We’ve all had a sun burn at one point or another. Everyone has read about the dangers of prolonged sun exposure. And hopefully you’re taking proper precautions wearing sunscreen on your exposed skin.
Many people assume that only the skin that isn’t covered by their clothes needs to be protected. When in actuality, the sun’s radiation can penetrate clothing. And those UVA and UVB rays can do damage to skin. Luckily, there are many UV Protective clothing options to help prevent that damage.
Now, all fabrics do disrupt UV radiation to some extent, but only clothing rated with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor, or UPF rating does it best. Items are rated from UPF 15 to UPF 50 or higher.
Clothing with UPF ratings use a couple different methods to reduce the amount of UVA and UVB rays that reach the skin:
First, their construction. They use a dense, right weave or knit to minimize the gaps in the fabric. This can make the clothing warmer than others, which is why they’ll usually also include vents to help with circulation.
Second, dies. Some types of dies absorb the UV, others disrupt and reflect the radiation so it cannot reach your skin.
Third, treatments. Chemicals effective at absorbing UV light can be added to the fabric. These can be added during the construction of the garment, or post production with a laundry additive. This type of treatment can eventually deteriorate with enough washing.
Fourth, fiber type. Different materials interact differently to UV exposure. Polyester is an excellent disruptor of UV light. Nylon also does a decent job at it. Surprisingly, cotton isn’t great without added treatment.
Click here to see all of our UV protective options.