Raincoats are manufactured using a variety of fabrics, including nylon, polyester, and specialised waterproof materials like Gore-Tex. These textiles have been chosen with care for their ability to withstand moisture, remain strong, and breathe. Cutting the fabric according to patterns, sewing the pieces together, and adding seam sealing or taping to improve waterproof properties are all steps in the manufacturing process.
Rainy seasons are highly unpredictable, making it challenging to stay dry while travelling. Raincoats offer a solution, providing protection from rain and ensuring comfort. Available in different types and materials, raincoats repel water while allowing the skin to breathe. Their soft, flexible, and easy-to-clean designs shield you from harsh weather.Raincoats are designed to tackle the elements and provide protection against wind, cold, dust, and grime. Crafted from various materials like wool, cotton, silk, and high-end fibres, these outerwear garments are often infused with rubber for waterproofing. Even natural fabrics can be treated to repel water while maintaining their inherent qualities, providing a strong, flexible, and easy-to-maintain option. You can confidently brave inclement weather with raincoats while enjoying breathable, comfortable comfort.
In this blog, we will learn everything about raincoats.
Did you know? The famous fictional bear in children's literature and movies wears a bright yellow raincoat and a red hat. This made the yellow raincoat a symbol of childhood and adventure.
History of Raincoats
When discussing the original raincoat, it's critical to recognise that what the indigenous people of the Amazon wore as a water-resistant or waterproof garment differs significantly from what we commonly understand as a raincoat today. The raincoat we are familiar with is considered modern, having undergone significant global development over the years. In 1824, Scottish chemist Charles Mackintosh invented the first raincoat using a novel fabric called Indian rubber cloth, which provided water resistance.
Utility Derived from Raincoat in Rainy Season
The main purpose of a raincoat during the rainy season is to keep the wearer dry by providing protection from rainwater. Raincoats are designed to be waterproof or water-resistant, preventing rain from penetrating the fabric and reaching the skin. This is significant because getting wet in the rain can lead to health issues such as hypothermia, especially at low temperatures, as well as causing discomfort.Raincoats have an advantage over other rain gear, like umbrellas, as they can cover the entire body, including the head. This ensures better protection against rain. Additionally, raincoats are more practical than umbrellas in windy conditions since umbrellas are prone to be blown away or turned inside out.
Why Are Raincoats Made of Synthetic Material?
Raincoats are often made with synthetic materials like nylon, polyester, and Gore-Tex because they perform better in wet conditions than natural materials like cotton or wool.
Synthetic fabrics are lightweight, waterproof or water-resistant, and quick-drying.
- Synthetic materials repel water, making them ideal for raincoat production. Unlike natural fibres, synthetic fibres are hydrophobic and do not absorb water. Instead, water beads up on the surface and rolls off, keeping the wearer dry.
- In addition, synthetic materials are generally more durable and resistant to wear and tear than natural materials. This is critical for raincoats, as they must withstand the elements without ripping or losing shape over time.
- Synthetic materials are also more accessible to a broader range of manufacturers, as they are more affordable than natural materials.
- Synthetic raincoats are breathable, allowing sweat and moisture to escape, which is particularly beneficial when wearing them for extended periods. This helps minimise discomfort and prevents clammy feelings for the wearer.
Fabrics Used to Make Raincoats
Although an extensive list of materials can be used to make raincoats, synthetic materials are waterproof and water-resistant.
Some of the most used raincoat fabrics are listed below.
1. Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic material that is water resistant, lightweight, and strong. Polyester raincoats can be made to be breathable and are frequently cheap.
2. Nylon: Another synthetic fabric used to make raincoats is nylon. It is an excellent choice for rainwear since it's light in weight, strong, and water-resistant.
3. Gore-Tex: Famous for upscale raincoats, Gore-Tex is a high-performance waterproof and breathable fabric. It is manufactured so that its barrier lets moisture out while keeping water out simultaneously.
4. PVC: Polyvinyl chloride, also called PVC, is a synthetic plastic that can be used to make a fabric that is resistant to water. PVC raincoats are cheap but may not be as breathable as other raincoat materials.
5. Polyurethane: Another synthetic fabric used to create raincoats is polyurethane. It is a breathable, water-resistant fabric that is frequently combined with other materials to form a waterproofing layer.
6. Rubberized Cotton: Raincoats have been created from rubberised cotton for over a century. It is created by applying a layer of rubber to cotton cloth, making it waterproof. It can, however, be heavier and less permeable than other materials.
Manufacturing Process of Raincoats
Raincoats are typically manufactured using a combination of specialised materials and production processes.
