Membrane fabric: Description and types

Membrane fabric: Description and types

One of the most popular materials produced using innovative technologies is a membrane fabric, a membrane referred to as a daily speech. Clothes from it not only protects from rain, but also misses couples, guaranteeing maximum comfort to its owner. The latter is enough to choose the most appropriate type of membrane fabric, devoting due attention to the description of the characteristics of the material under consideration.

What it is?

The described fabric is a material of synthetic origin referring to the category of multilayer. Due to its properties, membrane products effectively repel the moisture outside and at the same time do not prevent the exit of evaporation accumulating in the sub-arms. The outer layer of such a tissue performs not only aesthetic, but also a protective function, whereas the internal is characterized by the softness that contributes to convenience of wearing (in some cases it can replace the lining).

As for the membrane itself, it is located between those mentioned above layers. This component of the tissue is a thin film made of high molecular weight compounds and applied to the main material. In Russia, the described tissue is produced on the basis of GOST 28486-90, the requirements of which it must be fully.


As mentioned earlier, the membrane is an important component of the material under consideration, but not the only component. As the basis of the latter, the synthetics (for example, polyester), to which the film “rolls”.

    To date, several materials are used for the manufacture of membrane tissues.

    • Teflon. Has microscopic pores that effectively prevent the penetration of external and contributing to the evaporation of the inner moisture. The main disadvantage is gradual clogging.

    • Polyurethane. Key feature – maximum water resistance. The main defects of polyurethane products are a relatively slow evaporation of moisture accumulated in the sub-arms.

    • Polyester. The main advantages of this material are resistance to wear and high strength, due to which it can be used for many years. In addition, Polyester is pleasant to the touch and perfectly holds the form.

    Also, cotton is used to solve the described problem, primarily noticeable with its ability to keep heat, and bamboo capable of boasting strength and hypoallergenia.

    Decent mention and combined materials: due to the presence of a protective layer, they minimize the probability of clogging of the membrane and prolong its life.


    There are two main quality membrane fabrics – water resistance and vapor permeability. The first provides protection against external moisture (for example, rain): the higher its value, the longer a person will feel dry. It must be borne in mind that the membrane can push water throughout a certain time, after which the latter begins to penetrate into sub-array space. This, the described fabric differs from polyethylene and rubberized materials that are completely non-transmitting water, but not capable of providing air exchange, optimal for humans.

    As for vapor permeability, it determines how much “breathable” is the membrane. The higher the value, the more comfortable wearing clothes from this material with significant physical exertion will be.

    As in the case of water resistance, the vapor permeability of the membrane fabric has its limits, and therefore may not cope with their responsibilities if the sweating will be excessively intense.

    Other advantages of the material under consideration are noteworthy, namely:

    • Maximum convenience of wearing, excluding stiffness of movements+
    • versatility due to which the products made of membrane tissue are suitable not only for adults, but also for children+
    • good protection against strong wind+
    • relative ease of removal of contaminants.

    Separately, it is worth mentioning the shortcomings, the list of which looks like this:

    • High cost of products (provided that they comply with the established quality standards)+
    • The use of artificial components, not satisfied with the supporters of natural materials+
    • Not the highest wear resistance, the specific value of which depends on the category of membrane fabric.

    In addition, it is difficult to care for the described material, which will be described in detail further.

    Many believe that the membrane fabric warms well, but it is not. With an extra moisture outward, it reduces the risk of cooling the body, but at low temperatures there should be two layers of warm clothing under it.

    Types and their characteristics

    Depending on the characteristics of its structure, the membrane canvases are divided into 3 categories.

    • Porous. Second name – hydrophobic. Due to the presence of micropores, it ensures effective removal of wet air from sub-array space. In this case, this fabric delays water, providing its owner a dryness sensation for a long time period. The noticeable defects of the materials under consideration are clogging, the degree of which depends on the operating conditions of the product.

      • Nearby. This type, also referred to as hydrophilic, is characterized by the absence of microscopic holes in the membrane layer. With the removal of wet vapors, it copes with diffusion, involving their smooth transportation from the inner layer of fabric to the external. Given the duration of this process, the owner of the product may experience a certain discomfort (it will seem for it that clothing wet).

      The effectiveness of the use of non-porous fabric is especially reduced, provided that the humidity outside is too high.

      • Combined. Such materials organically combine the advantages of the two categories discussed above. Their manufacturing involves the use of a hydrophobic membrane, which is applied relatively thin layer of polyurethane. Minus In the combined category of the combined category only one – high cost.

      Also, depending on the design of the membrane tissue, 3 other types of its varieties are distinguished, each of which has its remarkable characteristics.


      In this case, the membrane has only external protection, and therefore implies the use of an additional lining (as a rule, the mesh). The absence of the latter leads to inevitable clogging and mechanical damage to the material, and therefore is unacceptable.

      Such products marked as “2L” can boast a small mass and good vapor permeability. In addition, two-layer membrane fabrics are used in clothing, the inner surface of which has a warming layer.


