Gore-Tex is made from polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, better known as DuPont Teflon. In 1969, it was discovered that PTFE could be stretched at high temperatures, creating a strong, porous material. Gore-Tex has many applications but is most known for its uses in the clothing industry.
W. L. Gore & Associates, creators of Gore-Tex, report that "GORE-TEX® fabric is created when we laminate our patented GORE-TEX® membrane to high-performance textiles." One of these textiles is nylon. Only authorized garment manufacturers are licensed to use the company's fabrics, and the fabric can only be used to produce designs approved by the company after undergoing rigorous testing.
Gore-Tex fabric is often made into outerwear because of its unique properties. It is porous enough to allow sweat to pass through (breathable), but not so porous that rain or wind can get through. It also wears well. Unlike ordinary fabrics coated with weatherproofing chemicals, Gore-Tex does not lose its waterproof and windproof qualities when washed or worn because these qualities are inherent to the Gore-Tex itself.
Gore-Tex has many applications other than clothing and outerwear. The company expanded PTFE to create wires for aircraft and satellites. Gore-Tex is also used as a human tissue replacement and implant material because of its soft, yet strong and biocompatible nature.