Charles Macintosh was the man behind origination of raincoats. In 1836, he came up with the method of mixing rubber with fabric which was used for making raincoats. The raincoats were thus named after him and were called Mackintoshes in U.K.

The raincoat made during early 20th century were heavy in weight, but by 1940 the lightweight fabrics were been used to manufacture raincoats. Vinyl fabric was used, as this fabric was waterproof in nature and lightweight also. Continuous experiments were done in order to make raincoats of such fabric that could be machine washed, completely waterproof, low maintenance and light in weight. After 1970s there was a boom in rainwear industry as raincoats with varied designs, colors, patterns and fabrics were being made.

Materials used

Todays raincoat comes in various artificial and natural fabric blends. Especially microfibres and plastic coated fibres are used more. The raincoats which are made up of closely knitted fabrics are the best as they are more waterproof.

Raincoats have distinguishable quality of not allowing water to pass through them i.e. nil absorption of water thus keeping the weaver dry during rainy season. However now-a-days raincoat that could be worn all year round is also available in the market. Such raincoats consist of lining that could be removed whenever required. There are two types of fabrics used for raincoats- repellent type and absorbent type. Many styles of raincoats are available in the market like ponchos, waxed jackets, mackintoshes, trench-coats and anoraks. Trench-coats are unisex style of raincoats, cotton and polyester materials are used to manufacture them.

Apart from vinyl, cotton and polyester other types of fabrics used for making raincoats are nylon, wool, wool gabardine and microfibres. They could be used in a blended form also. The chemicals used for waterproofing purposes are paraffin emulsions, salts of zirconium and aluminium (for cheap cotton and woolen fabrics), methyl siloxanes( for synthetic fabrics), resin (for cotton, wool and nylon), wax (for linen and cotton), etc.

We could find a large variety in raincoats available in markets. They are found in various colors, cuts, lengths, fabrics and styles for people of every age and sexes. The designing done with the aid of computers in modern days, offers variety of designs in rainwear. For gents raincoats in the form of shirt and trousers are also available and for women raincoats in the form of skirt and jacket are found in the market. It is just an example of the many innovations in this industry, the latest is of disposable raincoats.

Manufacturing Process

The raincoats are machine-made garments. Generally, they are manufactured by using computerized manufacturing system. Here machines are controlled and governed by the computers. The first and foremost procedure in making raincoat is waterproofing of the fabric. In first step the fabrics to be used goes in between through many rollers, then are dipped into a big container filled with chemicals that would make the fabric waterproof. When the fabrics have soaked the chemicals properly they are removed from the container and further are passed through heating procedure, which makes the absorption even. Thereafter again fabrics are passed via many rollers. They are then cooled down which makes the waterproofing chemicals to permanently stick to the fabric. This yarn of treated fabrics is again rolled into bolts and is passed on to manufacturers.

The raw materials for making the raincoats are cut down into appropriate patterns of different sizes to be made with the cutter that is either electrical or computer operated. Thereafter the lining is placed inside the desired stitched part like collars, caps, pockets, etc, and then passed through fusing machine, which uses heat to put the lining properly into the fabric. Later, different parts of the raincoats are sewn together by the industrial sewing machines. The button holes (if needed) are made on the raincoats and buttons are sewed, this process is done through automatic machines. Quality inspection of the final product is handled by quality control inspector to ensure raincoats without any defects. Finally after inspection tags are attached by the worker on the raincoats and are packed in poly-bags using automatic bagger machines.


Thus raincoats are something which protects ourselves from many other climatic conditions other than rain. Many types of raincoats are made for different weather conditions using different fabrics and chemicals. They can be used for protection against snow falling, windcheater, for sailors and also against cold temperature.

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