Do You Have Questions About Sun Blocking Clothing? I do too, and apparently, we aren’t the only ones.
Do you have questions about sun blocking clothing? Do you know what you can expect from a UPF garment if you buy one?
I surely do have questions, and apparently so do you.
Do you wonder if there is more to it than just getting clothes between you and the sun?
When you have any garment between your skin and the sun it helps to block the sun off your skin, doesn’t it?
Some garments do a better job than others.
How do you know which is better?
This post is written to help you become aware of the need to protect your skin.
I need to get a complete idea of what sun blocking clothing is. This is giving me a way to share what I find.
There are many different ideas and reasons to protect your skin from the sun.
Your Lifestyle Needs
You and your lifestyle need skin protection from the sun. We are all individuals and have different needs.
Learning when and where you may need sun protection will help you make better choices about the sun blocking clothing you invest in.
For those who drive a lot during the day, you will need to think about how your skin is exposed to the sun on a daily basis.
Do you have hobbies that keep you out in the sun? Is your skin particularly sensitive to sun exposure? Are you a redhead?
All of these factors are to be considered in your sun blocking clothing plan for your skin.
Are you the parent of children who are involved in activities that have them outside in the sun during the more dangerous hours of the day?
Getting your children started in a sun-safe lifestyle can reduce their risk of skin cancer, later in life.
There is a lot to think about. However, information and knowledge will help you make better decisions throughout your life. Better decisions about how to stay safe in the sun.
So let’s get started with the labels.
What Do the Lables on Sun Blocking Clothing Tell Me?
What Do Those UPF Clothing Labels Mean?
Some use the words Sun Protective Clothing? Sun Guard Clothing?
Then there is Sun Safe Clothing, and there are more adaptions of these descriptions of clothing specifically made to protect your skin from the sun.
What are these different kinds of clothing?
Many of these clothing labels are merely the manufacturing companies’ logos or names for their sun blocking clothing. This is to let you know that this garment has extra features beyond the normal ones you expect.
The term Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF rating has become more well-known in the past few years.
These garments are being featured in mainstream clothing retail. Not just specialty companies and retailers.
Consumers have become aware that there are more ways to protect our skin from the sun beyond sunscreen.
We are seeing many different brands popping up with their warnings about too much sun, and the problems that we need to avoid.
Athletic brands like Nike and Columbia are offering choices from underwear to outerwear to keep you safe from the sun and comfortable as well.
Many brands that specialize in clothing for the outdoors offer excellent features in sun blocking clothing.
Walmart Sells UPF Clothing
Walmart offers a nice assortment of sun blocking clothing for our skin protection. From moisture-wicking and under-arm vents in shirts, as well as finger holes in the cuffs of a long sleeve to slip your fingers in.
This makes it easier to cover and protect the lower wrist and back of your hands. The selection of ways you can protect your skin with clothing keeps growing.
If it is considered a sun-blocking garment, there will be information on the label to advise you.
What Is A UPF Rating?
Why should you care about a UPF rating? The UPF rating tells you that the garment will block the sun.
UPF rating is used for clothing. It is the garment version of Sunscreens SPF. This tells you how well a garment blocks the sun from your skin.
This number tells you how well this particular fabric will absorb, reflect, and block UV rays from your skin.
This matters, because? The sun’s UV rays may be able to get through some of your clothing.
My understanding of the UPF goes like this:
How the UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating system works for clothing:
|UPF Rating||UV Protection||Example|
|UPF 15||Good||Standard clothing|
|UPF 30||Very Good||Lowest special rating|
|UPF 50||Excellent||Sun blocking clothing|
|UPF 50+||Outstanding||Marketing terms|
- UPF Rating: This number indicates the level of UV protection provided by the fabric. Higher UPF values offer more protection.
The UPF rating considers factors like the fabric’s density, weave, color, and any additional treatments it has undergone to enhance UV protection.
The goal is to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, so choosing a higher UPF-rated garment is key to staying sun-safe!
This gives you a standard for knowing how much protection you are getting from the garment.
UPF Protection Rates
To help make these numbers make more sense for you, here’s a breakdown of the level of protection offered by each stage of UPF numbers:
UPF 15: Some Protection
- Offers a higher level of protection than UPF 15.
- Blocks around 96.7% of UVB rays, allowing about 3.3% to pass through.
- Ideal for extended outdoor activities and casual sun exposure.
- Provides moderate protection against UV radiation.
