Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about how GORE-TEX® fabrics and apparel are engineered? Wondering about their durability and performance, or how they are cared for and maintained? You'll find all this information and more right here.

If not, contact us and we'll be glad to help.


  • 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 authorized garment manufacturers to make outerwear, accessories, and footwear.

  • Who can manufacture GORE-TEX® garments?

    Only a limited number of specialist apparel manufacturers are licensed to use our fabric in accordance with our strict quality standards. We test every product design before it is approved for production and sell GORE-TEX® fabric only for the production of approved designs. Plus we guarantee the performance of all finishedGORE-TEX® apparel, footwear, and accessories — not just the fabric from which the finished product is made.

    So if your product says GORE-TEX® on the label, you know it carries the Guaranteed To Keep You Dry® promise, no matter who manufactured it or where you bought it.

  • Where can I buy GORE-TEX® fabric?

    GORE-TEX® fabric is available only to our licensed manufacturers, who create garments and footwear to our exacting standards.

  • Where can I get a GORE-TEX® product catalog?

    At Gore, we manufacture GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER® fabrics — not the finished garments you find in stores. To see products made with Gore fabrics, you have several options: contact us to learn which of your favorite brands contain our fabrics; contact your favorite retailers to request their catalogs; or use our Store Finder to locate stores near you selling GORE™ products.

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

    No matter which manufacturer makes the product, our label with the GORE-TEX® or WINDSTOPPER® trademark is sewn into an inside or outside seam. You can't miss it. In newer products, it 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 sayGORE-TEX®, it's not.

Product Performance

  • What's the life expectancy of a GORE-TEX® garment?

    It really depends on you. The GORE-TEX® membrane won't deteriorate with time, and our garments are guaranteed to be durably waterproof and breathable. Just use common sense and wear your garment for its intended use; i.e, don't wear a lightweight cycling jacket on a backcountry camping trip. And obviously, a ski instructor who wears his or her garment every day will need to buy a new one sooner than a skier who takes his or her garment out twice a year will. If you maintain your garment properly, you can expect it to last.

  • 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 waterproof, windproof, and breathable. However, there are many different outer fabrics and fabric constructions available so that you can choose what's most important to you: weight, texture, abrasion resistance, and so on.

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

    The holes made by needles in seams may be small, but they can cause leaks. That’s why even the most waterproof, breathable, windproof fabric won’t keep you dry and comfortable if the seams are not completely sealed.

    For absolute weatherproofness, GORE-TEX® garments rely on the Micro GORE-SEAM® tape technology. Seam tape is used to completely seal every tiny hole created by sewing machine needles when GORE-TEX® fabric is made into garments.

    No other fabric manufacturer goes to such lengths to ensure total weather protection. In addition to manufacturing our own GORE-SEAM® Tape, only Gore consistently tests finished garments to ensure they pass our meticulous quality and performance standards.

  • What does the GORE-TEX® GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® promise mean?

    Just that: No water from the outside will get to you on the inside. Whether it’s from a driving rain, a damp bench you happen to sit on, or kneeling in wet grass, water can't penetrate GORE-TEX® fabric. Yet, the fabric will remain breathable, allowing for moisture from sweat to escape. If your GORE-TEX® product is used as intended and cared for as instructed, including proper washing, repair, and application of Durable Water Repellent (DWR) as needed, you can expect it to remain waterproof, windproof and breathable for its useful life.

  • How durable is GORE-TEX® fabric?

    GORE-TEX® fabric will last for many years. It's incredibly durable, and unlike other "waterproof/breathable" fabrics that can lose waterproofness after repeated laundering, flexing, abrasion, or exposure to body oils or insect spray, the waterproofness and breathability of GORE-TEX® fabric is guaranteed under any conditions you may encounter.

  • How does the GORE-TEX® membrane work?

    The GORE-TEX® membrane has 9 billion pores per square inch, with each pore 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 guarantee you'll stay dry and warm in a garment made with GORE-TEX® fabric. But these same pores are large enough for moisture vapor 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.


  • What is the GORE-TEX® products GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® Promise?

    It’s simple: If you are not completely satisfied with the waterproofness, windproofness, or breathability of your GORE-TEX® product, then we will repair it, replace it, or refund your purchase price. No matter which of our trusted customers makes the product, we have certified that its durably waterproof, windproof and breathable performance meets the needs of its intended use. Fairness is one of the core principals of the GORE Company. Our promise is one that allows for common sense solutions with a focus on product performance and building lasting relationships with our consumers.

  • What does the GORE-TEX® GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® Promise mean?

    Just that: No water from the outside will get to you on the inside. Whether it’s from a driving rain, a damp bench you happen to sit on, or kneeling in wet grass, water can't penetrate GORE-TEX® fabric. Yet, the fabric will remain breathable, allowing for moisture from sweat to escape. Factoring in reasonable wear and tear as determined by our team, if your GORE-TEX® product is properly cared for and used as intended then you can expect it to remain waterproof, windproof and breathable for its useful life.

  • Is it a lifetime guarantee?

