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Does your hiking jacket seemed to have lost some of its original waterproofing quality over time? Don't panic, here is how to get it back to how it was!~Water-repellency is a fabric's ability to let water slide over its surface without seeping in. This way, your jacket does not soak up water and remains light and breathable. The water-repellent property is achieved with a treatment applied on the outside of the fabric. However, with wear, these properties may change.
Bram, our jacket product manager, explains how to wash your jacket to restore its water-repellent property and so stay dry in all weathers!
You can wash your jacket on a synthetic programme at 30° or 40°C with your standard detergent. Do not use softener which could damage the original qualities of the jacket; do not use bleach either.
To avoid any nasty surprises, do not mix with items of clothing which are different colours or made from different materials.
Try not to fold your jacket too much when placing in the washing machine and try not to overload the machine.
Very important: select a lengthy rinse cycle or rinse twice in order to completely remove all detergent residues.
This is the most important point in the care cycle!
I recommend drying in a tumble dryer using the synthetic programme. This is the best way to put the feathers back in place and restore their original volume.
As when washing, I recommend you ventilate the jacket during the drying period. With tennis balls or a sufficient amount of laundry in the machine to help keep it moving. Again, the aim is to aerate the down and allow it to return to its position within the quilting.
I also recommend you do 2 or 3 drying cycles so that the down is fully dry: this can be seen with the naked eye because the jacket’s quilting regains its volume, which you can feel when you press it. It helps if you pat the jacket between drying cycles to separate the feathers within the padding.
If you do not have a dryer, you can of course dry your jacket on a clothes line. However, this might take several days, minimum 4 days. Make sure the jacket is open to the air on both sides. I advise you to turn over and pat your jacket regularly, several times a day to prevent the feathers from clumping together. Never dry your jacket on a radiator.
Caution: whatever your drying technique, if the down is not dried completely, the wet feathers will stick together and form small clumps which are then almost impossible to separate. It’s difficult to undo the damage.
If, despite these precautions, spots or odours appear, simply wash again, ideally at a dry cleaner’s. They will disappear.