FAQs

Curious about how Gore fabrics are engineered? Wondering about their durability and performance, or the maintenance they require? Get all the facts, right here.

About Gore

  • How long has Gore been providing waterproof, breathable products?

    W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., inventors of GORE-TEX® fabric, has been refining and reengineering technologies for use in protective clothing for more than 25 years.

  • What other services does Gore provide?

    Gore offers expertise in the design and specification of laminates for finished garments, footwear, and gloves. Our Fabrics Division is a global division. We work with suppliers, manufacturers, and independent test houses worldwide to carefully ensure the best possible product performance, design, and functionality.

  • Why does Gore manufacture membranes, laminates, and tapes for their products?

    It’s not enough just to say that a fabric is liquid penetration resistant and breathable. The fabric, the design, and the manufacturing all affect whether protective clothing has long-lasting, dependable, durable liquid-resistance. Gore is the only manufacturer worldwide that involves itself in each of these key elements in the production of durable protective gear. Gore manufactures its own membranes, laminates, and GORE-SEAM® tapes, in addition to providing patented, licensed seam-sealing and quality assurance equipment to our manufacturers. Our Gore Factory Support Associates visit all Gore customer factories to evaluate the performance of Gore machines and to ensure that quality products are received by the end user. Only when a manufacturer meets Gore Standards do they receive certification. Gore monitors these critical variables for one reason: so that all end-products containing Gore fabrics meet and exceed the requirements for their intended end use.

  • Where can gear made with Gore fabrics be purchased?

    Gore manufactures the barrier fabrics that go into your protective gear. Nearly all of the well-known and prominent manufacturers of personal protective clothing design and sell end-items that incorporate Gore products. Our manufacturers and their distributors or dealers will help you procure these products.

GORE-TEX® products

  • How can I be sure the product I'm buying is made with genuine GORE-TEX® fabric?

    No matter which manufacturer makes the product, our label with the GORE-TEX® trademark is usually sewn into an inside or outside seam. Some procurement organizations do not allow garments to be labelled.

    In newer products, a label might also be embroidered on the sleeve or chest of a garment, or you might find it on a small metal tag on the outside. Remember: If it doesn't say GORE-TEX®, it isn't.

  • Who can manufacture GORE-TEX® garments?

    Only a limited number of garment manufacturers are licensed to use our fabric in accordance with our strict quality standards. We test every garment design before it is approved for production and sell GORE-TEX® fabric only for the production of approved designs. GORE-TEX® fabric is available only to our licensed manufacturers, who create garments, footwear, and gloves to our exacting quality standards.

  • What is GORE-TEX® fabric?

    First introduced in 1978, GORE-TEX® fabric is created when we laminate our patented GORE-TEX® membrane to high-performance textiles, which are then used by licensed garment manufacturers to make garments, gloves, and footwear.

  • How does the GORE-TEX® membrane work?

    The GORE-TEX® membrane has 1.4 billion pores per cm², and each pore is 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet. These tiny holes are too small for water and wind to pass through from the outside, which is how we can ensure you'll stay dry and warm in a garment made with GORE-TEX® fabric. But these same pores are large enough for moisture vapour to pass through, so your body's perspiration is able to escape and you don't get clammy and uncomfortable. That's what “waterproof/breathable” is all about.

     
  • Will a GORE-TEX® garment keep me warm?

    Yes. GORE-TEX® fabric is windproof, so it blocks cold air and wind that can disturb your body heat and cause windchill. However, GORE-TEX® fabric itself doesn't have any special insulating qualities, so in really cold conditions, wearing extra layers underneath your outerwear will ensure that you stay warm and comfortable.

  • Do all GORE-TEX® fabrics offer the same quality?

    ALL our GORE-TEX® fabrics are equally waterproof, windproof, and breathable. However, there are many different outer fabrics and fabric constructions available so that you can choose what'smost important to you: weight, texture, abrasion resistance, etc.

    It really depends on you. The GORE-TEX® membrane won't deteriorate with time, and our garments are durably waterproof and breathable. Just use common sense and wear your garment for its intended use; i.e., don't wear a lightweight jacket in combination with a safety belt or a tool belt.