- Blocks approximately 93.3% of UVB rays and allows about 6.7% to pass through.
- Suitable for everyday activities with limited sun exposure.
UPF 30: Very Good Protection
- Offers a higher level of protection than UPF 15.
- Blocks around 96.7% of UVB rays, allowing about 3.3% to pass through.
- Ideal for extended outdoor activities and casual sun exposure.
UPF 50: Excellent Protection
- Provides substantial UV protection, particularly for prolonged sun exposure.
- Blocks roughly 98% of UVB rays, allowing only 2% to pass through.
- Recommended for activities involving extended time outdoors.
UPF 50+: There is actually no more protection than UPF 50. Is usually considered a marketing term as it sounds like more protection than a rating of 50. 50 is the highest rating available.
These UPF rate numbers are important for protecting your skin. If you are going to be out in the hot sun all day, obviously UPF 50 is what you need.
Start Your Protection at the Top
However, don’t forget your sun blocking hat and sunglasses as well as sunscreen. Reapply sunscreen often during the day to the areas of your skin not covered.
Remember, the UPF rating indicates the fabric’s ability to block both UVA and UVB rays.
The higher the UPF rating, the greater the protection against potential skin damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
Choose an appropriate UPF-rated garment based on the duration and intensity of your sun exposure to keep your skin safe and healthy.
Some Clothing is Better Than None
First of all, regular clothes from your closet are better than nothing, but the sun can get through most of them pretty easily.
The sun is relentless. Learn how to make better clothing choices for you and your family, even when selecting garments from your closet.
Reading labels is very important in this effort to take better care of your skin.
A plain white new T-shirt can have a UPF of 8.
A pair of dark jeans usually have a UPF of 50+.
What Are My Sun Blocking Clothing Options?
Let’s take a moment and think about what is happening in the world of UPF clothing. Are there some remarkable features that make sun protection a breeze?
For consideration are the ingenious designs that are revolutionizing the way we shield ourselves from the sun’s rays.
Moisture-wicking fabrics let you say goodbye to sweat and discomfort. Picture this: It is a blazing hot day, and you’re sporting your UPF clothing.
Here’s the game-changer: Moisture-wicking technology.
These fabrics are like magic, pulling away sweat from your skin and allowing it to evaporate in a flash. No more sticky discomfort, just a fresh and dry feel even when the sun is at its fiercest.
Whether you’re hiking, playing sports, or simply strolling around, moisture-wicking UPF clothing keeps you cool, dry, and more at ease.
Understanding Ventilation and Other Clothing Extras
Unleash the Cooling Power with the power of UPF clothing with built–in ventilation. Imagine air vents strategically placed in your shirt or pants, letting the air flow freely and cooling you down naturally.
It’s like having your personal air conditioning system, minus the electricity bill! With these smartly designed ventilation zones, you can stay more comfortably cool, whether you’re conquering a nature trail or enjoying a sunny picnic.
Convertible collars offer neck protection, on demand.
Introducing a nifty innovation, the convertible collar. It’s there when you need it and out of the way when you don’t. This versatile collar design allows you to adjust the coverage around your neck effortlessly.
Flip it up to shield your neck from the sun’s rays, or fold it down for a more relaxed look. It’s your call. By providing on-demand sun protection that’s as adaptable as your day.
Have You Thought About These Sleeves
Roll-Up sleeves with secure tabs you will have flexibility at your fingertips.
UPF clothing takes versatility to the next level with roll-up sleeves and secure tabs. Roll your sleeves up and secure them with tabs for instant short-sleeve mode when the sun is less intense.
Need more coverage? Roll them down and fasten them for extended protection. This practical feature lets you adapt your clothing to changing conditions.
Don’t forget these can come with vents under the arms and in the body of the shirt to enable air to flow better around your body.
The specially manufactured clothing will make sure you’re always prepared, comfortable, and stylish.
We also have hidden pockets. This provides smart storage for on-the-go.
Who doesn’t love a good pocket? UPF clothing gets clever with hidden pockets designed to keep your essentials safe and secure.
A handy place for your phone, keys, or a small sunscreen tube. These discreet pockets offer convenience without compromising style. You can say goodbye to bulky bags. And hello to easy-access storage.
From active to casual, UPF clothing doesn’t just protect; it pampers your sense of style too.
From sleek athletic wear to relaxed casual ensembles, will be protected from the sun.
