Fabric protection is used to increase the lifespan of fabric by repelling as much dirt and stains as possible. It is commonly used on convertible roofs, seats, floormats and carpets. Fabric protection is most often done by applying a liquid.
Difference in fabric protection
In general, you could make the categorization between sealants and coatings. Although the coatings are not strictly based upon a ceramic component, it could be considered as a form of processing the product. One product might only need air to dry, another will need to addition of heat from an external source.
For example: some products are sprayed upon the surface, then just left to dry. They would generally be considered as sealants. Other products need to be dried with a hair dryer or paint dryer (application of heat from an external source) to dry. These would generally be considered as coatings. In real life terms, the difference lies in their durability and expected longevity. Coatings are often stronger and longer lasting then sealants.
Note that the use of the term “sealant” or “coating” might not be technically correct, seeing as both product are based on the use of polymers, which would make both sealants. The use of a ceramic component (SiO2, Si3D, SiH4 etc.) is very rare, which is the common factor to define a coating.
As above, the most common difference is the form of application. This list will give a very general idea of application. Read the label or check with the manufacturer to know how your products is best applied.
- Make sure the fabric you are working with is perfectly clean with no residues left
- Spray the surface with the product
- *Spread the product with a brush or roller (this also helps to saturate the fabric)
- After a few minutes, wipe the surface lightly with a clean towel
- Either let the fabric dry naturally, or use an external heat source (this could be a hair dryer, or a paint dryer with increased distance)
- Make sure the fabric has ample time to dry before it is exposed to dirt, liquids or other forms of contaminations
* = optional step, depends on product
How to know if it works
The form of protection has an effect, which basically means that it appears to repel water. This will not always work the same with other liquids, because there can be a difference in surface tension. A cleaning liquid will have a very different surface tension, and will probably not beads on protected fabric. To test wether the protective layer is still present, it is advised to clean the fabric (by vacuum or dry towel) and drop a few drops of water on the fabric. If the water is instantly absorbed, the protection may have failed.
Note that the level of contamination/dirt in the fabric can have a negative effect on the performance of the protective layer.
- In the field of protective products, the sealant has become a rising star. The demand for an easy to use sealant has grown over the last decade. There is also a rise in quality of the ingredients used with the advancements made in the field of polymer-technology, resulting in better performing products. ...
- A sealant is protective product that is made up out of polymers. If they contain wax, they are considered hybrids. Sealants come in several different types and are the step between natural wax and completely synthetic protective products....
- It is often asked on detailing fora and social media: "what is the best claybar or claymitt". Off course there is a difference between certain products and brands, but it is important to know what you are asking. In this guide I will try to explain what the problem is with this question unless it is asked more in-depth....
- Exhaust tips are one of those I's that need to be dotted. Exhaust tips can be difficult to clean due to type of build up that can be found on the inside or the outside of the tips....
- A touchless wash is type of cleaning method that cleans via chemical cleaning, and doesn't require any mechanical action. This method is popular for those we are afraid that contact with the surface might causemarks. Whether touchless washing gives the same results is still a popular topic for debate....
- It is often asked on detailing fora and social media: "what is the best snowfoam". Off course there is a difference between certain products and brands, but it is important to know what you are asking. In this guide I will try to explain what the problem is with this question unless it is asked more in-depth....