/ Washing primaloft?
Wife washes all my synthetic jackets without chucking them in the drier afterwards and i haven't noticed any change is shape/insulation etc.
I think that it may re-enhance the shell fabric with a run through the tumbler but not 100%
Haven't got Rab though but cant see much difference.
I did mine a couple of weeks ago and ended up laying it across an airer with a dehumidifier nearby. It doesn't seem to have suffered although it took ages to dry out.
I have only done it once though.
Machine wash in warm water at 40C/104F with a mild soap. MONTANE® recommends that you use Nikwax Tech Wash.
DO NOT use fabric softeners or bleach.
It may be required every 6 months or so to reproof the garment to restore its water repellency. MONTANE® recommends Nikwax TX Direct.
Hope this helps
I am sure someone will know for definite, but my experience is a tumbler dryer is not needed most of the time. Whilst I don't have a photon, I have various primaloft filled gear and never have had a problem with air drying. Is the use of the tumbler dryer not as much for activating the DWR? That said you will find that air drying of some primaloft gear can take a long time (a couple of days in some cases) and a dryer helps speed this up. I generally do not tumble dry gear as it creates a lot of static, but do resort to it to activate the DWR when it needs it.
Wash as normal but dry flat on a rack to reduce the fill sinking in any baffling. Fluff up occasionally.
I was mine all the time.
Having read a lot about this, here is the deal. DWRs are like lots of little spines sticking up out of the coat. You can't feel them, but they're there. Abrasion / rain / grease / sweat all make these spines lie down, and when they lie down water doesn't bead off them.
What makes them stand up again?
1) A lack of contaminants
You will notice a significant improvement in the DWR of any coat by tumble drying, even the nikwax coated ones that claim not to be "heat activated".
This is from an email convo I had with a mammut tech rep. I think similar advice can be found on the rei.com website.
So wash all of your outdoors stuff in techwash or pure soap (NEVER DETERGENTS - they strip the dwr, NEVER FABRIC SOFTENER - they force the spines to glom together and down), then take them to a local laundrette and run them in the medium/cool cycle until toasty.
Tumble drier not needed. Just hang it somewhere warm.
I'd also recommend a gentle spin, rather than the max spin, as I fear that violent agitation will shorten the life of the wadding. But I may be over-cautious compared to the abuse it gets in wear and stuffing...
You only need to use a non-detergent cleaner on something with a DWR. So 'outdoor base layers' are perfectly fine in a detergent wash; it may even improve the wicking.
It's a common misconception that 'detergents strip the DWR'. In fact, what generally happens is that detergent residues bind to the fabric, and negate the effect of the DWR; the detergent acts to reduce surface tension, whilst the DWR acts to increase surface tension. If you can remove the detergent residues (with a soap wash, for instance), the effectiveness of the DWR should be largely restored. I say 'largely' because any mechanical action on the fabric (use, washing machine) will cause mechanical wear of the DWR, rubbing it off. This can, to some extent, be addressed by application of heat, which allows the DWR to be redistributed. Once it's all been redistributed, you'll need to apply more DWR; a re-proofing exercise.
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