Waterproof vs. Water Resistant

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Difference between Waterproof and Water Resistant

To enable deep water exploration as well as sailing or water sports, mankind was in need of finding substances which did not allow water logging or flooding. At first people applied tar or pitch to make boats water resistant. The progress of technology has led to discoveries of other substances which are waterproof or water resistant. These are used for coatings or adhere to material surface through chemical processes to render objects impermeable and protect the human body from weather hardships. Nowadays, almost each object can benefit from this technology as people want to further explore and cross boundaries. It’s just simpler to capture an underwater photo when you have a waterproof camera.

Water Resistant


Waterproof is a feature which guarantees products such as fabrics, paper, watches, cameras are not affected by water to a certain extent. Cosmetics, cameras, cell phones, diving swimsuits, surfer swim suits are based on waterproof technology. Water resistant refers to the amount of water which can stay on a material before impregnating it. Watches receive a water resistant mark which certifies it can be worn without problems under water. Still there is a diving limit and you should ask this of your retailer. It should be specified on the documentation you receive as well.


Fabrics can be coated with special substances to become waterproof. Natural or synthetic materials can be used such as rubber, polyurethane, wax, polyvinyl chloride and many others. They allow the skin to breathe underneath the fabric letting the vapors pass through. In the same time, fabrics processed in this fashion keep rain, snow and other weather phenomenon away from contact. Fabrics can be made water resistant by applying spray or coating. Still you need to take into account the fact that fabrics have a limited time in which you can wear them and fully benefit their properties. More layers of coating can significantly improve usage over time. Make sure when you buy such items that you ask about the manufacturing process and read with attention also the quality certificate.


Paper can be water resistant and is widely used in the packaging industry. It is also a cheaper alternative for inkjet and laser printers. Waterproof technology is greatly appreciated for paper which is used for military service. Independent from environmental conditions waterproof paper represents a reliable communication mean. Waterproof paper can also be used for packaging being able to contain various liquids. Fatty acids are added to cellulose fibers through a specific chemical process to obtain the required resistance.


  • Waterproof technology guarantees a material’s resistance to water, while water resistant has the same effect for a temporary period under specific conditions.
  • Fabrics can be made waterproof or water resistant by applying spray or coatings. Multiple layers are needed for a material to be water resistant.
  • Water resistant paper is used in the packaging industry and on inkjet and laser printers. Waterproof paper is mostly used by military personnel but also for packaging.


comments 2 Comments

  • Johanna . 3+ yrs. ago

Thanks for the information.

  • OdellFunkclould . October 2020

Excellent info here ,I am currently doing some research and found exactly what I was looing for

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