Outdoor giants like Nike and Columbia, as well as trusted outlets like Walmart, offer excellent choices in UPF clothing that matches your taste.
It’s not just about staying safe. It’s about expressing your unique style while safeguarding your skin from the sun’s harsh embrace.
Sun Blocking Clothing, Another Sun Protection Tool
In a nutshell, UPF clothing isn’t just about blocking rays. It’s also a journey through ingenious features that redefine sun protection.
Moisture-wicking fabrics, ventilation mastery, and convertible collars. Then add roll-up sleeves with secure tabs, hidden pockets, and an array of styles.
Today’s UPF clothing is a game-changer. Embrace the future of sun-safe fashion and you can step out with confidence. You’re not only shielded but also wrapped in comfort, style, and innovation.
How To Build Your Wardrove for Sun Protection
Here are some suggestions as you are navigating your wardrobe for sun protection, especially if you are 30 or older.
As we age, taking care of our skin becomes increasingly important.
One often overlooked aspect of this is sun protection. While sunscreen is a vital part of our defense against harmful UV rays, your everyday clothing can also play a significant role in shielding your skin.
You Everyday Clothing
As our first line of defense, it might surprise you to learn that not all fabrics are created equal when it comes to sun protection.
Even though your favorite t-shirt may not be labeled as UPF, many types of clothing offer a certain level of UV resistance.
The weave, color, and material of the fabric all contribute to its protective qualities. While no garment can completely block all UV rays, it can significantly reduce your exposure.
By selecting sun-protective garments from your closet, you don’t have to completely overhaul your wardrobe. You can get the most sun blocking possible by understanding what makes garments block some sun.
Start by examining your existing clothes using these guidelines:
- Tightly Woven Fabrics: Opt for clothing with a tight weave, as this limits the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate through.
- Darker Hues: Darker colors tend to absorb more UV radiation, offering better protection than lighter shades.
- Long Sleeves and Pants: Whenever possible, choose loosely fitting long-sleeved tops and pants to cover more skin.
- Wide-Brimmed Hats: Hats with broad brims offer shade to your face, ears, and neck – areas often prone to sunburn.
- Sunglasses: Don’t forget to protect your eyes with sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
Recognizing Sun Blocking Factors
When you are considering Sun Blocking factors, the following will help you maximize your sun protection. So go ahead and plan an outfit based on sound sun blocking features:
- UPF Ratings: Some clothing items come with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) label, similar to SPF for sunscreen. Look for higher UPF ratings for superior protection.
- Layering: Layering clothing can provide added sun protection and allow you to adapt to changing weather conditions.
- Accessories: Remember to use sun-protective accessories like scarves, shawls, and gloves in your ensemble for extra coverage.
- Time of Day: Remember that the sun’s intensity varies throughout the day. Consider wearing more protective clothing during peak sun hours.
It‘s crucial to be proactive about sun protection.
Your wardrobe can be an effective tool in this effort.
By making informed choices about the fabrics, colors, and styles you wear, you can significantly reduce your exposure to harmful UV rays.
Sunscreen remains a vital part of your defense, but, your everyday clothing can offer an additional layer of protection that supports your overall skin protection.
So, the next time you curate your outfit, keep these tips in mind.
Your skin will thank you for the care and consideration you put into your sun protection regimen.
Here’s to enjoying the sun responsibly and embracing a stylish, sun-safe lifestyle!
Why Protect Your Skin?
The Science and Necessity of Sun-Blocking Clothing is a multi-faceted issue and one that we must come to terms with.
Sun-blocking clothing is also known as sun-protective clothing.
Using clothing is emerging as a vital component for safeguarding human health against the harmful effects of solar radiation.
We live in an era where skin health and prevention of ultraviolet (UV) radiation-related disorders are unquestionable. The significance of sun-blocking clothing cannot be overstated.
In this short summary, I would like to remind you of the rationale behind the use of such clothing for skin protection from the sun.
Being careless about keeping your skin safe from the sun is leading to health-related disorders other than sunburn. Because sunscreen is marketed using images of beautifully tanned individuals, we thought we were buying beauty and attractiveness in a bottle!
We bought the idea that a tan was good for us before we bought the idea of protecting our skin from the sun.
This is a myth that we need to acknowledge and move forward with.
Tans are not healthy, they are often dangerous.
Your first action to protect your skin should begin with your thinking. Tans are not healthy.
Blocking Dangerous UV Rays
Radiation from the sun affects your skin health.
