What is the difference between waterproof & water repellent?

August 30, 2021

What is the difference between waterproof & water repellent?

When you’re choosing an outdoor rug, you often come across the terms like waterproof and water repellent. But which one is more suitable for your horse? What is the difference between these two? And how waterproof is waterproof exactly? Find it out in our new blog post.

What is a water repellent fabric?

A piece of fabric is water repellent when it acts as a barrier between the rain and fabric. It takes a while for the water to penetrate the fabric. You can recognize this by the drops of water that stay on the fabric. Once you put pressure on the fabric or the fabric is exposed to rain for a longer time, the water will seep through.

To make a fabric water repellent, you have to apply a coating on the fabric. First, the fabric goes through a bath of fluor carbon. The fluorocarbon is then dried at 180° to active the chemicals. The fabric then goes into a flattening machine to create a smooth surface. On the smooth surface, an adhesive layer is applied. On this layer, the water repellent coating is applied.

A water-repellent fabric can be washed up to 5 times before it loses its performance. If you want to make the fabric water repellent again, a fluor carbon treatment can be bought and added to the washing machine when washing the rug.

What is a waterproof fabric?

A waterproof fabric first goes through the same process as a water repellent fabric but then gets another coating on the inside of the fabric. Waterproof fabric will not let any water penetrate the fabric.

The waterproofness of a fabric can be measured by different standards, this is called the water column. The water column indicates how much water pressure 1 m2 of fabric can resist before the water enters the fabric. At Kentucky, we use the ISO standards to measure the quality of the waterproofness. The turnout rug waterproof pro, for example, has a water column of 10.000mm. This indicates that even if the horse is standing in the pouring rain all day, the rug is still dry on the inside. This is very special in the rug market because it’s hard to make a lightweight rug 1680D that is waterproof.

After washing the rug more than 5 times, it can also use a new fluor carbon treatment. But the rugs are so designed that even after washing it over 5 times, the water column is still 5.000mm. Meaning that your horse can still stand in the rain all day, without having water seeping into the rug.

What is a water block fabric?

A water block fabric does like the name suggest, block all the water from entering the rug. Thanks to the special PU coating on the outside, the rug is water- and windproof. The fabric is a bit like the typical yellow fisherman jackets, but lighter. We use this fabric in our horse raincoat hurricane, to make sure your tack stays 100% dry. What’s also a great feature about the hurricane fabric is that the rug does not need to be washed in the washing machine. You can just hose it off and then let it dry. The waterproofness of the rug is not damaged by cleaning because of the special coating.

What to choose when you’re looking for a new rug?

If you’re looking for a new rug for your horse, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. How often will my horse be outside? How often does it rain?

All the Kentucky Turnout rugs have a 10.000mm water column, so your horse is always protected against any kind of precipitation.  This means that with a Kentucky turnout rug, you can leave your horse in the rain or snow for quite a long time without getting wet.

If you’re looking for a basic, yet very reliable rug, then the turnout rug waterproof classic is recommended. The rug is featured with ripstop fabric that makes it very strong. The rug is lined with an anti-bacterial 210T polyester lining.

If you want to go for a stronger rug, we advise you to take the turnout rug waterproof pro. This rug is lined with artificial rabbit skin for extra comfort and to minimize the risk of rubbing marks.

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