UPF Clothing And How It Protects You

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What Is UPF Clothing?

UPF is a acronym for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. UPF is the rating system used to measure UV protection for clothes. Most of you probably are more familiar with the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) which is used to rate sun-screening creams. UPF clothing and swimwear are special clothes which serve UV (Ultraviolet) protection to those wearing them.

UPF clothes became very popular during recent years. New designs and new fabrics used, offer cool and fashionable clothes to choose from.

Sun protection clothes are used by athletes who train long hours in the sun, by parents who are aware of the long term dangers of sun exposure to their child’s skin health, and by those with relatively fair skin tones.

UPF Clothing Protection Factors

There are several grades of UPF clothing rates. Higher rates means better protection to the skin from harmful sun rays. UV protection clothes use different fabrics and textile to block sun UV rays.

UPF Ratings and Protection Categories

UPF Rating Protection Category  % UV radiation Blocked
UPF 15 – 24 Good 93.3 – 95.9
UPF 25 – 39 Very Good 96.0 – 97.4
UPF 40 – 50+ Excellent 97.5 – 99+

How UPF Clothes Block UV Radiation

There are several ways fabrics can interfere or block the sun’s Ultraviolet radiation.

  1. The fabrics and textile construction improve the UPF clothes or UPF swimwear ability to reduce UV transmission. 
  2. UPF clothing arrive in various colors, the dye includes unique molecules which absorb or reflect UV rays. The color of the clothes have no impact on the protection level. Look for the UPF label to learn the specific protection factor.
  3. During the manufacturing special chemicals are added to the fabric to either absorb UV light or reflect it. These raise the protection level of UPF clothes. 
  4. Using special fibers like Polyester help raising the UPF protection rate. Nylon can be used to block UV rays too. Wool and silk protection is only moderate, their protection might be increased using UV absorbing chemicals or using tight construction patterns natural fabrics such as cotton will have a low rate unless advanced dye or chemicals used to increase their protection level.
  5. Physical factors of the fabrics have an impacton the garment’s UPF rate too. If a cloth is stretched to its extent, physical spaces between yarns will allow UVA & UVB radiation to enter. This means athlets need to use UPF clothing for sports, which are designed to stretch.
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