The sun emits a spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. And UV radiation is of particular concern. UV radiation is categorized into UVA, UVB, and UVC.
Science has proved that UVA and UVB are the most relevant to human health.
Extended exposure to these UV rays can lead to many skin-related issues. These issues range from sunburn and premature aging to more severe conditions like skin cancer. There are also auto-autoimmune diseases related to excessive sun exposure.
Sun blocking clothing will serve as a proactive barrier against these harmful rays.
With the special sun blocking abilities manufactured right in the clothing it is specifically designed and engineered to absorb, reflect, and disperse UV radiation.
The effectiveness of such clothing is measured by its Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF), akin to the SPF rating for sunscreens.
High UPF ratings indicate superior protection against UV rays.
Garments are constructed from tightly woven fabrics. Then they are treated with UV-absorbing compounds.
Then, the added benefit of being designed with strategic coverage will significantly increase your body’s defense against solar radiation.
Sun blocking clothing works as long as it is on your body. (Please read the label to see if the garment protects when it is wet.)
Yes to Sun Blocking Clothing and Sunscreen!
While sunscreen is a good tool for UV protection, it has limitations.
When using sunscreen you must frequently reapply. And for some, this frequent application equals skin irritation.
Sun blocking clothing complements the use of sunscreen by providing continuous protection for the areas covered. This reduces the reliance on frequent applications.
When used in tandem, sun-blocking clothing and sunscreen create a synergistic shield, fortifying the skin’s resilience against UV damage.
However, please note, nothing will protect your skin from repeated exposure to the sun. You will be as protected as possible with the information we have today.
But, you will still turn slightly tan if you are in the sun all day, day after day even clothed in sun blocking clothing, and all uncovered skin protected with sunscreen.
The sun is relentless with excessive exposure. Layers of protection will serve you well.
However include another layer of sun protection with umbrellas, breaks in the shade, pop-up tents, and even the shade of a building or wall.
Another safe thing to do is avoid mid-day exposure when rays are especially strong.
Let’s Protect for the Long Haul
Wearing sun blocking clothing is a proactive measure to mitigate the risk of various skin conditions.
These skin conditions can include sunburn, photoaging, skin cancer, and an increased risk of autoimmune issues.
Skin cancer, notably melanoma, is a rapidly growing global health concern.
Science attributed this growth to the use of sun beds 30 years or more ago. There is also growing concern as we deal with more of the global warming issue about the ozone layer.
The regular use of sun-blocking clothing as a preventive measure holds the potential to significantly reduce the development of this life-threatening ailment.
Awareness makes adopting sun protection strategies easier.
What ABout Out Grown Garments
Does it matter how the particular garment fits?
A loose-fitting long-sleeve shirt of tightly woven fabric is more protective than tighter-fitting knit shirts. Tight-fitting clothing is stretched and will allow UV radiation to penetrate the garment.
Think denim, chambray, or blended weaves. A lined garment will offer added protection but will be warmer to wear in hot weather. Stretchy fabrics that fit loosely and are tightly woven will protect you. Check for pinpricks of light getting through.
Clothing needs to be loose-fitting if worn in warmer seasons of the year. The heat that is absorbed needs to be able to escape your body. A loose fit allows air to flow around your body.
Think about the loose-fitting robes worn in the hotter desert parts of our world. As the person moves about the air can remove the heat from their body if the garment is loosely fitted.
If a garment fits tightly you will sweat more.
Does Color Matter?
What about color and sun reflection’s effect on skin protection from the sun?
The darker the color, the better the UV protection. Darker colors like black, navy, and brown can absorb more UV rays than lighter colors. Deep shades of red, green, or orange will also absorb the rays that will cause sunburn.
Whites and light colors reflect the UV rays, as long as the fabric is tightly woven. Otherwise, some very damaging Ultraviolet rays will get through to your skin.
Beware of very lightweight fabrics, unless they are specially treated or constructed. If you choose to wear fun lightweight clothing that will not protect your skin, layer up with sunscreen.
Make sure to correctly apply sunscreen. And reapply often, even under your clothing.
Stay in the shade, and use umbrellas if no shade is available. Stay under awnings and the shades of buildings and trees. Don’t be out in the bright sun.
Wear lightweight light-colored clothing in the evening and at night. Also early mornings, before 10 AM. Staying safe from sunburn is not so hard if you are aware of how to protect yourself and your family.
