Is polypropylene fabric waterproof?

Polypropylene is a fabric that is made of plastic-based materials and can be found in a wide range of types with varying properties and characteristics. Because of its versatility and manufacturing, it is used not only for clothing or sewing-related projects but in other areas as well such as landscaping, medical applications, house decors, accessories, and much more.

When people listen to all these amazing aspects of polypropylene, they start searching about the fabric and may end up with questions like, is polypropylene fabric waterproof? Can you wash polypropylene fabric?

Well, the answers to these questions are not straightforward as there are a lot of factors that play their specific roles. Continue reading this article as it will bring you all the answers in a simple yet detailed manner. You will get an idea about when and how polypropylene fabric is waterproof and how this factor can help you in your sewing projects and clothes manufacturing.

Is polypropylene fabric waterproof?

Polypropylene is not completely, but waterproof in some specific conditions. The top things that play the most important role are, how the fabric was created, what material was used, and what method was followed in the making.

The fabric is either woven or non-woven which includes a wide range of methods to make fabric. A woven fabric will be waterproof if its fibers are woven too tightly and a laminated finish is also done on the fabric. You can make the fabric 100% waterproof but it will lose all its breathability as well.

On the other hand, non-woven fabric is made using different techniques and each technique will result in different levels of waterproofing. In a nutshell, the capability to resist the water of a polypropylene fabric will depend on how tightly, in what pattern, and what finishing techniques are used to join the fibers together and make the fabric.

Is polypropylene water impermeable?

Polypropylene is categorized as one of the top impermeable fabrics to water. A test experiment was done to measure this factor by soaking the fabric in water.

It was concluded that the fabric or material used in the polypropylene fabric absorbed even less than 0.01% of its total weight in 24 hours.

This thing has made polypropylene a good option for medical applications as it is used where the chemical and water are required to be restricted from leaking out.

Can you wash polypropylene fabric?

Yes, you can wash polypropylene fabric in all conditions. People usually have assumptions that waterproof fabrics cannot be washed as they are waterproof.

It’s not the case, as the waterproof fabric does not allow the water to pass through it but it can be cleared/washed from either side using water.

However, as the fabric is so delicate and has laminations as well, it is recommended to hand wash the fabric, turn it inside out, let it air dry instead of washing it in the machine, and then put it in the dryer.

What are the types of polypropylene fabric?

With the changing method used to make polypropylene fabric, the type of fabric changes as well. Some of the most common and popular types of polypropylene include homopolymers, spun-bond, meltblown, spunlace, and copolymers where homopolymers are the most popular and preferred polypropylene fabric from customers’ point of view.

What is polypropylene fabric used for?

Polypropylene is fabric mainly made using thermoplastic polymers which are also known as PP in the scientific world. The material is widely used in fields like:

  • Clothing
  • Food packaging
  • Plastic furniture
  • Films
  • Automotive parts
  • Medical devices

The good thing about polymers is that they are quite inexpensive which makes polypropylene fabric a lot more affordable for people as compared to many other fabrics.

Why is polypropylene fabric popular?

Polypropylene is without a doubt one of the most popular and in-demand fabrics in the whole world. The major thing behind its popularity is the fibers and methods used in its manufacturing.

These two things combined make polypropylene fabric capable of withstanding wear and tear while repelling water, bacteria, mold, and UV rays to a great extent. This is why polypropylene fabric can be used not only in clothing projects but in medical and sports applications as well.

Is polypropylene fabric breathable?

It depends. If the fabric is made to become 100% waterproof, it will be 0% breathable as the fibers will be woven tightly with an additional lamination as well.

But if the polypropylene fabric has some space between its fibers, it is breathable and can be a great option to wear in warm temperatures so that it can take out the heat from the body.

So, it mainly depends on the type of polypropylene fabric and the method used for manufacturing.

Benefits of polypropylene fabric:

  • Highly resistant to moisture.
  • Highly impermeable.
  • Very affordable fabric.
  • Because of its semi-crystalline nature, the fabric has good flexural strength.
  • Efficient impact resistance and strength.
  • Possess minimum friction.
  • Fatigue resistance to a good extent.
  • High resistance to chemicals, solvents, and acids.
  • As the material is a good electrical insulator, it has better electricity resistance as well.
  • Easy to maintain and repair.

Drawbacks of polypropylene fabric:

  • Can be affected by consistent exposure to UV rays.
  • Not efficient for extremely high temperatures because of its high thermal expansion.
  • Not good resistance over aromatic and chlorinated solvents.
  • High flammability.

How to identify a polypropylene fabric?

There are not many ways to identify polypropylene fabric but a few things can be taken into consideration.

  1. The very first thing is that the pattern of the fabric will look like mesh.
  2. The fibers passing or interlocking will be highly visible.
  3. The fabric will smell like dirty engine oil.
  4. It may also smell like undertones of candle wax.
  5. The texture will have grains yet it will feel soft and smooth.

Which is better: polyester or polypropylene?

They differ in many aspects such as polyester taking longer to dry compared to polypropylene. Polypropylene fabric doesn’t go well with UV rays exposure while polyester has good resistance in this regard. It is easier to maintain and take care of polyester fabric than to take care of polypropylene fabric.

Polypropylene fabric is a lot better than polyester fabric to be used in cold temperatures of the winter season. This is because polypropylene has a better ability to withhold the heat coming from the body and provide warmth to the person.

FAQs:

Can polypropylene rugs get wet?

Polypropylene is considered a great water-resistant fabric and rugs come at the top in terms of water resistance. Still, they are not completely waterproof. So, we cannot say that polypropylene fabrics will not get wet at all but the probability and intensity of the factor will be a lot less as compared to any other fabric on the market. You may put it in any place you want but it is a good idea to place polypropylene rugs where there will be moisture but in a minimum amount such as in front of your toilet.

Is polypropylene good for outdoor use?

Yes, polypropylene is good to be used in outdoor conditions, and sheets and rugs are very often used as well. However, it is always a good idea to protect polypropylene from direct sunlight as it has UV rays which can affect the shine and beauty while damaging the fibers in the long run.

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