  • Why do GORE-TEX® garments need seam tape?

    When GORE-TEX® fabric is made into garments, seam tape is used to seal the edges of the cut fabrics and the tiny holes created by sewing. These holes may be small, but they can cause leaks. We specially manufacture our own GORE-SEAM® Tape and regulate the seam-taping process to ensure compatibility with our fabrics and the durability of the seam’s waterproofness.

  • I've damaged my GORE-TEX® garment – what do I do?

    To repair the waterproof integrity of your GORE-TEX® Technical Garment or GORE-TEX® Heat & Flame Garment, please contact your garment supplier or the person in your organization responsible for personal protective equipment.

  • Will salt water damage my GORE-TEX® garment?

    No. Salt water does not contaminate, alter, harm, or decrease the breathability of GORE-TEX® fabric in any way. Stains from dried salt water will wash off. Hosing the garment down at the end of the day will be sufficient to keep it clean.

  • How can I restore the water repellency of GORE-TEX® products?

    You can completely restore a GORE-TEX® product's durable water repellency by using a topical durable water repellency product for outdoor fabrics. The product should be intended for breathable garments. These special treatments help maintain and restore the durable water repellency on the outer shell fabric of the product so that it remains water and stain repellent. Anyone can properly maintain the durable water repellency on a GORE-TEX® product.

    When water no longer beads on your GORE-TEX® garment's outer fabric, simply apply a topical durable water repellency treatment product according to its directions.

  • Why do I need to use a water-repellent treatment on my GORE-TEX® garment?

    The outermost layer of a GORE-TEX® garment is treated with an ultra-thin polymer coating known as durable water repellent. This coating causes water to bead up and roll off the outer layer of fabric, instead of being absorbed into this outer layer.

    Regular wear and tear, plus exposure to dirt, detergents, and other impurities, causes failure of the durable water repellency. The effective life of the durable water repellency depends upon how you care for your garment and how rigorously it is used. The most effective way to maintain your GORE-TEX® garment's water and stain repellency is to clean it properly, including an occasional tumble dry.

  • How often can I wash my GORE-TEX® garment?

    Wash your garment as often as you need to. In fact, washing and tumble-drying will actually help restore the water repellency performance of a GORE-TEX® garment.

  • Can GORE-TEX® fabric be dry-cleaned?

    Dry cleaning does not harm the GORE-TEX® membrane, but it may damage other properties found in your garment. Make sure that the manufacturer's care instructions on your particular garment recommend dry cleaning.

    If you choose professional dry cleaning, request clear, distilled solvent rinse.

  • Do leather boots even need a GORE-TEX® liner?

    Yes. No leather is inherently waterproof, and most "waterproof" footwear requires applications of special waxes or greases to stay that way. Not only is this inconvenient, but it severely compromises the breathability of the footwear. With GORE-TEX® Footwear, waterproofness and breathability are not in doubt.

  • Is GORE-TEX® Footwear breathable?

    Yes, absolutely — and that's an important point. Your feet stay drier from the inside out, because your perspiration evaporates out of the footwear; it does not stay inside to make your feet feel clammy and uncomfortable. Breathability is crucial for keeping your feet dry and warm, especially in colder weather.

  • How can I be sure I'm buying genuine GORE-TEX® Footwear?

    All GORE-TEX® Footwear carries our name as well as the manufacturer's brand. In the event that your procurement organization does not allow footwear to be labelled, speak with your purchasing officer.

    Remember: if it doesn't say GORE-TEX® fabric, it isn't.

  • How do I clean GORE-TEX® Footwear with fabric uppers?

    Clean with lukewarm water and allow to dry naturally. When dry, treat with water-repellent spray. Never use waterproofing oil or grease — they could impair your footwear's breathability.

  • How do I clean suede leather GORE-TEX® Footwear?

    Just brush off the loose dirt after it's dry and treat your footwear with commercial water-repellent spray. Never use waterproofing oil or grease — they could impair your footwear's breathability.

GORE® CROSSTECH® fabric

  • When was GORE® CROSSTECH® fabric invented?

    Initially, Gore produced its first waterproof, breathable moisture barrier, the GORE-TEX® moisture barrier, in 1979. Continued technical developments allowed Gore to introduce GORE® CROSSTECH® fabric in 1993.

