W.L. Gore celebrates 40th anniversary


GoreTex is a waterproof, breathable fabric membrane and registered trademark of W. L. Gore and Associates. Invented in 1969, GoreTex is able to repel liquid water while allowing water vapour to pass through, and is designed to be a lightweight, waterproof fabric for all-weather use –  Gore-Tex – Wikipedia

The US family business specialising in outdoor apparel market, W. L. Gore and Associates is celebrating 40 years since receiving the first commercial order.

In 1969, Bob Gore discovered the possibilities of expanded PTFE, or ePTFE. In 1970 Gore applied for what was to become the first of many patents for Gore-Tex products made with Gore’s ePTFE…

In 1977 Berghaus became one of Europe’s pioneer users of Gore-Tex® fabric, a new waterproof and breathable fabric Berghaus – Wikipedia

I have a memory from the mid 1970’s at the Harrogate Trade Show (COLA) being shown a very small swatch, about an inch square, of yellow fabric with PTFE backing.  That was Gore-Tex and our industry was about to change. The man with the swatch was not from one of the other stands and not a fabric agent. I often wonder who he actually was. I also remember when Berghaus, the first UK brand to start offering Gore-Tex, made their announcement in 1977 we decided not to encroach on what was their pioneering path. Somewhere, buried in the early catalogues, is our explanation of this thinking. How mad was that? It wasn’t long before it became a multi brand offering. However in those early days the actual production was a nightmear with tape separating etc. It was a few year before it became more stable in production.

Love it or hate it Gore-Tex changed our industry.




Rohan Heritage

One Comment

  1. Peter Clinch says:

    2 cheers for Goretex!

    It signposted the way to a more bearable way to keep dry(er), but there’s still a pretty huge gap between how it performs and how the marketing implies it performs (not that Gore are the only guilty party there, mind).
    “Guaranteed to keep you dry”, eh?

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