Author Topic: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?  (Read 972 times)

NeilC

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
I've tried this stuff on a wide variety of things from bivvy bags, fabric shoes and of course waterproof shells.
I've followed the instructions to the letter, used their tech wash first etc. I've tried the wash-in one and the spray-on on.
I've tried handwashing, I've tried machine washing.


Every time it looks like it's going to be great, water beads under the tap like it's quicksilver. And every time it meets British weather, it's useless. Wets out in about 1/2 an hour.


This weekend I walked in the Brecons. It was pretty damp with rainstorms and a Sunday pretty much full of constant blown drizzle. My Helly Hansen jacket's repellency survived the first downpour and beaded up OK but after that it was all wet out. Jacket is nicely waterproof and the only dampness was under the arms and my back - clearly sweat. I'd only just washed and treated the jacket.


I'm trying to work out if there is really any point at all in it. I'd previously used Grangers Xtreme Repel on a bivvy bag which, again, Nikwax was proving useless on. That seemed better but they've withdrawn it now and only old stock remains. I believe it was a C6 emulsion.



« Last Edit: 14:55:47, 11/09/17 by NeilC »

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1870
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #1 on: 12:28:52, 11/09/17 »
I agree. Before my recent trip to Austria I washed my Paramo jacket as per instructions. First exposure to decent rain, my jacket was only marginally better than blotting paper, wetting out very quickly indeed. Fortunately  the end of season sales were on so I bought a lightweight jacket with a membrane in it and used that instead.
Solvitur Ambulando

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1128
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #2 on: 14:17:26, 11/09/17 »
I've also washed my Paramo jacket in the stuff. I too cannot say with any confidence that it works. I've decided to use my poncho and an umbrella more and just use my Paramo to stroll down the pub.

gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1128
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #3 on: 14:21:57, 11/09/17 »
Actually, for me subjects like this raises a lot of other similar subjects, will dubbin rot your boots, will the 'other stuff' enrich them, which sleeping bag actually keeps you warm, is merino better than everything else, claims and counterclaims for sunglasses, the best trousers and so on! Its all mind games!

NeilC

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #4 on: 17:14:11, 11/09/17 »
Researching it a bit, looks like there are a couple of potentially superior alternatives:




Atsko Permanent Water Guard - water based cross-linked fluorocarbon that needs heat activation, which sounds promising as the old factory DWRs that worked required this.


303 High Tech Fabric Guard - solvent based, used in marine environment and in the car trade. Cures overnight on the fabric so should be very long lasting and not wash off easily. I wonder if it's safe on expensive clothing though? Various outdoor forums seems to say it is.


I might well "take one for the team" and try the 303 out on my jacket and report back. If all the taped seams melt off, it's my fault.

NeilC

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #5 on: 20:26:40, 11/09/17 »
I just put my dried jacket away after the  weekends activities. I ran it under the tap and it's repelling and beading. So the problem isn't that the Nikwax wears off fast as much as it simply isn't repellent enough for fine or driven rain, just tap water tests.

wobblyknees

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 420
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #6 on: 10:33:37, 12/09/17 »
No. It's not just you and yes, the stuff is rubbish. I've tried every combination of hand wash, machine wash, overnight soaking, wash in, spray on, spray on on top of washed in. None of it works.


I will be very interested in your report on any of the alternatives.

Forkbeard

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 467
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #7 on: 12:25:30, 12/09/17 »
The ongoing saga of waterproof vs breathable! I now have given up completely and bought a 60 quid aquadry Craghoppers jacket. It seems waterproof enough and is as breathable as my last jacket that cost four times as much. There just seems no point paying out good money for more breathability.  It seems to be a holy grail type endeavour.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1870
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #8 on: 12:55:14, 12/09/17 »
The ongoing saga of waterproof vs breathable! I now have given up completely and bought a 60 quid aquadry Craghoppers jacket. It seems waterproof enough and is as breathable as my last jacket that cost four times as much. There just seems no point paying out good money for more breathability.  It seems to be a holy grail type endeavour.