Or, just make it a point to stay out of the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM during the hotter time of the year. Keep your children out of the sun during these hotter hours as well. They can play in the early morning hours and later in the afternoons.
Worn Clothing From Your Closet May Not Protect Your Skin Very Much.
The protection you get from your clothing will change after a while just from the wear and laundering. After a while, the garment’s ability to protect your skin will change.
For example, if a garment is faded, stretched, or worn out, it may not work as well for protecting you from the sun.
Wet clothes will also offer less protection from the sun. Is your tee shirt wet from sweating or swimming?
If so, you have lost your sunblocking power. Getting to the shade while your shirt dries is a good idea.
If you are wearing clothes from your closet, remember that having a loose fit is very important. We are in a fashion time of close-fitting clothing. Men and women both wear closer fitting clothing in this world today.
However, tighter-fitting clothing will mean you will be warmer while in the sun.
Loose-fitting clothing gives you breathing room. You need space for some air to move around your body. This allows your body to cool, and dry as well when you sweat down. Remember how good it feels to pull out your shirt when it has been tucked into a pair of tight jeans?
Being comfortable while blocking the sun is important.
No one will not want to wear their sun blocking shirt if it makes you hot and sweaty.
Your kids will be removing their shirts as well. Make sure they can wear the shirt so it can protect their bodies.
When you have your shirt on, it covers the trunk of your body. That is a good amount of skin!
You can wear regular clothes from your closet to protect your skin from sun damage.
The sun is dangerous.
Shirts Already In Your Closet
- Polyester and other man-made fabrics will provide great UV if they are tightly woven with no weave holes. The downside is that they are fabrics that don’t breathe. This makes them especially hot under the sun unless there is a loose fit.
- Cotton, linen, and viscose are examples of fabrics that offer poor UV protection unless specially treated or especially tightly woven. The protection ranges between 5 to 25 UPF, which may be enough to avoid sunburn, but the accumulated sun exposure may lead to skin damage, which sets you up for skin cancer.
- Luminosa fabrics (an example of special fabric branding, there are many brands) offer UV Protection of 50+. This assures you that less than 1/50 of UV rays, or only 2% can pass through the fabric. This protects your skin from all harmful UV rays while retaining softness and breathability.
Obviously, the comfort of wear is what the special fabrics bring. It is important to be comfortable. This assures that we will wear our sun blocking shirts and keep our skin comfortable.
Darker denim shirts are an example of tightly woven. Twill is another fabric that is very tightly woven.
How Long Will My New UPF Shirt Last?
Now that you have your new sun blocking shirt, how long will it keep you safe from the sun?
We have only discussed the numbers of the sun protection level of the clothing when new. If your garment is cared for as the label directs, you should have a good life from the item.
According to the customer service department of the Coolibar brand, most garments have a life of 2 years if it is properly cared for. Other brands have about 30 laundry times.
It is important to follow the label directions.
Garments will also be less protective if they show wear. If you have been wearing a backpack or a “fanny belt” you may have spots on your shirts where you have worn the fabric some. Your back could get a sunburn through those spots.
Do you tie your shirt around your waist by the sleeves? This can cause some wear in the sleeves and weak spots in the fabric that will mean sunburn on your arms.
You can enjoy your UPF clothing, just pay attention. You have paid extra money for the extra features. Help them to work for you.
How Does The Fabric Become Sun Blocking Fabric?
So, how does the manufacturer make the sun blocking fabric actually do what they promise?
- Fabrics That Have Dye Added
Colorless dyes, kind of like a sealer help block out the UV rays. The process is done during the manufacturing making it a longer-lasting treatment for the fabric. This process is not eco-friendly, and the chemicals typically begin to wash out after a few laundry cycles. This process is improving, becoming more permanent. The manufacturers continue to find ways to increase their product’s longevity.
- Tightly woven fabrics.
The second most used process to make a fabric UPF 50 is to make sure the fabric is tightly woven. The tighter the weave, the better the fabric will protect. Remember, the holes in between the fibers allow sunlight to get through to your skin.
- Luminous fabric is a term for newer fabrics that combine the knowledge of fabric manufacturing into different methods of production. This third process has the manufacturers using special methods to end up with a lighter-weight fabric.
Remember, protecting you from the sun and keeping you cooler are two different procedures.
Yes, a shirt may still be hot and cause you to sweat, but protects you from the sun.
Just as a shirt may feel cool, but gives you all but zero Sun Protection. Like that favorite worn-out white tee shirt.
