A raincoat or also known as rain suit. In most fashion market including America, France, Asia etc, raincoat refers to both the top and bottom including trousers. It is a waterproof or water-resistant suit worn to protect the body from rain. The term rain jacket is sometimes used to refer to raincoats that are waist length. A rain jacket may be combined with a pair of rain pants to make a rain clothing; a rain clothing may also be in one piece like a boilersuit.

A child wearing a yellow raincoat with hood

Modern raincoats are often constructed from waterproof fabrics that are breathable, such as Gore-Tex or Tyvek and coated nylons. These fabrics allow water vapour to pass through, allowing the garment to 'breathe' so that the sweat of the wearer can escape. The amount of pouring rain a raincoat can handle is sometimes measured in the unit millimetres, water gauge.


Around 1200 AD, the Amazonian Indians already used a milky substance (rubber) extracted from rubber trees to create a waterproofing garment. In the 1700s , European explorers went to the Americas and saw the way the indigenous people using a crude procedure and rubber to waterproof their clothing. [1]

While raincoats have taken many forms over the millennia, using different waterproof materials and techniques, the first modern waterproof raincoat was created following the patent by Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh in 1824 of new tarpaulin fabric, described by him as "India rubber cloth," and made by sandwiching a core of rubber softened by naphtha between two pieces of fabric.[2][3] Charles wanted to create a fabric that could protect the wearer from rain without being harmed by the water. Many tailors were reluctant to use his new material and had no interest in it. Charles set up his own company and eventually added vulcanised rubber to the coat. [4]



  1. ^ "Raincoat | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  2. ^ "Charles Macintosh: Chemist who invented the world-famous waterproof raincoat". The Independent. 30 December 2016.
  3. ^ "History of the Raincoat". 15 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Charles Macintosh: Chemist who invented the world-famous waterproof raincoat". The Independent. 30 December 2016.


  •   The dictionary definition of raincoat at Wiktionary
  •   Media related to Raincoats at Wikimedia Commons