ePTFE-base multilayer membrane bonded between the outer shell and inner liner. It features greater breathability and the most durable fabric package. The membrane is backed with a Gore Micro Grid Backer fabric that's super thin, very strong and keeps you dry from the inside out. Benefit: the bonded construction improves durability by protecting the garment from harsh elements inside and out as well as providing a broader range of comfort.
Gore-Tex Fabric with 3-layer construction
Features a Gore-Tex membrane bonded between the outer shell and inner liner. Benefit: The bonded construction improves durability by protecting the garment from harsh elements inside and out.
Gore-Tex Fabric with 2-layer construction
Features a Gore-Tex membrane bonded to the outer shell and protected on the inside by a separate lining. Benefit: The inner lining ensures better wear and comfort.
Gore-Tex Fabric with Paclite Technology
Features a Gore-Tex membrane with a protective inside layer, which takes the place of a separate lining for an extremely breathable, exceptionally lightweight and compressible shell.
Gore-Tex Active Fabric
Combines a thin, lightweight Gore-Tex membrane with fine denier performance fabrics to deliver the ultimate 3-layer, durably waterproof, windproof and breathable solution for for highly aerobic alpine excursions. A proprietary lamination technology integrates the backer textile directly into the Gore-Tex membrane, allowing for a lighter, softer, thinner fabric with incredible moisture management and extreme breathability. Gore-Tex Active is the most breathable fabric in the Gore-Tex product family.