The most common fabrics with these tight weaves are denim and polyester.
Something is better than nothing.
Remembering Why We Are Discussing Sun Blocking Fabric
You can do something about protecting your skin from the sun
Covering up is the first step. This makes the choices in kinds of fabrics important. If you don’t wear your sun blocking clothing when you are out in the sun, it will not help.
Putting clothing on your skin is what protects you from the sun. The skin you cover from the sun is protected some.
Add sunscreen. Sunscreen will help some if you get it on correctly, and reapply after swimming or sweating.
Who doesn’t like trying to get sunscreen on a sweaty arm or face?
Yes, we need sunscreen. Alone it just hasn’t done the job. We all need the clothing layer, even those who think they don’t need it.
Is your risk level high because you are a redhead? Red-haired individuals have very high risk levels. Being aware of where the sun is and that you are protecting your skin is very important.
Fabric Basics That Make Sun-Protective Clothing Work
Even the weave of a protective sun hat is important for the protection of your skin. The straw of the hat in the image is tightly woven. However, by checking for how much sun can get through the weave, you will be more certain of the protection.
The level of skin protection from the sun that you have from a fabric made into a garment is determined by the weave, the color, and the thickness. The stretch is also important as is whether the fabric is wet or dry.
The two exceptions to keeping your sun blocking shirt dry are if the fabric is silk. These fabrics usually retain their ability to protect your skin at a decent level if wet.
Polyester contains a benzene ring that absorbs UV light naturally. Some manufacturers add UV absorbers at different stages in the manufacturing process to produce higher levels of protection.
According to Wikipedia, one chemical company, BASF embedded nanoparticles of titanium dioxide into a nylon fabric, which can be used for sun-protective clothing that maintains its UV protection when wet. New methods are being found, and older processes are examined and refined to help us stay safe from the sun.
Can I Add Fabric Brighteners To Make My Sun Blocking Shirt Work Better And Last Longer?
There have been some studies using fabric brighteners in the laundry cycle. These studies indicate that washing fabrics in detergents containing fabric brighteners, which absorb UV radiation, might increase the garment’s protective capability.
The color brighteners treat the threads the fabric is woven from, making the threads larger around, you know, kind of like me, fluffy!
They fill more space and give a tighter weave because they are thicker. This will last through several laundry cycles and improves the overall ability of the garment to block the UV rays from our skin.
If you have a family, using these products on the favorites in their wardrobe already will help make the shirts they have to do a better job of protecting their skin.
Buying a UPF wardrobe for a family all at one time can get expensive. To say nothing of how a laundry treatment will help hand-me-downs.
With new technology, the textiles designed for the sole purpose of UV blocking, are not as easy to rate. These new methods make it difficult to judge the UV protection level simply by holding up the fabric and examining how much visible light passes on through the shirt.
Yes, Improved Manufacturing Can Produce Fabric That Is Easier To Wear
These new fabrics can also provide more protection when designed into sun blocking clothing.
- These specially manufactured fabrics can be easy to wear.
- By combining cotton and viscose with other fabrics, the design and weight of the garments better fit your needs.
- The old favorite of black or dark blue denim jeans can remain a part of the mix.
- Wool can be combined with other fabrics allowing breathable clothing.
- We can have satin-finished silk of any weight to offer variety in our sun blocking clothing.
- Innovation has made it possible to have tightly woven Bamboo/Lycra fabric to protect our skin from the sun. (I love how this fabric feels)
- Blended fibers such as polyacrylonitrile allow more style design freedom.
- Even 100% polyester, a great sun blocking fabric can be given extra protection power when manufacturers combine it with other fibers.
- We can still have our tightly woven fabrics, especially good for long pants and shorts.
- With most of the cotton fabric going through a bleaching treatment to make it more attractive, new methods can produce more attractive unbleached cotton garments by being able to blend in the manufacturing or treat with special sealers.
These are the kinds of fabrics and blended fabrics that produce better protection for your skin.
These Fabrics Offer Less Sun Protection
Be leery of wearing the following list of fabrics in the daytime. Know there will be less skin protection from the sun if your shirt is:
- Polyester crepe is a fabric I really enjoy but will be better in the late afternoon or evening when I don’t need sun protection help.
- Late afternoon or nighttime wear will be better for bleached cotton shirts. Evening or night, as well as in winter when there will be layers to protect me from the sun.
- This fabric is usually in a fun garment. Now that I know that viscose doesn’t protect me from very much sun unless combined with other fibers, I can make better choices.
