By: Collin Barnwell
What is DWR?
Necessary for manufacturers who produce products suitable for outdoor use, DWR is an acronym for Durable Water Repellent and is added to component materials to make them hydrophobic - meaning they repel water. Fulfilling the needs of manufacturers, DWR treatments are applied to the face of the fabric during the finishing process using either a high-pressure spray or a vat dipped method.
Different Types of DWR Finishes
A DWR finish is nothing more than a chemical combination of carbon and fluorine, known as fluorocarbons (PFCs). While this finish can be applied in a number of methods, there are two 'industry standard' options for DWR treatments:
An additional DWR treatment type, known as fluorine-free, has become popular with manufactures as it does not contain fluorochemicals and offers an environmentally-friendly treatment option.
Waterproof vs Water Repellent
Some people may categorized DWR treated fabrics with 'waterproof fabrics.' These two terms should not be used together as they are two mutually-exclusive terms. Fabrics with a DWR treatment are not waterproof.
For a fabric to be labeled 'waterproof,' it must exceed an industry standard test known as "Liquid Entry Pressure" (LEP) test. A LEP test measures the amount of force it takes for a 'hydrostatic water column' to pass through a hydrophobic material. This test uses a pressure of 0.8 bar (8,000 mm of water) to determine if a material is water repellent or waterproof. If a material does not exceed 0.8 bar, the material is labeled water-repellent.
DirecTex stocks SEVERAL fabrics which come prefinished with a DWR treatment. Some of our more popular styles are listed below:
DirecTex offers low-cost wholesale pricing to business and government agencies. Contact DirecTex to learn more about our product lines. DirecTex specializes in custom manufactured components and subassemblies for your projects.