Clothing can offer excellent protection from the sun's harmful rays, and most of the clothing we wear during the summer is more than sufficient to protect the skin and prevent sunburn. Obviously, the more skin that is covered by clothing, the better the protection is offered. Sunscreen should still be applied to areas not covered by clothing.
When choosing Sun protection clothing make sure it's something that you like and suits your fashion sense. There's no point buying something you won't wear!
UPF Ratings in Clothing
There are some companies who market clothing specifically for their sun-protective properties. This clothing normally comes with a label indicating the Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF. The UPF refers to the amount of UV rays blocked by apparel and fabrics. Here are some facts about UPF:
• UPF is a transmission test: A fabric gets exposed to a UV source that simulates the sun's rays at noon. The amount of UV rays blocked by the fabric is measured by a device called a spectrophotometer. The UPF rating refers to how much sunburning UV radiation is blocked. For example, a UPF 50+ blocks more than 97.5% of the sun's sunburning rays.
• Beware of companies touting products with a UPF 100. UPF 50+ is the highest rating permitted by any National Standard in the world -- including the new US Standard. Companies claiming higher UPF numbers are doing so for marketing purposes and are misleading consumers.
• Manufacturers often use SPF & UPF interchangeably when promoting the sun protection their products offer. This is mainly because research shows that there is much confusion about what these terms mean. UPF is the correct measurement for fabrics.
• Just as a number of factors can influence the SPF ratings in sunscreens, the fibre type, weave, colour, construction, humidity and wetness, stretch and wear and tear are factors that can also influence UV protection in fabrics. In order to obtain a UPF rating on any fabric, manufactures will need to submit a sample from each fabric colour and style for UV testing.
For a great range of high quality UV protective clothing with UPF ratings please visit our SUNSHOP, where you can purchase clothing from SunTogs with a 20% donation to the charity for every purchase made!