- Knits are not a good choice unless made from specially treated fibers. Knits also tend to fit tighter, causing the fabric to be stretched. Be aware.
- While you may love your undyed or white jeans, remember that the dye acts as an extra barrier to the sun because the treads that make up the fabric are fatter and more tightly woven. With white, you only have fabric, making white jeans better for nighttime wear.
- Clothes you already have are often worn. Or the fabric is older and washed and thinner in spots. These should not be considered for wearing in the bright sun when UV rays are stronger. Save the comfy old clothes to put on after a long day in the sun. When the sun is no longer so dangerous.
Do You Have Your Sun Blocking Hat?
The World Health Organization has declared that continuous exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun causes harmful effects on your skin, eyes, and immune system.
The immune system was a surprise to me. I can see the results of sunburn. However, the immune system is slower to show you the results of too much sun, at least for me.
Wearing a hat that gives good UV protection is an important preventative measure to help reduce these risks.
Yes, sun blocking hats are considered “sun blocking clothing.” When I first started learning about protecting my skin from the sun, I was not as aware of the importance of hats.
It is well-established evidence that exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun can lead to skin cancer.
Wide-brimmed hats, like bucket hats with wide brims and legionnaire-style hats, are effective methods of keeping the sun off your head, ears, face, and neck. Due to the effects of reflective UV rays, hats alone may leave you with unprotected skin in some areas.
Applying sunscreen will help with the skin on your head, face, neck, nose, and ears.
Hats offer a good bit of protection and allow the breeze to cool your skin. They are an important part of your sun blocking wardrobe. In fact, they are the 2nd most important.
Do you know what the most important sun protection is? Your sunglasses!
How Is A Sun-Blocking Hat Made?
The better sun hat will be made of a tightly woven fabric. This can be a straw if it is woven tightly. Canvas cloth is good for bucket-style hats. Make sure it is comfortable because if it isn’t it won’t get much wear. You do have to wear your hat to have the protection you need.
Your sun hats are your first line of defense against the direct sun. However, when it is cloudy there is more indirect and scattered solar UVR. These reflective or indirect and scattered UV rays are why you will need sunscreen as well.
Think about when you are in the boat on the water and you will understand why you need sunscreen too. Especially for the younger kids using sunscreen and a sun-blocking hat is important.
Reflections from the beach sand, from the cement around a pool, or from a building around a play area for your kids can cause sunburn quickly.
Although sun blocking hats and sunglasses are helpful, a combination of the five sun-protective measures will be more effective working together when you or your kids are outside between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Your sun blocking shirt is item # 3, with long pants or long skirts # 4. Sunscreen rounds out your skin protection.
The Design Of Your Sun Hat And The Protection You Get
The amount of protection provided for different areas of your face can vary. Protecting your nose, forehead, cheeks, neck, and ears will vary significantly depending on the type of hat and the design.
For example, broad-brimmed hats for adults with a brim of 3 inches or more do a better job of shading more of your facial areas than baseball caps.
Caps provide reasonable protection to the scalp, as long as the fabric is tightly woven. Your forehead and nose also get protected fairly well, but there is almost no protection for your neck and ears. Then there is the “Keyhole” the adjustment strap makes.
Awareness of how you are exposing your skin to the dangers of the sun will help you make better decisions for protecting yourself. Covering your skin during the hotter times of the day is so important. This will pay off with healthier skin and fewer skin cancers as you go through life.
Your Sun Blocking Wardrobe
The World Health Organization says we need a combination of sun blocking clothing and sunscreen to keep our skin safe. Sunscreen manufacturers would have you believe that you only need sunscreen.
Research is proving that the wise use of both clothing and sunscreen gives our skin the best protection when exposed to the sun’s rays.
So your sunglasses and your sun hat are the 2 most important items of sun blocking clothing. With a good full-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF and a sun hat with at least a 3-inch wide brim, you will have the start of your sun blocking wardrobe.
If you find that you are usually in situations of being around water or lots of reflective surfaces like beach sand, applying sunscreen to your face and neck is important. Your nose is also vernable. Protect it in every way you can.
Obviously, your sunglasses and hat will combine to do a better job of blocking the sun. Keeping you safer from sunburn. Just those 2 items and you are on your way when combining with sunscreen.
Your shirts and pants make the whole sun protection thing better and easier.
What Is The Best Sun Protective Shirt?
