Refers to a fabric that has been treated with a chemical coating such as polyurethane, acrylic or teflon on one or both sides to make it waterproof and possibly breathable. In a heavy, waterproof/nonbreathable form, coatings are used in objects like tents and packs. In lighter, microporous breathable form, they're used in outerwear.The trade-off between waterproofing and breathability depends on coating thickness. More coating equals more waterproofing, less breathability, and vice versa. Coatings are not as durable as laminates, especially during the wash. See DWR.
refers to the application of material such as plastic resin, wax, oil, varnish or lacquer to the surface of the fabric . Application methods include dipping, spraying, brushing, calendering or knife coating . Coating is often applied to make a fabric water repellent or waterproof but may be done simply to alter the hand or appearance of the fabric. Polyurethane, acrylic and PVC resins are common types of coating.
Used in reference to the shell material of cheaper waterproof jackets. Rather than providing a physical membrane layer to prevent water ingress, coated fabrics rely on a treatment stuck to the face of a non-waterproof fabric. This is usually effective but not as breathable and certainly not as durable as a membrane.