Our History

Enabling outdoor enthusiasts to experience the outdoors in comfort and protection has been at the heart of the GORE-TEX® brand since the beginning.

Since 1976, Gore’s technologies have been part of countless adventures around the globe, and even the moon. And with an enormous amount of energy, resources, and passion, we continue to innovate with the new technologies and solutions demanded by today’s outdoor enthusiasts.
 

1959

Wilbert L. ("Bill") and Genevieve ("Vieve") Gore launch W. L. Gore & Associates in the basement of their home in Newark, Delaware. Bill leaves his job at DuPont to pursue his belief in the untapped potential of the polymer polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE.

1969

ePTFE, or expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, was created by their son Bob Gore when he rapidly stretched PTFE under certain conditions. The result was an incredibly strong, microporous material with an amazing list of characteristics including low water adsorption and good weathering properties.

1970

Gore applies for what will become the first of many patents for GORE-TEX® products made with Gore's signature polymer, expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, or ePTFE.

1976

Gore receives its first commercial order for GORE-TEX® fabric — the first breathable, waterproof, and windproof fabric.

1979

GORE-SEAM® Sealing Machines and GORE-SEAM® tape introduced.

1980

Commercial introduction of 2-layer GORE-TEX® fabric and GORE-TEX® glove insert.

1981

NASA's first space shuttle mission, shuttle Columbia, carries astronauts wearing spacesuits made with GORE-TEX® fabric.

1982

Commercial introduction of GORE-TEX® z-liner.
GORE-TEX® fabric bootie invented; patent granted.

1989

Introduction of the GUARANTEED TO KEEP YOU DRY® warranty.

1990

An international expedition team in Antarctica wears GORE-TEX® outerwear while traversing the continent. One explorer credits the fabric with saving his life.

1998

Commercial introduction of GORE-TEX® PACLITE® fabric.

2003

Commercial introduction of GORE-TEX® XCR® gloves

2009

Commercial introduction of GORE™ OPTIFADE™ Concealment.

2010

Today

GORE-TEX® fabric is chosen by hundreds of the world's most trusted outdoor apparel brands as their pinnacle technology for waterproof, windproof, and breathable protection, with a wide variety of products in the marketplace and new styles appearing each year. And the journey continues.