  • How does GORE® CROSSTECH® fabric work?

    To create GORE® CROSSTECH® fabrics, GORE® CROSSTECH™ membranes are laminated to textiles specially selected for their end-use application. The GORE® CROSSTECH® fabrics are then sewn or fabricated into finished end-items.

    GORE® CROSSTECH® fabric is the component in your protective clothing that provides penetration resistance to blood, body fluids, and NFPA (US National Fire Protection Association) common fire ground chemicals. At the same time, it provides durability and superior waterproof, breathable performance that is unmatched by any other barrier product.

  • Why should I be concerned about blood and body fluid exposures?

    Blood and body fluids carry the risk of HIV (AIDS), HBV (Hepatitis B), and HCV (Hepatitis C) infections. Various publically available studies document the risk that emergency response workers face from exposure to these viruses. Recently, analysis by the UK Fire & Rescue Service has highlighted the risk from exposure to blood and body fluids as higher than that from heat and flame for their workers. This reflects the fact that the majority of incidents attended by UK emergency crews are related to rescue, such as road traffic accidents (approx 60%), as opposed to fires (5-10%).

     
  • How are GORE® CROSSTECH® fabrics tested?

    GORE® CROSSTECH® fabrics are tested in Gore's state of the art laboratories to insure they are fit for use in the application they are engineered for. GORE® CROSSTECH® fabrics are often component certified as meeting or exceeding industry standards (NFPA, for example). This component certification occurs in 3rd party testing facilities. Our fabrics are also tested in our customer's laboratories, and the garments, boots, and gloves our customers make with our fabrics are often certified to the appropriate industry standards.

  • Why should I buy leather emergency response boots with GORE® CROSSTECH® footwear fabric?

    For comfort, mobility, and superior penetration resistance. With the unpredictability of man-made and natural disasters, protection against liquids commonly encountered at emergency scenes is even more critical to your safety. Leather EMS, and Search and Rescue boots with GORE® CROSSTECH®fabric give you superior liquid penetration resistance to blood and body fluids as well as common accident scene chemicals.

  • Why should I buy gloves with GORE® CROSSTECH® glove inserts?

    The right glove barrier is important for thermal stability, abrasion resistance, and durable liquid-penetration resistance. GORE® CROSSTECH® glove inserts not only endure higher temperatures than other glove barrier products, they're also highly abrasion-resistant. They remain waterproof even after multiple abrasion cycles of liner against shell. Gloves with GORE® CROSSTECH® glove inserts perform five times better than competitive polyurethane-based products for durable waterproofness and abrasion resistance.

  • What is the difference between GORE® CROSSTECH® moisture barriers and GORE-TEX® moisture barriers?

    GORE® CROSSTECH® moisture barriers and GORE-TEX® moisture barriers are both manufactured only by W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., a company with more than 25 years of experience in waterproof, breathable protection. GORE® CROSSTECH® moisture barriers are sold globally and are appropriate when occupational risk assessments indicate the need for protection from blood and body fluids. GORE-TEX® moisture barriers provide the durable and breathable waterproofness, and they are sold globally except for North America where NFPA standards require that moisture barriers resist viral penetration. Consult with your garment manufacturer or Gore representative if you are unsure which barrier product is most appropriate for your application.

GORE® WINDSTOPPER® products

  • What is GORE® WINDSTOPPER® fabric?

    GORE® WINDSTOPPER® fabrics utilise an ultra-light inner membrane technology that combines durable total windproofness with maximum breathability. They are engineered for a wide range of activities and weather conditions, so that you can focus on your task without the distractions of feeling cold, damp, or overheated.

  • Why is the windchill factor important when I'm outside?

    When the wind blows through a garment that's not windproof, it destroys the warm layer of air next to your skin — your microclimate. You start to feel uncomfortable almost immediately. Just think about how many times you've retreated indoors when the windchill temperature was minus 10° C, even though the thermostat read 4° C. It's that windchill effect: it makes everything colder. With WINDSTOPPER® fabric, your clothing is totally windproof, so you can stay outdoors longer.