    No: It applies to waterproofness, windproofness, and breathability for the useful life of the product. It only covers to the original owner of the item, and items that were purchased new.

  • What does useful life of the product mean?

    The length of time a product can reasonably deliver expected performance relative to its intended end use. Our focus is around useful life rather than a fixed period of time due to the wide array of end uses for which our products are designed. It really depends on you and the choices you make. Lack of care can often be the cause of a product no longer having useful life, so it’s important to routinely clean your item and always follow the care instructions. Components used in the garment construction, such as glues and other adhesives, will eventually degrade. And, eventually all products do wear out with time and use. Use your best judgment, if the product has worn soles, rips, tears, punctures, abrasions, it may be time to repair it or buy a new one. If it looks worn out then it likely is. This can be especially true for footwear, which typically has a shorter useful life than garments. With footwear, the GORE-TEX® membrane is protected by the upper portion of the footwear. When the upper is damaged by things like cuts, cracking, or dry rot, the membrane’s performance can be compromised by dirt and debris that may enter the shoe. Internal abrasion from toenails and hard orthotics can also cause holes resulting in leaks. If you are unsure give us a call or send us an email and we can help make an assessment.

  • How long can I expect the useful life of a product to be?

    Due to the wide array of end uses for which our products are designed, we focus on their useful life rather than any fixed periods of time. It really depends on you and the choices you make. Lack of care can often be the cause of a product no longer having useful life, so it’s important to routinely clean your item and always follow the care instructions. Components used in the garment construction, such as glues and other adhesives, will eventually degrade. After all, all products wear out during use and over time. 

  • How do I know that my product has not yet exceeded its useful life?

    Use your best judgment, if the product has worn soles, rips, tears, punctures, abrasions, it may be time to repair it or buy a new one. If it looks worn out then it likely is. This can be especially true for footwear, which typically has a shorter useful life than garments. In the case of footwear, the GORE-TEX® membrane is protected by the upper part of the shoe. If there are cuts or cracks in the upper material, the membrane’s performance may be impaired by dirt and debris entering the shoe. Internal abrasion from sharp toenails or hard orthotic insoles can also produce holes, causing leaks. If you are unsure give us a call or send us an email and we can help you make a decision.

  • Does the GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® Promise cover damage?

    No: Damage such as rips, tears, excessive abrasions and punctures are the responsibility of the end user to have repaired. Broken buttons, zippers, hook-and-loop fasteners and other defects related to manufacturing should be addressed at the point of purchase or to the item’s manufacturer. Damage to any item that is returned to Gore must have been repaired so that the item is in a fully functional condition apart from the defect relating to GORE-TEX®. Damage can be understood as anything incurred through the product’s use that impairs its intended performance or functionality. Damage to personal electronic devices or any other personal items caused by water entry into pockets/zippers is not covered by the GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® Promise. If damage occurs please contact one of our recommended repair centers or contact us directly and one of our helpful consumer service advisors can assist you. GORE-TEX® products are an investment in waterproof, windproof, breathable comfort and it’s important to maintain that investment.

  • Does the GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® Promise cover Durable Water Repellency?

    No: Part of caring for your product is maintaining the Durable Water Repellent (DWR). GORE-TEX® fabrics have an ultra-thin treatment called DWR, a durable water repellent polymer that is applied to the outermost fabric layer. DWR penetrates the fibers and lowers the surface tension of the fabric, causing water to bead up and roll off this outer layer of fabric, instead of being absorbed. DWR is necessary for the product to perform as intended, but it’s not permanent. Regular wear and tear, plus exposure to dirt, detergents, insect repellent, and other impurities can shorten its lifespan. The good news is that following our care instructions can often solve this problem and when necessary, reapplying DWR is easy. However, an old or heavily worn garment may no longer bead water, even after proper care and a DWR treatment, indicating that the product has reached the end of useful life.

  • How is the value of a garment assessed under the GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® Promise?

    By your initial investment: Gore is committed to the idea of fairness in all of our internal and external dealings. It’s one of our core principals. While the decision to repair, replace or refund is one that is at the discretion of Gore, we will honor an amount equal to the price you paid for the product as indicated by an original proof of purchase. If a product is purchased used, it will not be covered. 

  • How does the replacement process work?

    In some cases your fastest and simplest source for replacement may be your local retailer. If that doesn’t work for you, we can help. Once it has been established that a replacement is the best option for you, a conversation occurs between you and your GORE-TEX® consumer service advisor to identify the best replacement products. We will gather the necessary information to help you make the right selection and ensure the replacement’s fitness for use. We seek to replace most of the items returned with the same product, or a similar one if availability is an issue. The advisor will provide replacement options for you based on what you have shared with us, the prescribed price and the end use. 

  • Are returned products tested or assessed?

    Yes: If a product comes back to us there are a number of tests that help us identify a failure in waterproofness, windproofness or breathability. All GORE-TEX® products must meet strict quality standards before they’re sold. We consistently monitor product performance to drive innovation and development. We are committed to our consumers getting the most out of their GORE-TEX® products.


  • 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. And it's not guaranteed to keep you dry. With GORE-TEX® footwear, the waterproofness and breathability are never in doubt.

