A legendary technology
The history of GORE-TEX begins in 1958 with the discovery by Bob Gore of a polymer called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which he used for insulating cables. In 1969, his son Bill managed to expand the material making it much lighter and porous, but without losing its strength. The new material, known as ePTFE, was not only very lightweight, but also had other very important properties. It was waterproof, windproof, thermally stable, let vapour through... and it was very tough.
For an entrepreneurial mind, it was the ideal product to launch a successful company. This exceptional material had many different possibilities for application, plus it left room for further development.
Fabrics for everyone
The first GORE-TEX sports and leisure collection was launched on the US market in 1976. Three years later American fire services were outfitted with GORE-TEX operational wear for the first time. By that time, the US military had started looking into the benefits of Gore’s products for its personnel, be it windproofing, waterproofing, breathability, antistatic properties, or flame retardancy. Today, there is no branch of the military that does not benefit from the many advantages of GORE-TEX product technology.
In Europe in the early eighties Gore started producing high performance fabrics for the work environment: protective clothing for the fire service in Great Britain and weatherproof clothing for construction workers, operating gowns for surgeons, safety footwear and protective clothing for the fire service in Germany.
The Gore story continues. Its success is the result of many factors. Top on the list is its program for continuous improvement, research and innovation, allowing it to find real solutions for real needs. New discoveries are made every year, and new industrial areas are tapped for use of Gore technologies. Did you know, for example, that Gore also makes Glide dental floss? Gore products have even been on the moon.
Sustainability and corporate social responsibility also feature high on the roster of Gore priorities. The company continues to reduce its environmental footprint by designing new products and processes. What’s more, as one of the world’s recognised best employers, it can guarantee it’s productivity and workmanship thanks to its over 10,000 associates, as its employees are known. Satisfied workers are satisfied customers.