The exact manufacturing method can vary depending on the specific type and style of raincoat, but here is a general overview of how raincoats are typically made:
- Design and Pattern Making: The first step is to create a raincoat design. Designers conceptualise the style, features, and overall look of the raincoat. Once the design is finalised, patterns are created, which serve as templates for cutting the fabric.
- Material Selection: Raincoats are usually made from waterproof or water-resistant fabrics such as nylon, polyester, or a combination of these materials. The fabric choice depends on factors such as durability, breathability, and the desired level of water resistance.
- Cutting: The fabric is laid out in multiple layers, and the patterns are placed on top. Using cutting machines or manually with scissors, the fabric is trimmed according to the pattern's shape and size.
- Sewing: The cut fabric pieces are stitched together using industrial sewing machines. Skilled workers sew the front and back panels, sleeves, hoods, and other components, following design specifications. Additional features like zippers, buttons, pockets, and drawstrings are added during sewing.
- Sealing and Seam Taping: Seams are often sealed or taped to ensure the raincoat is fully waterproof. Seam sealing involves applying specialised tape over the stitched seams to prevent water from seeping through the needle holes. This step is crucial to enhance the raincoat's waterproof properties.
- Adding Fasteners and Accessories: Once the main components are assembled, fasteners such as buttons, snaps, zippers, or Velcro are attached to the raincoat. These allow for easy opening and closing of the raincoat and ensure a secure fit.
- Quality Control: Before raincoats are packaged and shipped, they undergo a thorough quality control process. Inspectors check for defects, such as stitching errors, loose threads, or imperfections in the fabric. This step ensures high-quality raincoats are delivered to customers.
- Packaging and Distribution: Finally, the raincoats are folded, packed, and prepared for distribution. They are packaged in plastic bags or boxes, ready to be shipped to retail stores or directly to customers.
Types Of Raincoats
There are various kinds of raincoats on the market, such as:
1. Trench Coats: A traditional type of raincoat, trench coats often have a belted waist and a long length that ends just below the knee. They are frequently constructed from thin, water-resistant cloth and are intended to be both fashionable and practical.
2. Ponchos: A straightforward, lightweight raincoat often made of waterproof material like vinyl or nylon. They are a popular option for outdoor activities because they often have a loose, oversized fit that can be pulled on over other apparel.
3. Packable Rain Jackets: These are suitable for travel or outdoor work because they are light in weight and easy to pack into a compact space. They are mostly manufactured from waterproof, breathable materials like Gore-Tex or polyurethane.
4. Cycling Rain Jackets: Specially made for cyclists, cycling rain jackets have a more extended back cut that offers additional protection from rain and road spray. They frequently have reflective accents to improve visibility in dim light.
5. Military-style Raincoats: Military-style raincoats have a utilitarian design with many pockets and a longer length for extra protection. They are made to be strong and water-resistant.
6. Hunting Raincoats: With a camouflage pattern and other features like a hood and scent-blocking technology, hunting raincoats are made exclusively for hunters and outdoor lovers.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a type of plastic that can be constructed into a waterproof fabric, is the most popular polymer used in raincoats. PVC is a well-favoured material for raincoats because of its toughness, affordability, and waterproof qualities. It might not be as breathable as other fabrics. Polyurethane (PU) is another polymer used in raincoats. The polymeric substance PU can also be used to create waterproof fabrics, but it is considerably more expensive than PVC. The great breathability and flexibility of PU raincoats make them a popular option for outdoor activities like hiking and camping. Another well-known polymer found in high-performance raincoats is Gore-Tex. It is a waterproof and breathable fabric with a barrier that lets sweat evaporate while keeping water out. Gore-Tex is frequently used in outdoor clothing like raincoats, jackets, and boots because of its strength, comfort, and adaptability.
A raincoat manufactured from synthetic plastics like PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is known as a plastic raincoat. These raincoats are often inexpensive and offer adequate weather protection. They are ideal for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and festivals because they are lightweight and simple to pack. Plastic raincoats come in various hues and designs, from straightforward disposable ponchos to tougher, reusable raincoats. However, they might not offer the same amount of comfort or protection in severe weather as other kinds of raincoats, nor be as permeable.
If you reside in areas where rainfall is frequent or enjoy outdoor work when it's raining, you need a raincoat. Typically, they are made of synthetic, waterproof or water-resistant fabrics such as polyester, polyurethane, Gore-Tex, PVC, and nylon. Raincoats come in many styles, including cover ponchos, conventional trench coats, and packable rain jackets. As a result, raincoat selection will come down to personal taste and aspects like price, functionality, and style.
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