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UV Protection Technology

UV Protection Products

Enjoy all day protection from the sun's harmful rays with densely woven fabrics or garments treated with a special finish.

If you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, you’re going to spend a lot of time exposed to the sun. UV protective clothing can play a key part in protecting you from UV radiation, preventing sun burn and long-term skin damage, in particular skin cancer.

 

Effective UV clothing can protect you in three ways by absorbing, blocking or reflecting UV radiation that causes sunburn and long term skin damage. Most fabrics are lightweight and designed for the summer, but if you’re jetting off on a ski trip, the same level of UV protection is available in warmer winter fabrics.

 



  • Reduces the risk of sun burn or skin damage
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Reduces the amount of exposed skin
  • Reduces the quantity of sun cream applied
Woman on a beach

How It Works

 

A number of factors can influence the UV Protection of fabrics, such as, the type of fibre, weave or construction, dyes, chemical treatments, moisture, stretch or general wear and tear.

The Facts 

 

Every year in the UK 100,000 people are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer and over 13,000 people are diagnosed with malignant melanoma. UV light damages the DNA in our skin cells, this can happen years before a cancer develops. Long term over exposure and short periods of intense sun exposure increase the risk of developing cancer.

 

The sun’s rays contain 3 types of harmful ultraviolet light:

  • UVA causes skin cancer and many visible changes associated with aging such as wrinkles, brown spots and sagging skin.
  • UVB causes sun burn and melanoma.
  • UVC rays are filtered by the sun atmosphere. 

The UPF Rating System

 

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, indicating the fraction of the sun’s UV rays that can penetrate through a fabric, therefore the higher the UPF, the higher the protection. UPF rating are assessed to a British Standard (BS EN 13758). A shirt with a UPF of 50 allows just 1/50th of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation through the fabric.

 

 

 UPF rating 

 UPF classification 

 % UV rays blocked  

15 - 24 

good 

93 - 96% 

25 - 39

very good

96 - 97%

40 -50+ 

excellent

97 - 99%

 

 

 

Weave 

 

Tight densely woven fabrics reduces spaces between fibres, blocking out more UV Radiation than fabrics with a loose or open weave. The smaller the holes between the threads the less ultraviolet light can reach your skin.

 

High UPF Fabric

  • Merino Wool
  • Polyester
  • Nylon

Low UPF Fabric

  • Cotton
  • Acrylic
  • Silk

 

Chemical Treatment & Dyes

 

Chemical UV absorbers and reflectors can be applied during the dyeing process, during fibre manufacture or in the final fabric finish.

 

The type and concentration of a dye can affect a fabric’s UPF rating. The Higher the concentration of dye, the darker the garment becomes, absorbing more UV rays than lighter colours. 

Other Factors, UV Protection Technology

Other Factors

 

When a garment stretches, the space between the fibres are increased and allow more UV Radiation to pass through to the skin. Wet, well worn or faded fabrics can also reduce the UPF rating. 

Care Information

UV protection clothing care information:

  • When washing your UV protective clothing please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on label.
  • Repeatedly washing can improve the UPF of tightly woven fabrics, by shrinking the gaps in the weave.
  • Chemically treated fabrics can usually withstand up to 50 washes, but each manufacturer will differ.
  • Washing with optical brighteners can boost the UPF rating.

Non UV Protection Clothing

  • Increase the exposure to UV rays
  • Allows more UV radiation to penetrate through fabric
  • Increases the risk of sunburn or long term skin damage

 

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