  • What kinds of GORE® WINDSTOPPER® product choices are there?

    GORE® WINDSTOPPER® products are worn across a wide range of weather conditions and activities to maximise performance.

    There are three classes of GORE® WINDSTOPPER® products:

    • GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shells combine the comfort of a soft midlayer and the water resistance of a shell in one garment and offer durable total windproofness with maximum breathability. GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shells are best utilised when comfort, durable optics, and water repellency are important.
    • GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Technical Midlayers provide more warmth and comfort and less bulk than non-windproof textiles by combining durable total windproofness with maximum breathability. They are best used as a midlayer in cool and windy conditions.
    • GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Functional Layers offer skin sensorial comfort with durable total windproofness and maximum breathability. They can be worn effectively next to the skin, or as part of a layering system.
  • How does GORE® WINDSTOPPER® fleece compare to other windproof fleece?

    Many other "windproof" fleece products get their windproofness from outer coatings that degrade over time and are significantly less breathable. Our ultra-light GORE® WINDSTOPPER® membrane technology is built right into the fabric. It's totally windproof, extremely durable, and highly breathable.

  • Can GORE® WINDSTOPPER® fabrics lose their windproofness?

    No. Because our ultra-light GORE® WINDSTOPPER® membrane technology is built right into the fabric, it retains its windproofness over use — even after 100 wash and dry cycles. Other windproof products, such as some microfibres, can lose windproofness after only one wash cycle.

  • How is GORE® WINDSTOPPER® fabric different from GORE-TEX® fabric?

    GORE® WINDSTOPPER® garments are totally windproof and offer maximum breathability. Some GORE® WINDSTOPPER® products, like GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shells and GORE® WINDSTOPPER® trousers are water resistant, but they are not waterproof.

    GORE-TEX® garments are waterproof, breathable, and windproof.

    Both fabrics are extremely durable.

  • How can I restore the water repellency of GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shells and trousers?

    You can totally restore the durable water repellency of GORE® WINDSTOPPER® Soft Shells and trousers by using a topical water-repellent product intended for breathable outdoor garments. These special treatments help maintain and restore the durable water repellency of the fabric’s outer so that it remains water and stain repellent.

Environmental

  • Are GORE-TEX® products environmentally friendly?

    Yes, our products are environmentally sound. Their durable performance allows them to last longer, which is the most effective measure for making an environmentally sound choice in functional garments, footwear and accessories.

    Due to the selection of advanced materials like expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, we deliver best-in-class products offering a high level of durability. Durability enables a long and useful lifetime of the finished product, resulting in substantial savings of raw materials and energy that would be otherwise required to manufacture multiple units of shorter-lived products.

    Learn more about the importance of environmentally sound clothing in Well Dressed, an article about a Cambridge University study that found, “…the greatest beneficial change would occur if we purchased less clothing and kept it for longer.”

    The positive environmental effects of product durability are similar to those of our other GORE® products, including WINDSTOPPER® fabrics.

  • Does making GORE-TEX® products harm the environment?

    While no manufacturing operation can be completely free from emissions and environmental impact, the Fabrics Division of W. L. Gore & Associates makes significant efforts to minimize the effect of our manufacturing processes on the environment.

    We fulfill a high level of environmental standards in all of our manufacturing plants globally with controls in place that meet or improve upon the local regulatory demands (e.g., air pollution control devices, solvent-free adhesives, manufacturing waste recycling, and waste water treatment). The environmental impacts of our manufacturing processes are regularly assessed and controlled by an Environmental Management System according to ISO 14001. This environmental manufacturing standard was globally implemented in our fabrics manufacturing plants in 2010.

    All of our fabric manufacturing sites have passed the bluesign® screening and have implemented the bluesign® standard, which verifies that our manufacturing processes are carefully managed and equipped with the best available environmental controls. bluesign technologies ag has developed an independent and rigorous standard for the safety and environmental performance in making textile products.

  • What is the key environmental impact of GORE-TEX® garments?

    GORE-TEX® and other GORE® fabrics are an environmentally sound choice because they are manufactured responsibly and their durable performance allows apparel to last longer, reducing the use of natural resources and waste.

