- Opening Hours
June - August
- Monday to Saturday
- 09:30 to 18:00
- Sundays & Bank Holidays
- Our Kinsale shop re-opens June 1st.
Open 7 days a week from 11.00 - 18.00.
- Telephone us on
- +353 (0)21 4277 633
- or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To ensure you get the best out of your product please refer to this page for care guidelines.
Please read the care labels on your products before washing them. If for any reason you're not sure what to do please phone us and we'll be happy to advise. Unfortunately, items that are damaged as a result of incorrect washing cannot be refunded or replaced and in many cases cannot be repaired!
Before we get in to care of your waterproof garment let's dispel some myths and rumours first!
By now everyone is familiar with the term breathable when it comes to waterproof but what does this mean?
"Will a breathable waterproof garment stop me sweating?" is something our customers have asked us time and time again. The simple answer is "No." The only product we're aware of that will stop you sweating is an antiperspirant!
If we are exercising - hiking, sailing, cycling, walking the dog or running for the bus our bodies will warm up with the physical exertion. When this happens we perspire. No fancy jacket can stop this process. Some jackets have features like Pit Vents or Venting Pockets that can be opened to help cool down and feel less warm whilst wearing a waterproof garment but they don't stop us sweating!
Getting back to breathable! There's an old-fashioned idea out there that synthetic, man-made fibres like nylons and other pollies don't breathe and you must go for natural fribres like wool and cotton. This isn't true! Some synthetic garments can be very warm and may feel less airy than something cotton but cotton and wool are notorious for staying wet! These natural fabrics hold on to moisture whereas most synthetic fabrics do not. This is good news for perspiration!
So, to stay comfortable it's a good idea to avoid cotton shirts or t-shirts and wooly jumpers or tops under a waterproof jacket. If we perspire the cotton will hold that perspiration next to our skin and we'll feel very clammy and uncomfortable! If we wear moisture-wicking shirts or breathable shirts and fleece we can help to stay dry inside our jackets! Also, as these products wick or transfer away from our skin there is a much greater chance of the breathable technology in our jackets doing their work!
It might be Gore-Tex or HiVent from the North Face or some other waterproof and breathable technology but they all work behind a similar idea. A membrane (or layer) of the waterproof / breathable fabric in our jacket or other garment has pores that are small enough so rain drops can't penetrate but they are big enough so water-vapour / steam (our perspiration) from inside the jacket can escape and not build up inside the garment.
DWR & Wetting Out
Apart from the waterproof / breathable membrane waterproof garments will feature a Durable Water Repellent coating on the face fabric (the outside) of the garment. This layer is what makes sure that water beads off the garment and does not soak through the face fabric.
The thing about DWRs is that they break down and wear away over time. This can be down to simple wear & tear from loads of use, pollution from traffic / rain and other factor. When this occurs it's common for a garment to wet out - the DWR is no longer present so water is no longer beading off and is penetrating the outer fabric. The garment can then look like it's leaking as the face fabric will most likely change colour when wet. The face fabric will also become cold due to holding the water with the inside of the jacket being warm with our body heat. What happens then is that condensation forms inside the jacket! This can really feel like the garment is leaking.
The best news about wetting out is that the DWR can be replenished with a wash-in or spray-on re-proofer. In Matthews we recommend and supply NikWax TX-Direct for re-applying the DWR to garments. If you have a light garment with not much in the way of a lining the wash-in product is probably preferable. However, if your garment is has lots of layers and features inside the spray-on product will work best as this is only applied to the face-fabric on the outside.
Please read and follow the directions carefully on whatever re-proofing product you use. Of course, if you're unsure what to do you can always phone us and we'll be happy to advise.
Again, please refer to the care labels inside your garments. Different garments and manufactures have different care procedures. The following information is a general guide and Matthews assumes no responsibility for any damage caused to a product if correct washing instructions are not followed.
- Be sure to zip all zippers, and close all Velcro fasteners before you wash your garment.
- Wash your item on a Cool or Gentle Cycle or 30 degrees.
- Do not use fabric softener.
- Do not use bleach.
- Do not use detergent. Please use a cleaning recommended for waterproof garments. We recommend and supply NikWax Tech Wash.
- Putting your garment through the rinse cycle twice when possible to ensure all the cleaning agents have been removed.
- You may dry water-proof jackets, if the care label allows, on a Low Setting in a tumble dryer. Alternatively, items can drip dry.
- Do not dry-clean garments.
- Do not place garments on a radiator or close to direct heat!
- We do not recommend placing backpacks or footwear in the washing machine.
For information on breathable waterproof footwear please read the above section on Myths and Rumours!
Keeping your toe-nails trimmed can often lengthen the life of your footwear. Long toe-nails often pierce the waterproof membrane in hiking boots, snowboots and trail shoes. We've also seen Ugg boots with holes poked in the toe of the boot from toe-nails that were too long.
Leather coastal boots, deck shoes and hiking boots must be regularly maintained to keep the leather supple and to prevent it from drying out and becoming brittle. Going from the cold of a mountain-side in November or your car boot to the warm indoors or constant wetting and drying can be detrimental to leather. Treating full grain leather with a dubbin or other recommended product to protect the leather and keep it supple is essential. At Matthews we recommend NikWax Leather Conditioner and NikWax Aqueous Wax. Both of these products will also help to keep a leather outer waterproof.
If leather boots or shoes are wet they should be allowed to dry naturally. Stuff them with newspaper or tissue, to soak up the water, and leave them in ventillated area to dry. Don't put them near direct heat - radiators, hot-presses, fire-places or other sources of direct heat as this will dry out the leather and cause it to crack.
If leather boots or shoes are dirty please wait for them to dry and then brush any dried mud or dirt from them and use a damp cloth if necessary. If necessary remove the footbed or insoles and clean those also - a damp cloth and some liquid soap should be sufficient! We recommend NikWax Footwear Cleaning Gel for cleaning both inside and outside all footwear.
Nubuck & Suede
These fabrics are often susceptible to staining from dirt and water. We advise that customers apply a Nubuck & Suede Protector to keep footwear water & stain repellent. Please note that this may slightly alter the colour of the fabric and customers should always test the product on a small inconspicuous area of the footwear to ensure they are happy to proceed.
Suede and Nubuck can always be cleaned with a suede brush or a soft-bristled nail brush. Please allow footwear to dry before cleaning. As with all footwear products we advise NikWax Footwear Cleaning Gel for cleaning both inside and outside.
Most fleece products can be washed as normal ie washed warm (40 degrees) and tumble dried low. However, please refer to the care labels on the garment before washing. Most fleece at Matthews are made from Polartec and in general can also be washed cold and let to drip dry. Use of detergent and fabric softener is not advisable as these can affect the appearance and longevity of the product
For specific care instruction from the brands themselves please check out the links below.
Down filled Jackets & Vests
Most Down filled jackets and vests can be machine washed. Please refer to the garment's care labels for specific details. We recommend customers follow the procedures for washing waterproof jackets when washing down. Tumble-drying down-filled garments on a low setting is advisable to help puff out and de-clump the feathers. Placing a few tennis balls inside the drum of the tumble drier will also help to de-clump. Pinching the garments where feathers have clumped together prior and during airing may also be necessary.