      The described variety is marked as “3L” and provides for more reliable, bilateral protection of the membrane. Thanks to this feature, the latter has increased resistance to wear, which is the obvious advantage. The material under review looks like a fabric, the wrong side of which is covered with fine mesh.

      Despite its obvious advantages, a three-layer variety has one essential drawback – high cost. Given this circumstance, such a tissue is relatively rare – mainly for the manufacture of professional equipment.

      With knitwear lining

      This kind of membrane fabric, also called “2,5L”, is largely reminiscent of two-layer, but does not involve the use of a standard lining. Instead of the latter, a layer of foam knitwear is used, ensuring the protection of the membrane from mechanical influences and clogging.

      The main advantages of this material – compactness and ease. Separate attention is what these advantages do not detract from other advantages of membrane fabric.

      How to distinguish from ordinary fabric?

      There are several basic ways to distinguish a membrane cloth from ordinary. To buy a product with interesting properties and minimize the likelihood of acquiring a fake, the client is enough to adhere to the following recommendations.

      • The simplest solution is to visit stores that implement the products of proven brands.
      • The price of a product made from membrane tissue cannot be low. This is due to the complexity of manufacturing this material involving the use of advanced technologies.
      • Often the name of the product under consideration contains the “-Tex” lettering (for example, “Sympatex” or “Gore-Tex”).
      • Products of many popular brands are sold under license. If the seller does not trade for fakes, he must have all the permissive documentation.

      In addition, the buyer can check the water resistance of the house of the house using an ordinary shower. As for breathing properties, it is necessary to determine with hot water container, and the glass that the latter is covered with the latter.

      If the material is membrane, it will skip the steam, the result of which will become a fogging of a glass surface.

      Where applies?

      Practice shows that the use of membrane tissues is justified in a variety of situations requiring optimal air exchange and effective high humidity protection. Such materials are especially appreciated by winter sports, tourism, mountaineering, hunting, fishing, and many other hobbies providing for significant physical exertion. In addition, membrane fabrics are suitable for the manufacture of children’s clothing – jackets, suits and overalls.

      It is also worth mentioning the undesirability of the daily use of products from the material under consideration. This circumstance is explained by three main reasons – the high cost of such products, the relative complexity of the care and the need to wear an additional layer of warm clothing.

      Choice rules

      Before you buy clothes from membrane fabric, the buyer needs to consider the conditions in which it will be operated. Following this recommendation, you can get exactly the product that is optimally complied with the tasks set before him.

      Choosing a suitable product, the buyer needs to pay attention to two key parameters – previously mentioned water resistance and vapor permeability (for example, 7000/7000). Approximate values ​​are first listed below:

      • 3000 – Minor sediments, which are relatively long+
      • 5000-7000 – rain having an average intensity+
      • 10000-15000 – strong and prolonged shower+
      • 20000 – Storm (products with such water resistance are intended for yachtsmen and extreme leisure lovers).

      To select a product with a suitable vapor permeability, the buyer is worth using the following list:

      • 3000 – low level of physical activity (normal walking)+
      • 5000-7000 – Slow motion around the terrain with a complex relief or jogging+
      • 10000-15000 – Maximum physical activity (skiing).

      There may be somewhat different interpretations, slightly different from the above.

      Recommendations for care

      In order for clothes from the membrane fabric to please their owners as long as possible, the latter should pay due attention to the care of her providing for a number of important nuances. Washing of such products involves certain features.

      • Inability to use conventional detergents. This is explained by the fact that the washing powder clogs the pores of the membrane, significantly reducing the vapor permeability of the fabric. The same effect is observed after the use of bleach and air conditioners.
      • Hermers containing chlorine acting on membrane materials diametrically opposite. They do not clog pores, but increase them, increasing vapor permeability and worsening the water resistance of the fabric. Thus, from using such funds will also have to refuse.
      • To save the special properties of the membrane material, it can not be washed in the car. For the same reason, experts do not advise soak and press such fabrics.

      Dry clothes from membrane materials are needed parallel to the surface of the Earth, previously placing, at a temperature of 15-25 ° C. Other significant conditions include a good air exchange between the premises and the surrounding space, as well as the inadmissibility of direct sunlight.

      It is impossible to iron clothes from membrane fabric. Ignoring this rule can destroy the structure of a material that is very sensitive to high temperatures.

      To restore the water resistance of the described tissue, use special impregnation – spray or liquid. This remedy forms a film that has several positive qualities at once. In addition to the return of water-repellent ability, it is:

      • does not reduce the vapor permeability of the material+
      • increases the stability of the tissue to pollution+
      • Reduces the negative impact of ultraviolet.

      Processing products with impregnation must be carried out after they werehed. It is also worth considering that in some cases the fabric can slightly change its initial shade.

      Storage of clothing made of membrane materials involves compliance with two conditions – preliminary straightening and vertical location. In addition, such products are desirable to cover with polyethylene, preventing dust in their pores.

      In conclusion, it remains to note that the preference of membrane tissues gives an increasing number of consumers. The advantages of such materials are obvious to every amateur active lifestyle, which regularly finds its practical confirmation.

      On how to choose membrane clothes, see the following video.

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