    While some manufacturers of functional materials focus on only part of the story regarding the environmental profile of their products, we employ a Life Cycle Assessment approach that considers all aspects of our products. This starts with the production of raw materials by our suppliers and includes all elements of manufacturing and transportation. We even consider the impact of the washing and drying performed by the consumer over the lifetime of the garment.

    Comparing the relative impact of each phase of a GORE-TEX® jacket's life, the largest environmental impact occurs during production and finishing of the component materials that make up a garment. In contrast, washing, drying, and retreating during the useful life and disposal incurs a smaller environmental impact.

  • Can I care for my GORE-TEX® products in an environmentally friendly way?

    Yes. Routine care and maintenance, like washing, will ensure the highest performance from a jacket and extend its useful lifespan. Investing in a long-lasting garment and maintaining it properly not only saves on the environmental footprint but also saves on your direct costs.

    GORE-TEX® fabrics have a highly durable stain and water repellency treatment (DWR) that can be easily and repeatedly restored by tumble-drying and/or ironing. In this way, consumers can maintain the performance of their garment and save significantly on the cost and use of repellency restorative treatments. However, if after years or use, washing and drying no longer prove effective, GORE-TEX® garments and footwear may benefit from a DWR restorative treatment. Professional reproofing or spraying of a re-treatment product (according to manufacturer's instructions) can be an efficient way to do so. This also minimizes the release of treatment agents into the environment.

    In the event of a tear or hole in the fabric of a garment, our GORE-TEX® Fabric Repair Kit has proven useful in preserving the functional integrity of the garment, thus extending its life. Wearers can either apply the patches themselves or have the garments mended professionally by one of our authorized Gore Repair Centers.

  • Is it safe for me to wear my GORE-TEX® gear?

    Absolutely. Gore® fabrics are safe to wear. They meet state-of-the-art product safety requirements like Oeko-Tex® Standard 100. This is a global textile safety standard well respected for its science-based approach to textile safety validation.

    The implementation of the bluesign® standard in all fabric manufacturing plants of Gore verifies that our products made with ePTFE membranes are harmless to people and environmentally sound. Our fabrics consist of this ePTFE membrane bonded to high-performance textiles from our suppliers. GORE® fabrics will be certified as “bluesign® approved fabrics” when we use textiles that meet the standard. Currently only a few textiles are available that comply completely with both the strict criteria of the bluesign® standard and Gore's rigorous quality parameters.

    We now offer two-layer GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER® fabrics that are bluesign® approved fabrics to our customers who manufacture garments. A limited selection of those garments will be available to consumers from fall 2012

    Gore is working with its suppliers to gain access to more textiles that comply with the bluesign® standard.

    Learn more about Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 and the bluesign® standard.

  • Is it possible to recycle GORE-TEX® garments?

    Gore has developed a technology for high value recycling of its laminates.

    Together with some committed customers, in 1993 Gore was the first in the apparel industry to offer high level post-consumer recycling for outerwear. This recycling program for specially designed garments, named GORE™ BALANCE PROJECT™, received the 1995 European Outdoor Award for Innovation. We quickly learned, however, that consumers were not as willing to return these garments for recycling even after years of use, thus the program was stopped.

    We have since learned that when considering the entire lifecycle of our apparel and footwear, enhancing their useful life has a much more significant positive impact on their overall environmental footprint than does recycling of the final product.

  • How should I dispose of a GORE-TEX® product in an environmentally safe way?

    Garments or footwear made from GORE® fabrics can be safely disposed of just like any other apparel product.

    Contrary to most other plastics, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) - the raw material of our membrane - is not made or processed using plasticizers or stabilizers. It doesn't contain residuals like heavy metals, organotin compounds or phthalates. If disposed of in a landfill, PTFE will not degrade, so it will not contribute to the formation of greenhouse gases (i.e., methane) or release substances into the water or air. In an incineration plant, PTFE is safely converted to carbon dioxide and fluorspar. Potentially harmful gases are captured by pollution control devices (alkaline scrubbers) that have been in place for a number of decades.

    Finding ways to extend the useful life of a product has always been the environmentally preferred option over product disposal. One might wish to consider donating footwear or garments to charities or repurposing the product for other applications.