Sport Coats: Resistant To Rain

will rain ruin a sport coat

Rain can ruin a sport coat, but it depends on the fabric. If you're wearing a silk sport coat and you get caught in a downpour, you will likely ruin it. Wool has a good degree of water resistance, but exposure to water—particularly repeated or prolonged exposure—will warp the fibers, causing them to expand, swell, and sag. Cotton coats are dry-clean only, but rain won't ruin them.


How to protect a sport coat from rain damage

If your sport coat isn't designed to be waterproof, there are several precautions you can take to protect it from rain damage. Firstly, consider your outerwear and accessories. Carry a stylish umbrella—black is a safe option, but there are many shapes, styles, and sizes to choose from. In mild temperatures, a lightweight, fitted rain jacket will provide additional protection. On colder days, opt for a trench coat, ensuring the hem is long enough to protect your trousers.

If you live in a rainy climate, consider investing in a high-quality suit made from fabrics with a high degree of water resistance. For example, Merino wool can be treated to retain its protective lanolin, or it can be blended with synthetic materials to increase durability without compromising style.

If your sport coat does end up getting wet, shift into damage control mode. Take off the coat as soon as you're able and press it lightly between two dry, absorbent towels. Avoid wringing out the fabric or putting it in the dryer. Hang it on a hanger to dry and don't wear it again until it's fully dry, which may take a couple of days. Once dry, assess its condition and consider seeking professional help from a trusted dry cleaner if necessary.

To summarise, protecting your sport coat from rain damage involves choosing suitable outerwear, investing in water-resistant fabrics, and knowing how to care for your coat if it does get wet. With these precautions, you can help maintain the condition and longevity of your sport coat.


What materials are best for a rain-resistant sport coat?

A raincoat's fabric plays a significant role in determining whether it is waterproof, water-repellent, or water-resistant. Here are some of the best materials for a rain-resistant sport coat:

Silk Raincoat Fabric

Silk is one of the best fabrics for a raincoat due to its glossy finish, soft texture, and beautiful drape. In its water-repellent form, silk can be used to create a luxurious and elegant raincoat. Silk is also one of the most lightweight materials for raincoats, weighing between 105-130 g/m².

Wool and Wool-Blend Raincoat Fabric

Wool can be treated to become water-resistant and waterproof while maintaining its distinctive softness and breathability. Wool raincoat fabric is slightly heavier, weighing around 215 g/m². The composition of this fabric typically includes a blend of worsted wool and polyamide.

Quilted Rainwear Fabric

Quilting is a special processing technique where the fabric is stitched multiple times to form patterns. This type of raincoat fabric gives an elegant look to the wearer and provides warmth due to its dense padding. Quilted rainwear fabric falls under the medium weight category, with an average weight of 123 g/m². It is usually composed of wool and nylon.

Linen Raincoat Fabric

Linen is an eco-friendly fabric that becomes more flexible and elastic when treated with a water-repellent finish. It has a smooth surface and a matte sheen, and it retains its shape without creasing. Linen raincoat fabric is relatively heavier, with a weight range of 265 - 480 g/m².

High-Tech Raincoat Fabric

High-tech raincoat fabrics are made from premium artificial fibers and are 100% impervious to water. They are strong, durable, and highly wearable. This fabric is the most lightweight option, weighing only 54-60 g/m², and is typically composed of 100% polyamide.

Blended Raincoat Fabric

Blended raincoat fabrics combine natural and synthetic fibers, resulting in a material that is versatile, practical, reliable, and durable. Cotton is often used as one of the components due to its lightweight, hygroscopic, and warm properties. Blended fabrics are on the heavier side, weighing between 210-230 g/m². A common composition for this type of fabric is linen, cotton, and polyurethane.

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How to care for a rain jacket

Rain can ruin a sport coat, but proper care can ensure that your jacket lasts for many seasons. Here are some tips on how to care for your rain jacket:


Always check the washing instructions on the garment's tag and follow them exactly. When it's time to wash your jacket, avoid using a standard detergent as this can ruin the material. Instead, opt for a technical cleaner like Nikwax Tech Wash, which is designed to strip waterproof, breathable fabrics of dirt and oil without causing any damage. You can either wash your jacket by hand or use a washing machine with a cold-water setting on a gentle cycle. Remember to clean any residual detergent from your washing machine soap dispenser before adding the Tech Wash product. After washing, thoroughly rinse the jacket to ensure no residue is left behind, then tumble dry on low heat or hang it to air dry.


If you notice that your jacket is no longer repelling water effectively, it's time to re-waterproof it. But before you do so, make sure to wash the jacket first to remove any impurities that may have collected on the membrane. You can re-waterproof your jacket by applying a product like Nikwax TX.Direct, either in spray form directly on the jacket or by adding it to the wash cycle. Then, tumble dry the jacket on a low or medium heat setting to revive the water-repellent finish.

