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What Is Water-Resistant Fabric? Which Fabric Is Water-Resistant?

What Is Water-Resistant Fabric? Which Fabric Is Water-Resistant?

Don't let the water rain on your parade. The last thing you want to feel is moisture or wetness when working out in the open or gliding down the slopes while skiing. Together, let's get to know what is water-resistant fabric and which fabric is water-resistant.

What is water-resistant fabric?

Water-resistant material repels light moisture but isn't as effective as waterproof items. Water-resistant fabric is lightweight and breathable, making it a good choice for those who live an active lifestyle. For example, a water-resistant jacket can handle light rain but won't protect against heavy downpours.

What does waterproof mean?

What Is Water-Resistant Fabric? Which Fabric Is Water-Resistant?

Waterproof means being impermeable to water. However, waterproof material isn't always entirely waterproof. Tight stitching, synthetic fibers, and polyurethane coatings make waterproof gear repel water while staying breathable and flexible.

What does water-repellant mean?

Water-repellant fabrics perform similarly as water-resistant fabrics in beading water.

A textile is treated with a water-repellent agent, making it hard for water to penetrate and cause droplets to roll off.

Water-repellent materials resist water penetration but aren't fully waterproof, and they're more suitable for outdoor gear and clothing.

Water-repellent materials may lose effectiveness and need tumble drying after washing to maintain their properties.

What is the difference between water-resistant and waterproof fabrics?

So you bought a top or bottom you want to use for working out or running outside but aren't sure if it's water-resistant or waterproof. Let us help you resolve this concern.


Waterproof fabrics trap heat and sweat, reducing breathability compared to water-resistant fabrics.

Protection Level

Water-resistant materials offer less protection against liquids and particles than waterproof products. Waterproof fabric typically has a higher hydrostatic head, indicating better water resistance.


Waterproof clothing often has taped seams and additional protection under zippers to prevent water from seeping in.

What fabrics are water-resistant?

What Is Water-Resistant Fabric? Which Fabric Is Water-Resistant?

If you're out shopping for athleisure wear to keep you dry from water and other elements, do take time to read the care label or guide given on every piece of clothing to know what fabric it's made of. Here are two of the common water-resistant fabrics.


Nylon is a synthetic material made by linking polymers with amide, and it's a thermoplastic that becomes moldable when heated and solidifies when it cools.

Nylon fabric is highly durable and known for its strength and resilience, making it abrasion-resistant and long-lasting. Additionally, it's lightweight, easy to maintain, and dries quickly after washing. This material is not easily damaged by chemicals, perspiration, or oils, and it retains color well without fading.

Nylon's low absorbency and resistance to moisture, mildew, and insects make it suitable for various applications, and its high melting point allows for diverse uses. While it can be water-resistant, it's also an affordable choice, especially appreciated in industrial settings where reduced weight and noise are highly valued.

On the downside, nylon has gained notoriety because of its production process. But nowadays, we can find recycled nylon, such as those from used fishing nets.

Baleaf uses seventy-five percent of the nylon from used fishing nets to promote sustainability in creating clothes and recycling waste. Take a look at our athleisure wear made of nylon and other fabrics, ranging from leggings to cargo skorts, cycling shorts, joggers, and capris, to name a few.

RELATED: What Is Nylon Fabric: History, Properties, How It Is Made, and Uses


Polyester fabric is durable and affordable, invented in 1941 and popularized in the 1970s. It's now one of the most widely used synthetic fabrics globally. It is created from the melting of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) forming fibers that are woven together after being chemically treated.

Polyester is known for its durability, making it resistant to tears and stretching, ideal for outdoor clothing.

It also repels moisture, but this can make it less breathable, trapping in sweat. Polyester remains wrinkle-resistant and holds its shape well, a popular choice for low-maintenance clothing. However, it can feel coarse to sensitive skin, and most polyester is non-biodegradable, unlike natural fibers that break down over time.

Because technology continuously evolves, creating polyester fabric from plastic bottles is done. Ninety percent of Baleaf's recycled polyester comes from plastic bottles. It is with hope that by doing this, we can lessen the plastic bottle problem in the world one bottle at a time.

Some of our athletic wear is made of recycled polyester fabric blended with other fabrics to help anyone feel good knowing that they're wearing sustainable clothing.

How to Take Care of High-Performance Active Wear Made of Nylon and Polyester Fabrics

Although water-resistant fabrics do not get wet easily, it doesn't mean that they don't get soiled at all. Caring for them like we care for our regular clothes does well in extending their lifeline so that we can use them over and over again.

Check the care tag or guide.

Make sure to check the manufacturer's washing instructions on the inner tag because it's supposed to give the best recommendations on how to clean your water-resistant clothing.

Sort your clothing and turn it inside out.

To prevent snagging and maintain vibrant colors, zip up, turn inside out, and close fastenings or zippers, as most bacteria accumulate on the inside of activewear during exercise.

Use vinegar only when needed.

To get rid of noisome odors, run your washing machine's rinse cycle with half a cup of white vinegar to break down bacteria and neutralize smells.

Hold the fabric softener.

Avoid fabric softeners for activewear as they can harm its moisture-absorbing properties.

Wash with the appropriate detergent.

Avoid using excessive detergent for your gym clothes to prevent buildup in fibers and bacteria growth. Use specialized detergent instead.

Set the machine at the right cycle and settings.

Wash your activewear in cold water on a gentle cycle to prevent fiber damage and extend its lifespan.

Air drying is better.

Air-dry your workout clothes on a rack or use the lowest heat setting in the dryer if needed to prevent fabric damage.

Treat stains with care.

For deodorant build-up or yellowing, scrub with a toothbrush and detergent before washing. For food or oil stains, use an oxygen-based spray, but test it on an inconspicuous spot of the fabric first.

Water-Resistant Fabrics Can Also Be Eco-Friendly

With Baleaf's fabric technology, creating recycled nylon and polyester from fishing nets and plastic bottles is helping revolutionize the way the fashion industry creates and distributes clothes by giving more ethical choices to consumers worldwide. 

So if you fancy having a high-performance activewear made of sustainable materials, check out our All Women's and All Men's collections.

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