If you’re active watersports enthusiast and enjoy the water, chances are that your gear or clothing is made from neoprene. However, before taking part in watersports today it might be helpful to first understand is neoprene waterproof and how safe it is?
This article will highlight what waterproof neoprene is, why it’s used and whether or not it’s safe.
So let’s Go
What Is Neoprene? Why Would I Need It ?
In 1930, scientists at the DuPont company in America created a synthetic rubber material known as polychloroprene. This was done because of the high demand for natural rubber and it turned out to be an effective alternative due to its elasticity properties that are unmatched by other materials on the market today.
Neoprene is used to make wetsuits, which were first invented in 1952. However, there are two men who deserve credit for its invention – Hugh Bradner and Jack O’Neill. The latter created an internationally recognized brand that transformed the world of surfing by mass-producing neoprene suits.
Neoprene is a great insulator because it contains gas bubbles that act as insulation. The heat from your body warms up the water which then keeps you warm, and it’s highly buoyant as well so that users can stay afloat when they’re in cold waters for long periods of time. That’s why waterproof neoprene isn’t just used on wetsuits but also other types of clothing such as life jackets or even running shoes.
Neoprene wetsuits work by trapping small amounts of water between the neoprene and your skin. This is heated up when your body heat warms it, keeping you warm in cold waters. However, for this to be effective a tight fit must be worn so no extra water can seep through or escape from the suit well since that would defeat its purpose entirely.
A neoprene wetsuit can come in a variety of thicknesses, ranging from 2 to 5 millimeters. The thicker the suit is (for example 4 mm compared to 3mm), the colder water it will be able to resist; and vice versa.
The Main Question – Is Neoprene Waterproof?
Yes, neoprene is waterproof, it’s also resistant to oil and heat. Wet suits and neoprene clothing is stitched and glued in such a way that seals the seams and adds extra resistance to water.
The blind stitch is a popular method for stitching seams on neoprene clothing where the seam isn’t stitched all of the ways through leaving no holes visible to those outside. The sewn fabric is then glued or taped instead, which provides extra durability and protection from wear and tear.
The amount of air in neoprene is what helps prevent water from seeping into the material. The nitrogen that’s added to limestone neoprene when it’s being manufactured increases insulation and helps control buoyancy since cells rarely absorb water.
Is Neoprene Safe To Use?
Neoprene is totally safe to use and considered chemically stable. However, there are risks associated with the manufacturing process and potential dangers (adds hydrogen chloride) when burned or exposed to air during combustion.
People with skin sensitivities may experience allergic reactions (dermatitis) after wearing neoprene, due to its chemical makeup. In 2009 these chemicals were named “allergen of the year” because they can cause severe irritation and rashes on those who are allergic.
There are very few people who have an allergy to neoprene, and in general, it is considered safe.
What’s Waterproof Neoprene Used for?
This is a stretchy material that makes it the perfect choice for wetsuits. It’s water-resistant and flexible, which means you stay warm even when wet. Wetsuits are made from neoprene between 6 to 7 millimeters thick where pressure is greater since insulation needs more thickness at higher pressures.
Neoprene is more than just a material for diving suits. It has fantastic weather and ozone-resistant properties that make it ideal to use in all sorts of outdoor gear, including boots, jackets/coats, hats, etc.
How Waterproof Neoprene Is Made?
The production of neoprene is a chemical process that starts with chloroprene and produces chloro-polychloroprene chips. These are melted, mixed with foaming agents and carbon pigments before being turned into waterproof material used in products such as wetsuits or diving gear.
To make neoprene sheets, you take the mixture and bake it in an oven until it expands. Once baked, slice up your desired thickness of neoprene to create soft fabric-like material that can be used for various purposes such as insulation between two other pieces of fabrics like nylon or polyester.
Elastic fibers are often mixed into neoprene fabrics to increase the flexibility of this material, which is very useful for garments. Neoprene thickness varies depending on its use.
Can I Wash Neoprene?
Yes, you can definitely wash neoprene-based wetsuits, boots, and other accessories.
To clean the clothing, first, rinse it in warm water for 1-2 minutes. Then use either a mild shampoo or detergent to remove any dirt and stains from the clothes as well as give them their original color back. However, remember not to apply directly on these products but rather dilute them with water before using them over your clothing.
To clean the neoprene, mix a small amount of cleaning detergent in a bucket full of water. Then use your hands to gently wash and remove the dirty water and leave it soaking for some time.
Wrapping Up (Is Neoprene Waterproof and Safe To Use)
What is neoprene? How does it get made? Hopefully, this post answered your questions about man-made material.
If you’re not allergic to neoprene, wear it while doing your favorite water sports. It has excellent insulating abilities and can be a lifesaver when fishing or kayaking in colder environments.
Hi, I’m Randy R. Lios and the owner of Floating Kayaks. I’ve always been adventuresome at heart. From the time, I got my first kayak at age 18 until now when I have multiple kayaks with accessories and spend 5-6 hours researching all the new related stuff in the market. I have always been fond of fishing since my childhood and kayaking is part of my weekend routine.