What is Gabardine and How Should You Wash It?

Garments made from gabardine can maintain their quality over time. Discover what it is and how to wash it here!
What is Gabardine and How Should You Wash It?

Written by Jonatan Menguez

Last update: 23 March, 2023

Having large warm garments made of gabardine is important during the cold months. These garments, due to their composition, size or delicacy, may generate doubts when washing them. The raincoat is one of them.

Therefore, it is convenient to put into practice a series of tips that help to extend its useful life. Read on and find out what is gabardine and how to wash it.

The idea is not to deteriorate, stain or wrinkle them. Although some items are convenient to wash by hand, such as pants, all gabardine garments are suitable for washing machines. You just have to know the previous steps and care tips.

What is gabardine and how to wash it?

Coats, overcoats or pilots that protect from the cold and rain, pants ideal for outdoor work or rigid and resistant shirts. All these garments can be made with gabardine, a fabric as resistant as durable.

Some are made with wool fabrics, others with cotton or synthetic fiber, but all of them share the characteristic of producing a great resistance. In addition, they have a high degree of impermeability, making them ideal for humid and rainy climates.

It is common for gabardine to be present in numerous winter garments.

Another of its particularities is that they usually have a smooth side and another with diagonally woven fabrics, usually ribbed. It has a firm and tight consistency, product of being very worked during the elaboration. Therefore, garments made of this material are functional for different activities, mostly outdoors.

Origin of the gabardine

Gabardine textiles have a curious origin, based on the searches of its inventor, the Englishman Thomas Burberry. The entrepreneur wanted to create a fabric that could withstand rain without being washed inside. Around 1880, he met a shepherd who used special jackets.

The man made the garments waterproof through a product originally intended for bathing sheep. Burberry took the idea and created the gabardine, experimenting with cotton yarns. He waterproofed the yarn in a step prior to weaving the fabric and was able to achieve the desired effect of droplets sliding down the garment.

He thus patented his creation in 1888. It should be noted that the initial formula with the waterproofing product is still used today. Moreover, the Burberry brand is still in use today and is one of the most elegant fashion houses in Great Britain.

Sobretodo de gabardina.
The gabardine is an ideal fabric for the cold months.

Characteristics of the gabardine

This fabric stands out for several reasons. For example, its strength, firmness and durability.

Depending on the quality of the garment, it can even keep the same shape for a long time. In addition, it does not wrinkle easily.

Like all textiles, it exists in different qualities. It can be made of cotton, a blend of cotton and polyester, silk or textured polyester in its entirety.

The composition will determine its weight and the quality of the fiber. In any case, the gabardine is one of the most used and functional fabrics today.

Different uses of gabardine

Over the decades, the gabardine went from being a functional work garment to a fashion accessory exhibited in the most important fashion shows. Today it is an affordable fabric that is widely used, especially in the winter months. Hence the importance of daily laundering.

  • Gardening and rural work. Its peasant origins have led to the gabardine being used for all types of rural and outdoor work. In particular, due to its waterproof condition.
  • Maintenance. Garments made of this fabric, especially shirts, became very popular in factories, warehouses and with maintenance personnel.
  • World War I. The British authorities asked Burberry to create gabardine uniforms for the war that began in 1914.
  • Presence in the cinema. Starting with Humphrey Bogart and his use of the trench coat in Casablanca, Hollywood films began to use it, especially on mobster characters.
  • Youth fashion. The ones who really made this fabric fashionable were The Beatles, after making appearances with it in the mid-1960s.
  • Current and functional. Today it is a fabric that has spread to millions of people, very useful in the cold months and, above all, on rainy days.
  • Variety. The material can be found in a variety of garments such as dresses, jackets, suits, coats and even shoes.

Discover what is gabardine and how to wash it step by step

Although gabardine is a fabric with good resistance to water and the passage of time, it requires some washing tips. In this way, it is possible to extend its useful life and preserve its quality and shine. Just keep in mind the following steps.

1. Check the label

The safest thing to do when treating gabardine is to read the manufacturer’s specific indications. There it is suggested whether it is better to dry-clean, cold water wash, machine wash or hand wash.

It will always be advisable not to cut the label.

2. Remove accessories

If the raincoat is a coat or coat, it is likely to have a belt or other internal accessories. It is important to remove each of them before washing.

3. Treat stains

Treat specific stains on the raincoat with a liquid stain remover that is suitable for colored fabrics. Apply it to the affected area, previously moistened with cold water, and left to act for 30 minutes. Then remove and wash thoroughly.

It is advisable to apply the stain remover to an inconspicuous area of the garment before using it on the affected area. In this way, you check if the product does not discolor or damage the fabric.

Quitar manchas al lavar la gabardina.
Remove stains should before placing the gabardine garment in the washing machine.

4. Insert in the washing machine

Gabardine is a fabric you can generally sanitize in the washing machine. However, don’t mix it with garments such as towels or others that release lint.

Wash the garments with those of similar colors. Once in the machine, also place the belt and accessories. Program a cold-hot, hot-hot or cold-cold cycle wash.

5. Suitable for tumble dryer

It is possible to tumble dry the gabardine as long as you wash it on the delicate low heat cycle. Remove immediately at the end of the program to avoid wrinkling. On the other hand, you can air dry, avoiding wire hangers.

6. Check and iron

If the garment has stains, check that the product has worked at the end of washing and drying. Then, it is possible to iron the gabardine at low temperature and on the back of the fabric to avoid damaging it.

7. Store

The best way to store these garments once sanitized is by hanging them on a hanger and protecting them with a foil.

What is gabardine and how to wash it in pants?

Almost all gabardine garments can be sanitized by these washing actions. This is a method that extends the life and quality of the fabric.

However, some manufacturers suggest washing black gabardine pants by hand by placing them in a bucket of cold water and laundry detergent. Always turn the garment inside out to wash it inside out.

Avoid wrinkling inside the bucket and soak for 40 minutes. Then remove, rinse and hang. This is a specific method for the first washes when the garment is new. After that, it is possible to use the washing machine according to the described steps.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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