You make a good point. I bought my Paramo jacket as opposed to a membrane based jacket because they are supposed to be more breathable while being water resistant.  While that may be the case, I found on my last trip, even when wearing it in dry conditions to keep out the wind, after an hour condensation literally dripped out of the cuffs.  As I said in my last post, I swapped it for a cheapish membrane based jacket (Jack Wolfskin) which kept out the wind and did not seem to have the same condensation problems.
Solvitur Ambulando

wobblyknees

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 420
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #9 on: 13:54:18, 12/09/17 »
I have to say that I find my Paramo Alta 2 highly breathable and never had a condensation problem. This is why I persist with a non waterproof jacket. It is my favourite jacket in winter. I perspire heavily and the Alta 2 does a great job in wicking it away. I have to carry a Rab Bergen jacket as a back up when rain is forecast.[/size]

jethro10

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 134
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #10 on: 14:11:19, 12/09/17 »
In real world situations, I find it almost meaningless

Jac

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 771
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #11 on: 14:35:41, 12/09/17 »
Not just you obviously - you, me and many o >:(others
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

NeilC

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 301
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #12 on: 09:18:36, 13/09/17 »
Ordered a bottle of that 303 stuff and I've an old, cheap pair of overtrousers I can try it on. I'll report back.

kinkyboots

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 599
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #13 on: 11:53:22, 13/09/17 »
I may be the odd one out here as I have not experienced any problems with Nikwax's Tech Wash or TX Direct used on my Paramo gear and other items. I do however have serious reservations about Nikwax's footwear proofing products.

Paramo's website FAQ's clearly states that it's possible to overproof which may be the root cause of the problem http://www.paramo-clothing.com/customerservice/faq/?lang=en-gb

Quote
IS IT POSSIBLE TO OVERPROOF MY GARMENT?
 Yes, you can - so be sure to follow the instructions on your Nikwax bottle/ pouch carefully. If your garment looks and feels 'overproofed' contact Nikwax Customer Services Team on 01892 786400 who will advise you how to correct this.

I came across this rather long and old thread relating to Nikwax products and their use on Paramo garments which may be worth a read https://alansloman.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/on-being-warm-and-dry.html

One of the responses about halfway down is a reply received from Paramo's customer service department suggesting that to restore a Paramo garment back to it's original level of waterproofing they recommend that you have the garment dry cleaned and then wash it with Tech Wash and reproof with TX Direct afterwards. Dry cleaning may be worth a try for those experiencing problems - it's certainly a cheaper option than buying a new jacket and/or trousers.

NB The responses only relate to Paramo garments so be careful as other brands may have a "do not dry clean" label in them.


Quote
Hi Alan,

I believe this is a proofing issue, it may have been that your jacket has picked up some contamination along the way that the Techwash is not removing in the wash. I would recommend that you either have the jacket dry-cleaned and then Techwash and re-proof afterwards (can send complimentary products) or you can send the garment into us for treatment, this will of course be free of charge and we would refund your postage. We aim to turn the garments around within 5 working days.

If you wish to do so please use the attached questionnaire and send it in for my attention. We will restore the garment back to the performance that we expect.

I hope this helps.

Kind Regards

Nicola Link
Customer Service Specialist
Páramo Directional Clothing Systems

Bhod

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 398
Re: Is it just me or is Nikwax fabric treatment rubbish?
« Reply #14 on: 13:33:23, 13/09/17 »
No not the odd one out at all KB as I have never had any problems with the TechWash or TX Direct having used them both on all my waterproof outdoor gear.  I don't however have any Paramo stuff but have used it with confidence on my ME jacket, my Marmot jacket, my Berghaus trousers, ME Gaiters and both my Montane jackets, water still beads well and there's no wetting out of any of the aforementioned items.  I do have to admit to being a stickler for the instructions on their use though, ie no more than two items at a time etc but have so much confidence in their usefulness I have just taken advantage of the 2 for £15 offer from Tecos  O0
Not a complete idiot, bits of me are missing.