What the heck is Gore-Tex?
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 11:34:32 AM America/North_Dakota/Center
So you may have heard the term Gore-Tex before and you may even know that it’s usually one of the selling features on high-end or premium outerwear pieces. However, you may not know much more than that and to be honest, it’s a fascinating piece of technology with a pretty interesting history.
What is Gore-Tex?
In a nutshell, Gore-Tex is a fabric that is waterproof, wind resistant and highly breathable. But it’s actually a little more than that:
1. It’s a Membrane. Gore-Tex is the backbone of a lot of great golf jackets and rain pants for a reason. The membrane is one of the most technologically-advanced pieces of fabric in the world. This membrane is technically an extremely thin layer of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene with over 9 billion pores per square inch. Those pores are what keep you dry and comfortable in any weather.
2. It’s a laminate. Where the membrane is the hard-working core of any great piece of outerwear, the laminate, or outer shell is your first line of defense and Gore-Tex is top of the line. All Gore-Tex garments have a very thin treatment applied to the exterior called Durable Water Repellant. This allows water to bead up and roll off, as opposed to soaking into the fabric. Kind of like a duck’s feathers.
3. It’s a product. Products engineered with Gore-Tex were specifically designed to keep the elements out while allowing sweat to escape, which means they are some of the most comfortable pieces of outerwear on the planet. The Gore-Tex pieces we carry at Austad’s were specifically designed with the golfer in mind and feature roomy shoulders, Paclite product technology and accessible pockets. If you’re serious about golf, you probably need some Gore-Tex in your bag.
History of Gore-Tex
As is the case with most great inventions, Gore-Tex was an unintentional by-product of a happy mistake. In 1969, Bob Gore, with his father Wilbert Gore were working on producing something called stretched polytetrafluoroethylene tape, otherwise known as PTFE. This tape can be used for a number of things, but most common is Teflon.
Now typically, you would heat these rods of PFTE and slowly stretch the heated material to get the desired effect. However, Bob Gore must have been in a hurry because instead of slowly stretching the rods, he gave them one massive yank and the PFTE tape unexpectedly stretched about 800% and formed a microporous structure that was about 70% air. Thus, Gore-Tex was born and the public has been more comfortable outdoors ever since.
So to wrap things up, if you’ve ever found yourself out on the course in less-than ideal weather conditions, Gore-Tex could mean the difference between finishing your round comfortably dry and soaking wet. Do yourself a favor and check out the wide variety of pieces with the Gore-Tex seal of approval at Austad’s Golf.
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