  • Is GORE-TEX® footwear breathable?

    Yes, absolutely — and that's an important detail. Your feet stay drier from the inside out, because your perspiration is evaporating out of the footwear, not staying inside to make your feet feel clammy and uncomfortable. Especially in colder weather, breathability is crucial for keeping your feet dry and warm.


  • What's the best way to wash my GORE-TEX® garment?

    Be sure to read the manufacturer’s care tag first. Wash your GORE-TEX® garment in the washing machine in warm (105°F/40°C) water. For the best results, use a small amount of liquid detergent. Please do not use powder detergents, fabric softener or chlorine bleach.

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

    Wash your garment as often as you need to remove such impurities as dirt, campfire smoke and cooking odors. Washing and drying your garment helps restore the durable water repellent (DWR) that is important to the performance of a GORE-TEX® garment.

  • What cycle do I use if my washing machine doesn’t have a permanent press setting?

    You can use a gentle cycle that does not rigorously spin the garment. Reducing the spinning will minimize creasing or damage that can be caused by pulling and twisting the garment.

  • Can I use either powder or liquid detergent?

    For best results, we recommend using liquid rather than powder detergents.

  • How much laundry detergent do you recommend?

    Most liquid detergents for home use recommend about one ounce per load.

  • Should I wash my GORE-TEX® garment separately?

    You do not need to wash your GORE-TEX® garment by itself. You can wash it with similar garments that are not heavily soiled. We suggest a second rinse cycle to ensure that all of the detergent and soil are completely rinsed out of the garment.

  • Can I use stain removers on my GORE-TEX® garment?

    We do not recommend stain removers. Instead, we recommend using liquid detergent in the pre-wash cycle of your washing machine to remove stains and heavy soil. If your machine does not have a pre-wash cycle, simply soak the garment in warm water with liquid detergent.

  • Can I use bleach?

    Please do not use bleach with any GORE-TEX® garment. It could affect the color and performance of the garment.

  • What is the best way to dry my GORE-TEX® garment?

    We recommend line-drying your garment; it uses less energy and reduces your impact on the environment. Once the garment is dry, it only takes 20 minutes of tumble-drying to reactivate the durable water repellent (DWR) of a GORE-TEX® garment.

  • What is DWR?

    GORE-TEX® garments are treated with an ultra-thin treatment known as DWR, or durable water repellent. This treatment causes water to bead up and roll off the outer layer of garment, instead of being absorbed. Regular wear and tear, plus exposure to dirt, detergents, campfire smoke, cooking odors and other impurities diminish the protective DWR treatment. When water no longer beads up on your GORE-TEX® garment’s outer fabric, you can restore its DWR by using a topical spray-pump available at retail outdoor stores. These special treatments help maintain and restore the DWR on the outer shell fabric of the garment so that it remains water and stain repellent. (Note: We do not recommend wash-in treatments.)

  • Can I use an aerosol DWR spray to replenish the DWR?

    We recommend pump-action sprays instead of aerosol sprays to reduce the environmental impact. However, technically an aerosol spray can be used.

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

    Dry-cleaning does not harm GORE-TEX® fabric. However, always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for your particular garment to make sure they recommend dry cleaning. If you decide to professionally dry-clean your garment, request clear, distilled hydrocarbon solvent rinse and a spray-on or wash-in DWR repellent.

  • Can I use a home dry-cleaning kit to clean my GORE-TEX® garment?

    If dry cleaning is necessary, we recommend a professional dry cleaning that uses clear, distilled hydrocarbon solvents for rinsing. We do not recommend home dry-cleaning kits.

  • What setting should I use to iron my GORE-TEX® garment?

    First check your manufacturer’s care instructions about ironing. We recommend using low temperatures and no steam. Place a cloth over the GORE-TEX® garment so that the iron does not touch the garment directly.

  • Can I alter my GORE-TEX® garment or embroider a logo on it?

    Any form of alteration to your GORE-TEX® garment after purchase, including repairs, logo embroidery, or fit alterations, should be done at a Gore-certified facility. Otherwise, you might compromise the waterproof protection of your garment, usually via small needle holes that have not been sealed. If you need to change your garment in any way, contact us to locate a certified repair facility.

  • I've damaged my GORE-TEX® garment. What can I do?

    You can temporarily fix minor punctures and tears with a GORE-TEX® Fabric Repair Kit, available at specialty outdoor stores. These special adhesive patches allow you to make instant repairs to preserve the waterproof integrity of your outerwear until you can get to a certified repair center. Contact us for information about contacting a repair center.


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

    Absolutely. Gore® fabrics are safe to wear and environmentally sound. 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.

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

  • 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, wearers can have the garments mended professionally by one of our authorized Gore Repair Centers.

    Learn more about care and maintenance of GORE® fabrics in our Care section.

  • 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.

    Our Life Cycle Assessement studies confirm that recycling of a functional outerwear jacket has a negligible impact on the environment and therefore we focus our efforts where it really matters: in the development, manufacturing and distribution of our products.

    In addition we apply recycled face fabrics into our laminate offering.

  • 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.