What is Sun Protective Clothing and How is it Made?
Sun-protective clothing is clothing made out of a fabric that gives a level of ultraviolet (UV) protection. This essentially means that the clothing is blocking a percentage of your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. But, there are big differences between good UV-protecting clothes and bad ones, so always be on the lookout!
Keep an eye on the UPF rating that the clothes are marked with, here is the UPF rating for sun-protective clothes (Source):
- good: indicates clothes with a UPF of 15 to 24
- very good: indicates clothes with a UPF of 25 to 39
- excellent: indicates clothes with a UPF of 40 to 50+
So how is sun-protective clothing made?
In general, to create a UV-resistant fabric you have to reduce the space in the structure of the fabric, so less space for sunlight to pass through and hit your skin. So therefore UV-resistant clothing is made from fabric that has a very high density. Often the sun-protective clothes are made with ingredients that are thought to increase this effect even further.
So when rating a fabric and whether or not it is good UV-resistant clothing you should keep in mind:
- Dark-colored clothes and fabric will protect better than light-colored clothes.
- Denser waves in the fabric are more protective than loose weaves.
- Polyester and nylon are better at protecting against the sun than other natural fabrics. This is due to the nature of the fabric and its density.
- Stretchy clothes are usually not as sun-protective.
In addition to the properties of the fabric, sun-protecting clothes are usually designed to cover as much skin as possible. This is done to increase the UV protection where the skin might be more prone to UV damage: Therefore looking at long sleeve shirts, arm-sleeves, sun hats, more covering hoodies, and so on, is good to increase the overall protection of the skin.
Check out our blog post on why you should wear sun-protective clothes!