We know it might feel like summer’s just around the corner, but farming waterproofs are still some of our most popular seasonal items right here in the UK. And it’s not just because the weather can be unpredictable. In fact, it’s harder to find the right lightweight, durable waterproof clothing in the warmer months. Too heavy and it’ll slow you down. Too flimsy and you’ll actually start looking forward to your heavy-duty winter stuff again.
Basically, getting that balance right isn’t easy.
You probably know we’ve got a big range of agricultural waterproofs here at Stormline. But we thought it’d be helpful to share our tips and tricks for making your clothing last longer, from our own experience over the years.
Get some hydrophobic spray
If you haven’t heard of hydrophobic spray before, then it’s one of the best things to happen to waterproof clothing in recent years.
It works like this. Hydrophobic molecules tend to cluster together in water, and seemingly repel any type of liquid that touches its surface. Think when you’re cooking with water and oil. Anyway, hydrophobic spray can be applied to virtually any kind of solid (including clothing) and it’ll stop water from passing through its surface.
Have a look at this video below:
What’s better, hydrophobic spray can be used to repel oils too. Which is handy for people who work in commercial fishing, come to think of it.
If you have to clean your waterproofs, run the washing machine first
All waterproof clothing needs a good cleaning some time or another. Otherwise the material runs the risk of losing breathability and becoming pretty much useless in a short timeframe.
If your waterproofs are machine washable, however, it’s worth keeping a few points in mind. Things like residual detergent and soap can damage your overalls – leading to disintegration and (you guessed it) loss of wearability. To avoid this from happening, we recommend letting your washing machine run on its own before sticking your waterproof clothing in.
Then, when the time comes to doing it yourself, only put one or two garments in at a time and keep the temperature at a maximum of 30 degrees.
Test your farming waterproofs every 3 months
Look after them well and your farming waterproofs can last for years. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test them periodically and make sure they’re working as efficiently as possible.
Splash some water onto the fabric. Does the liquid collect together in small drops?
If not, you might need to reapply waterproof spray to the fabric. This will ensure no moisture reaches the insulating materials underneath and you’ll stay warmer – and dryer – for longer.
TX Direct Wash can be used to do exactly that. To make your waterproofs last longer, you just need to add this to your washing load and it’ll help reapply the protective surface. This handy video explains how it’s done:
Don’t forget about your shoes
We’ve talked a lot about clothing so far. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about waterproof shoes on the job.
If your shoes are exposed to chemicals, salt or even mud for long periods of time (and we suspect they are) then this will wear down the material and cause serious discomfort. Wellies are one of the best ways to tackle this issue, but there’s still a few good rules to making them last longer:
- It’s better to let them air dry, rather than letting them sit idly beside the radiator. If your wellies are particularly wet then stuff some newspaper inside and that’ll do the trick.
- Avoid drying your wellies in direct sunlight too. This can cause the colour to fade and damage the rubber if it’s lovely and hot outside.
- No tumble dryers. Not only does it sound terrible but your shoes will lose shape and durability.
Keep your farming waterproofs working for longer
This has been a pretty short introduction to farming waterproofs and how to look after them.
Believe it or not, some of the best advice we’ve received has come directly from the people who use our clothing on a daily basis. And what they tell us, time and time again, is it’s better to invest in waterproofs that have been engineered for purpose in the first place. Then, when it comes time to hanging them up at the end of the season, you don’t need to worry about them falling apart and needing replaced the next time around.
If you’re ever in doubt about how to look after you farming waterproofs, have a look at the garment label and always follow the instructions. But let’s be honest. We didn’t really need to tell you that, did we?
For more information about farming waterproofs, and other industry-related news, follow us on Twitter. We’d love to hear your advice too.