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