Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Waterproofing is a vital aspect of blanket management for horses that live, or spend time outside in less than ideal weather. However, prolonged exposure to sunlight, urine, feces, and general wear to material can all impact the durability of a blankets waterproof layer. Here are a few points to consider when assessing if a blanket should be re-waterproofed:
1. Is the blanket's material in good condition, are there any small holes or rips to the outer denier?
It is commonly thought that if a blanket is waterproofed then it will be.. well waterproof. The reality is that small tears and worn fabric are not going to be waterproofed similar to a roof with missing or overly worn shingles. If the blanket has material that isn't overly worn then repairing the damaged outer layer is the only way to reestablish the blankets ability to become waterproof again.
2. What happens when you sprinkle a few drops of water on the blanket's outer layer?
The most common indicator that a blanket is still waterproof can be seen when placing some water on the outer layer of the blanket. If the water forms small bead like droplets and rolls toward the ground, as seen in the picture below, then the waterproofing is considered to be in good working order. If the water absorbs into the outer fabric then it's time to consider the blanket for a round of re-waterproofing.
-> Please note, the only brand we have noted to be difficult to determine the waterproof integrity is Weatherbeeta blankets. While we do love this brand, and their proven durability, the way the waterproofing works is still somewhat a mystery. The outer layer never seems to form water beads, yet somehow the inner layering of these blankets stays dry.
3. Is this blanket going to be used on a horse that lives outside or a horse that may not have prolonged exposure to the elements?
The answer to this question may help you determine if the cost of waterproofing will give you much benefit for the intended use of the blanket. Quilted stable blankets are not made of a material that is appropriate to hold a waterproof layer but for horses that may only get turned out when the weather is nice, then a semi-waterproofed top sheet may be all you need. For a horse that lives outside and had limited options to escape the elements then waterproofing is more likely to be an essential step in management for this animal.
We hope that these tips and points of consideration are helpful in making a decision on how to launder your blanket for use in the next blanketing season. Either way, we love being able to provide a service that best fits your goals and your equid partner's needs. Please feel free to contact us should you have any additional questions regarding your blanket's waterproofing.