Like many a world-renowned brand, GORE-TEX started as a family business, in a basement, with just an idea. In this case, Bill and Genevieve Gore founded the company that later became the brand in their private home in Newark, Delaware, in 1959 after Bill discovered the synthetic polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
Ten years later, his son Bob Gore developed this discovery further by rapidly pulling PTFE apart (the process is called stretching) to create expanded PTFE (abbreviated to ePTFE). This had many useful properties and just seven years later, in 1976, the first GORE-TEX products were launched, which were waterproof, windproof and breathable even then.
Over time, GORE-TEX has developed more and more solutions, such as various products for seam sealing, as these are usually the weak points when waterproof textiles are processed. As a material manufacturer, GORE-TEX inspects and tests the prototypes of garment manufacturers who use its products.