General Care

In addition to proper washing and waterproofing techniques, there are a few other things to keep in mind when caring for your rain jacket:

  • Avoid overwashing your jacket. Washing it too frequently will negatively affect the quality of the material and reduce its waterproofness and breathability.
  • Always clean your jacket before waterproofing. Trying to waterproof a dirty jacket will significantly reduce the efficacy of the treatment.
  • Check all pockets before cleaning to remove any tissues, lip balm, or other items that could be damaged or cause issues during the wash.
  • Be mindful of the environment when choosing cleaning and waterproofing products. Look for water-based, biodegradable, PFC-Free, and non-aerosol options that are not tested on animals.


How to dry a rain-soaked sport coat

If your sport coat has been soaked by rain, there are a few steps you can take to dry it effectively and minimise any damage. Firstly, use a cloth or towel to gently blot the coat and absorb any excess water. Be careful not to rub or wring the fabric, as this can cause shrinkage and deformation. Then, let the coat air-dry. It is recommended to lay the jacket flat on a towel, covering it with another towel, and leaving it for a couple of days. Alternatively, you can hang the coat on a hanger to dry, but make sure to use a wide, contoured hanger to prevent stretching and distortion, especially if it is made of wool. If possible, use the hanger the coat was delivered with. Empty the pockets and, if the coat is double-breasted, button it to help maintain its shape.

To aid drying and maintain the shape of the sleeves, you can try placing some scrunched-up newspaper inside them. This will help to absorb moisture and create air channels. It is best to avoid wearing the coat again for at least 48 hours to ensure it is completely dry.

If your sport coat is made of waterproof or water-resistant fabric, you may need to reapply a waterproof coating after it has been soaked in rain. Check the care instructions on the coat and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning and drying.

To prevent rain from damaging your sport coat, it is advisable to carry an umbrella and check the weather forecast before heading out.

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How to wash a rain jacket

Rain can ruin a sport coat, but it depends on the fabric and the level of maintenance. Regular cleaning and maintenance of a rain jacket are essential to keeping it in good condition. Here are some detailed instructions on how to wash a rain jacket:

Choosing the Right Detergent:

Select a detergent suitable for waterproof clothing. Avoid regular household detergents as they can leave behind a residue that attracts water, hindering the jacket's performance. Opt for mild or organic detergents without fabric softener.

Wash Cycle:

Wash your rain jacket by hand or in a washing machine with an appropriate program. If using a machine, choose a gentle cycle with a low-temperature setting, around 30°C/86°F maximum. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions on temperature, water volume, and care.


For stubborn stains, pretreat the jacket by gently scrubbing the affected areas with a toothbrush dipped in soapy water. Alternatively, use a damp paper towel or a sponge soaked in vinegar and water.

Washing by Hand:

For hand washing, mix liquid dish soap with warm water until sudsy. Use a clean sponge to gently wipe away dirt from the jacket. For larger areas, fill a tub or sink with hot, soapy water, submerge the jacket, and then scrub it clean with a soft sponge.

Washing Machine:

Before machine washing, ensure your rain jacket is safe for machine washing by checking the care label. Prepare the jacket by zipping it up, fastening buttons, and closing any Velcro openings. Choose a detergent suitable for delicate clothing and ensure the washing machine is free of detergent residue. You can add a couple of towels for padding during the spin cycle.


After washing, hang the jacket outside in the sun or wind, or dry it inside in a well-ventilated room. If the jacket is prone to wrinkling, lay it flat on a clean surface. Some jackets can be dried in a dryer on low or medium heat, but always check the care instructions first.


Avoid ironing rain jackets, as the high heat can damage the waterproof coating. If necessary, use a cotton press cloth over the jacket or blast the wrinkles with a hairdryer set on low.


Wash your rain jacket once or twice a year, depending on usage. If you engage in outdoor sports frequently, you may need to wash it more often.

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Frequently asked questions

If your sport coat is made of wool, it may not be ruined, but the fabric will be damaged. Wool fibres will warp, expand, swell, and sag when exposed to water, and your coat will look frayed, saggy, and misshapen. If your coat is made of silk, it will probably be ruined.

Take the coat off as soon as you get home and press it lightly between two dry, absorbent towels. Hang it on a hanger to dry and do not wear it until it is fully dry, which may take a couple of days. Once dry, assess its condition. If it looks as good as new, great! If not, you may need to take it to a dry cleaner.

If you live in a rainy climate, consider investing in a suit designed to stand up to rain. You could also protect your coat with outerwear and accessories, such as a lightweight, fitted rain jacket or a trench coat. Carry a stylish umbrella—black is a safe choice, but there are many options to choose from.

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  • Byeon
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