Yes we know it’s a little boring but we get asked this question A LOT so we’ve put together a short guide on how to look after your Protected Species (and any other) waterproofs.
Fully waterproof garments aren’t fast fashion – they take a long time to make (our lead times are about 5 months), use a lot of cutting edge manufacturing techniques and can be complicated to construct. They’re built to last though so they just need a bit more TLC than your regular clothes (but shouldn’t be high maintenance).
For washing, it is best to steer clear of regular washing powder or liquids as they have the potential to damage waterproof membranes (for an explanation of these see our article on how to choose a women’s waterproof jacket). We recommend NikWax Tech Wash for all our garments – you can wash everything in the machine at 30 degrees using this and then just air dry.
Some waterproofs recommend tumble drying to activate their properties further (we don’t!) so please check your labels. Protected Species garments are made using a soft fabric which can look wrinkled when it first comes out the machine (the fabric has a knitted face) and then as your air dry, all the wrinkles magically fall out and it will look good as new. You can, if needed, give it a light iron (don’t steam it).
Waterproof jackets (whether fully waterproof or water resistant – for the difference, see our post on how to choose a waterproof jacket) are treated with a Durable Water Repellency coating (DWR), or a similar water repellent coating. You can tell a jacket has been treated with a water repellent coating as water will bead up on the surface of the fabric and run off. Over time from wearing and washing, the coating will wear off – you can test this by running water over your jacket and see how much it beads off. You can easily replace the coating by reproofing – we recommend NikWax TxDirect for this. Again you can just do in the washing machine on a regular 30 cycle and then air dry. You can do the test again and marvel at the water repellency! How often you have to reproof will depend on the quality of the reproofing method used by the manufacture and also whether your jacket is water resistant or waterproof. For Protected Species, we recommend reproofing after 15 washes or at least once a year.
The DWR coating on waterproofs is good for avoiding stains but if you do get them, some light use of a regular spot stain remover such as vanish (bar) will do the trick. For makeup stains on collars we recommend babywipes. Any problem stains, please feel free to drop us an email as customers often tell us what works!
We usually have samples of both Techwash and TxDirect kicking around in the office from the lovely people at Nikwax so feel free to drop us a line: [email protected]