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April 2014 Newsletter

Caring for






Caring for Rainwear

Raincoats aren’t just for spring anymore, they are multifunctional garments that protect you from the rain, keep you warm on cool days, and can even be worn with evening wear.

Raincoats come in a variety of fabrics including brushed cotton, water-repellent wool gabardines, blends of polyester and rayon, cotton and wool, and even coated velvets. Prints, plaids, vibrant colors, subdued colors, even combinations of designs and colors are not unusual on rainwear. In addition, raincoats today frequently sport trims of fur, suede, corduroy or other decorative fabrics.

Brushed cotton is frequently used on raincoats to create a softer, more natural look. Brushed fabrics of this type tend to show abrasion more readily during wear than traditional tightly woven, smooth cotton or cotton blend fabrics. In particular, areas around the collar, cuffs, elbows and seams may develop chafed or light areas with continued use. The localized wear may appear more prominently on darker colors. This is a subtle condition that develops as the item is worn, but may become more evident after the garment is cleaned and the soil removed.

Many of the brightly colored cottons used in rainwear contain dyes and finishes that are not totally resistant to drycleaning, producing a fading or dulling of the color when the article is drycleaned. Rainwear fabrics fall under the Care Label Rule and, therefore, should contain dyes and colors that are resistant to the suggested care procedure on the label. If the colors are not resistant, the rainwear should be returned to the retailer for an adjustment or replacement.

Rainwear is often made more fashionable by treating the outer fabric with urethane coating, giving the garment a very smooth, slick leather-like appearance. These coatings are often hard to distinguish from real leather.

Some urethane films are very thin and are known to have limited abrasive resistance. These films may start to separate and break up around the collar area from the effects of perspiration and body oils that have remained on the fabric for an extended period of time. For this reason, periodic cleaning of rainwear is advisable.

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