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The Miracle of Nikwax

Posted by Bethan Bithell on 17th Jan 2014

Have you ever wondered how Nikwax products can improve the performance of your walking jacket or hiking boots? How many of us truly understand the power of Nikwax products?

For example, Nikwax waterproofing products will enhance the performance of – and increase the life span of – your outdoor and country clothing and footwear.

But how can Nikwax guarantee this? Please read on!

Nikwax Waterproof Products

A well known organisation, Nikwax is a global leader in the manufacturing of waterproofing products and has brought to the market safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning, and conditioning products for outdoor clothing and equipment.

First introduced in 1977, by Nick Brown, these products are now available worldwide.

Maintaining the performance of my outdoor clothing and footwear

Nikwax TX DirectBuying a new top of the range waterproof, breathable and windproof jacket can be quiete a considerable investment. With some performance walking jackets costing hundreds of pounds, for example, it is vital that washing and/or reproofing them doesn’t spoil the capabilities of the material, which could result in a non-waterproof, stiff and useless garment.

No matter what type of waterproof jacket you may have purchased whether it be a Hoggs of Fife Green King jacket or a Craghoppers Kiwi jacket, they will all have been coated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) solution. By adding DWR, to the outer jacket, rain and water will “bead” on the surface rather than saturate the fabric – resulting in a dry and comfortable garment. However, over time the DWR will start to wear off – resulting in a heavy, wet jacket! Reproofing then becomes a must!

DWR has been used by top performing brands such as GORE-TEX and Hoggs. In order to revitalise and add DWR to your outdoor clothing and equipment it is necessary to use a cleaning and reproofing solution such as that available from Nikwax.

The good news is that Nikwax products are easy to use! These treatments will coat the fabric and leather fibres of your products, making the molecules waterproof while leaving enough space between the fibres to allow them to breath – resulting in a waterproof and breathable garment.

waterproof material

Image (i)

There is a simple test you can carry out to see whether your walking jacket needs waterproofing or reproofing. Simply pour water on your jacket and see if the water actually “beads” on the surface of the material. (see image (i) to the left). If the rain beads runs off, then your jacket is fully waterproofed and doesn’t need reproofing. To wash your waterproof jacket without spoiling the existing ‘waterproofness’, use Nikwax Tech Wash. This treatment will revitalise the existing DWR, whilst reviving the breathability and cleaning your garment.

Regular washing of your jacket can enhance the performance of the DWR!


Image (ii)

If however over time, you find that water seeps into the material rather than runs off,(as shown in image (ii) below), then it’s time to wash and reproof your jacket!

To ensure you get the best result it is recommended that you first wash with Nikwax ‘Tech Wash’, to remove dirt and grime and then reproof with nikwax ‘TX Direct’. Nikwax TX Direct is a water based treatment that will add DWR to your garment or equipment, whilst reviving breathability, resulting in a waterproof, breathable and comfortable jacket.

Never use conventional detergents to wash your outdoor clothing! Such detergents will leave a thin water-absorbent film on the material which prevents the DWR from working – resulting in rain droplets seeping into the material!

Other Nikwax Products available

Nikwax Tech WashAs you may be aware, not all outdoor clothing garments are waterproof. For example, you may have a cotton ‘fishing waistcoat’ that’s not waterproofed. Using Nikwax Cotton Prooffor such a garment – or other cotton clothing -will add water repellency. Or, it may be the case that you have a ‘soft-shell’ jacket that needs reproofing and, if so, for best results you could try Nikwax Softshell Proof.

There is an array of Nikwax wash and waterproofing products available that are suitable for a range of materials. There are Nikwax products for:

  • Waterproof, breathable fabrics
  • Softshell fabrics
  • Leather, suede and fabrics
  • Wool and cotton
  • Down and feather

To find out which treatment you need for your outdoor wear, equipment and country clothing, check out our Nikwax Product Selector guide. This simple guide identifies the combination of washing, reproofing and conditioning (if applicable) products you need to get the most from your clothing, footwear and equipment.

Related post:
If you liked this blog, check out our suggested related post – New and improved Nikwax Cotton Proof

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