In this membrane jacket you will not get wet under the pouring rain and will not freeze from the icy wind. Drops of water will drain from it, and gusts of cold air will not significantly affect the temperature under the clothes. At the same time, the moisture formed when the body moves will not create discomfort, because the membrane clothing "breathes".
Membrane tissues combine three important properties:
- water resistance, due to which droplets of moisture can not penetrate through the membrane;
- wind resistance when the membrane does not allow cold airflow;
- vapor permeability, when evaporating sweat, on the contrary, is able to penetrate outside, not accumulating under clothing.
Therefore, membrane clothing protects in extreme conditions of mountains, fishing or hunting and will allow you to comfortably engage in active sports. Of course, after such exploitation it will have to be washed. First, to remove dirt and freshen up. And secondly, to clean the pores of the membrane for better vapor permeability and preparation of the fabric for applying water-repellent impregnation.
Improper washing and care can turn a thing from a membrane fabric into a normal windbreaker. How to wash a cheap "membrane" so as not to spoil it? It is necessary to take into account the properties of this material. So, by what principle does it work?
Structure of membranes
Membrane fabrics are composite materials obtained by combining an outer fabric, a polymer film (directly a membrane) and, optionally, a protective liner. Mebranes are made of Teflon (PTFE polytetrafluoroethylene) or polyurethane. Depending on the properties of the polymer, the membranes are divided into pore and nonporous.
have a porous structure. But the pores are so small that in 1 square centimeter of such a film can be up to 1.5 million pores. Such dimensions of these through-passages allow water molecules in the vapor state (from sweat) to penetrate into them and exit because of the difference in concentrations on the opposite side of the membrane - the substance moves from the zone with a higher concentration towards a lower concentration (this difference is called the gradient).
At the same time, the size of the pores does not allow them to penetrate the conglomerates of water molecules-drops. In combination with the membrane, the upper layer of the fabric is impregnated with a water-repellent compound.
The fine-porous structure does not allow air flows, protecting it from wind.
Although Teflon is chemically inert and durable material, the problem of operating a membrane layer from it is that the pores can be clogged, and then it ceases to "breathe". If, in addition, the water repellent impregnation is washed away, the fabric will blot out and lose its unique properties.
Polyurethane membranes do not have pores, and their operating principle is somewhat different. If the protection against atmospheric moisture and wind is clear, then how does the moisture under the jacket leave the perspiration? Due to diffusion, which also occurs due to the moisture gradient.
Washing of membrane tissues
How to wash membrane tissue to extend its life? It is necessary to avoid actions that can disrupt the membrane structure:
- Conventional detergents have low solubility, poorly rinsed and can clog pores.
- Strong oxidizers, for example chlorine or other stain removers, on the contrary, can destroy the porous structure, and then the membrane will flow.
- Temperature above 40 degrees, strong friction, twisting and spinning in a washing machine will badly affect the composite material as a whole.
Therefore, for washing membrane tissues liquid substances are used, to which special requirements are imposed. The gel for washing membrane tissues should:
- effectively remove contaminants at low temperatures (several types of surfactants can be used for this - non-ionic and anionic);
- act in water of any rigidity, therefore, they should contain complexing agents that bind stiffness ions (for example, EDTA, citric acid or its salts - citrates);
- Do not affect the membrane material (no chlorine and other strong oxidants);
- completely rinse out (so in this gel should not be lanolin, optical brighteners, etc.);
- disinfect clothes and give it a fresh fragrance, preferably at the expense of natural essential oils.
You can wash it with both hands and in a washing machine at low speed and at a temperature of no higher than 40 ° С. Perhaps you decide that the spin function should be turned off at all and apply 2 rinsing cycles.
Before washing it is necessary not only to check the pockets traditionally, but also to fasten them, as well as all zippers, valves and other fasteners.
For drying, the products from the membrane are hung vertically, for example, on the hangers, and allow the water to drain. Drying should be away from the hot battery and direct sunlight.
To iron if necessary must be very carefully, at low temperatures and without a steaming agent. Between the iron and the membrane tissue you need to put a towel.
These were the general rules. Carefully examine the label of your "membrane" to use it as long as possible.