After the manufacturing process that bonds the breathable/waterproof membrane to the Cordura fabric, a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) chemical treatment is applied that prevents water from being absorbed into the Cordura's fibers. Water should bead and run off the outer surface of your suit's fabric so moisture vapor from the inside can pass through the membrane. If the outer Cordura fibers become saturated in wet conditions, the water layer forms a barrier that causes vapor to condense on the inside surfaces of the garment so you become wet, even though no water is passing into the garment through the membrane.
Over time and after extended wear, this original DWR treatment wears away and must be renewed. By periodically laundering your suit with a wash-in treatment like Nikwax TX Direct® (see below), or by applying a post-wash water repellent product like Scotchgard®, Revivex® or Tectron®, you can insure that water will bead and run off the fabric, and that vapor will always be able to pass through, even in wet conditions. Maintaining the DWR also helps your suit dry faster after being in rain.
Do not dry clean unless clear distilled solvent and a spray repellent are used. Machine washing is recommended. Remove the TF2 pads and the contents of all the pockets. Close all vent zippers. Wash using the regular cycle, and a "warm" water setting. Use only mild powder detergents, wash-in water repellent products, or non-detergent soaps formulated specifically for outdoor fabrics. When using mild detergents, run the complete wash/rinse cycle a second or third time with no detergent. The second or third water-only rinse is required to remove any residual detergent. Hang dry or machine dry at a medium temperature. Do not use anti-static products if using a dryer. After laundering, reinsert the TF2 pads. Hook and loop fasteners pick up lint when washed and dried with cotton towels and this can be removed using a fine comb. Apply all water repellent products following the directions on the product label. Small stains can be removed using ‘spot cleaning' stain removal products. Citrus based cleaners work well for cleaning oil stains.
Resistance of Roadcrafter Main Zippers
The Roadcrafter's unique zipper arrangement is a key to it's convenience and function for everyday riding. This design can become a source of water entry in extremely wet conditions. To dramatically improve Roadcrafter suit performance in severe rain conditions use either a wash-in water repellent or hand seal three areas: 1) The perimeter stitching and knit zipper tape around both underarm zips; 2.) The stitching and knit zipper tape along the right leg zipper from the top to a few inches below the knee; 3.) The stitching and knit zipper tape along the left leg zipper from two inches above the bottom of the hook and loop flap to three inches below the knee.
Wash-in repellents like Nikwax TX Direct® penetrate all fabric fibers, stitching and knit zipper tapes during laundering. In addition to improving breathable fabric function in wet conditions, they are an effective way to minimize leaks around zippers. Hand applied liquid seam sealing products like Seam Grip®, should be thinned enough to completely soak into the fabric, thread, and stitching. (Liquid sealants are thinned with Cotol® or toulene.) Apply two coatings and allow the sealer to dry between applications. Apply sealant to both the knit zipper tape and the stitching attaching the zipper to the garment. The seam sealer should soak into the knit and dry invisibly. Excess sealant will interfere with the operation of the zipper slider.
Weather and strong direct sunlight may cause some color fading of the dye used in the manufacture of the Roadcrafter and Darien's Cordura Plus nylon fabric. Similar fading can occur in all types of clothing from leathers to blue jeans. Fabric manufacturers consider this to be normal wear and does not affect the strength, waterproofness or overall performance of this garment. Red dyes show color loss faster than blues, hi-viz, blacks or grays. Colorfastness can be maximized by washing with milder soaps, drying at low temperatures and occasionally re-applying a water and stain repellent and/or a sunscreen and UV inhibitor product like UV Tech®.