After your sunglasses and your sun blocking hat, let’s look in your closet for your sun blocking shirt.
So, you are still reading, and you realize the importance of clothing and protecting your skin from the sun. We have been tanning addicts long enough. The sun can cause some real problems with your skin.
Check out the shirt you have to protect you from the sun.
It has to be a tightly woven fabric. You will need long sleeves. Don’t forget the loosely fitting part of a good sun blocking shirt. A darker color is usually better than a lighter one. The whole concept is really simple.
We just have to cover up. Keep the sun off our skin. Yes, if your shirt isn’t tightly woven, you could sunburn through the material! And yes, that kind of skin damage will also cause skin cancer.
The best sun protection shirt? Usually, it is one you will wear.
This is what makes the UPF shirts worth the money. The shirt may be easier to wear in the sun if it is a breathable lightweight fabric.
Until you get that shirt, please make the best decision you can with what is in your closet.
Safe Fun In The Sun
Let us consider some facts that can allow you and your family to stay healthy and safer from the sun. This is important for everyone to think about as they are considering spending time in the sun.
It is quickly becoming summer here in central Texas. We are in a serious drought and need rain. The weather people are predicting more days of near 100* or more.
When considering the summer league ball games, encourage the coaches to hold practice times after 4 p.m. Few coaches can schedule practice times in the early morning for our younger kids. They all have jobs and so coaching comes after work.
Saturday games are often a challenge with the sun getting so hot. When your child is practicing or playing, stay for the time your child is there.
Help the coaches watch for the signs of too much heat with your child and teammates. The coaches are watching, but often little signs will catch the attention of parents quickly.
Have water for you and your family during these sessions. You need to stay hydrated also, even if you are “just watching.”
For me, hats, sunglasses, and a loose-fitting long-sleeve shirt are important.
You need your sunglasses and sun hats. Remember a sun blocking shirt. It may be after the hotter time of day, but seldom is there any shade.
Be Alert For Sunburn
Nothing ruins a fun outing like sunburn. Treating sunburn is important, and can offer complications. Know what you are dealing with. Prepare ahead and be ready. Staying safe is easier when you have more awareness of how dangerous a nap in the direct sun can be.
When you know that shade and hydration are life-saving and usually easily available. Being aware will allow you to prepare for time in the sun and stay safe.
You will sunburn quicker if you don’t stay hydrated. Drinking water, moving into the shade. Such simple steps when you are aware.
Building Your Sun Prevention Wardrobe
When you are ready to invest in sun prevention clothing, reading labels is very important. You need to know what to expect from your new sun blocking clothing. Knowing the limitations is equally important. Don’t assume that it will do what you need to do. The label will keep you informed.
Do you wonder about having swimsuits that have UV protection? When you are in the water, you aren’t able to stay dry! Most swimsuit labels warn about losing some of the sun protection when wet.
However, if you wear your swimsuit a lot out of the pool, this might be a good buy for you. I would rather put my money on a UV-treated coverup. That would have me covered before and after times in the pool.
Obviously, tanning is not how I would be spending my time. So think about how you spend your outdoor time.
How do you get your exposure to the sun? Do you participate in a sport that has you out during the dangerous times of the day, from 10 AM to 4 PM?
Think about what you are putting your money into for your sun protection wardrobe.
Here Is Where My Sun Blocking Wardrobe Dollars Will Be Going
As I am at a different time in my life from what I have ever been before. My family is all grown with children of their own. I now can control the hours I am in the sun.
I help in the yard some, so I need a tightly woven hat with at least a 3-inch-wide brim. A pair of UV-blocking sunglasses, and a loosely-fitting long-sleeve shirt of a tightly woven fabric or a UV-resistant treated material. Gloves for the backs of my hands.
We don’t stay out in the heat like we are having this year here in the hill country of Central Texas. We are also in a drought so outside is not getting much attention. If things don’t change soon, the water restrictions will go into effect. Watering a yard is not on our agenda.
Attending a little league baseball game or a football game will be my outside times for this summer. There my sun hat, sunglasses, and shirt will be my go-to. If possible we will have an umbrella or two as well. Limited time out in the direct sun also is a part of the plan.
When I am faithful to my walking program, I walk very early. Walking after 8:AM in the hotter times of the year doesn’t happen.
Think about how your daily life goes, and when and where you will need protection from the sun. I am so grateful to not have to depend on sunscreen alone!
How Long Does Your Clothing Continue To Protect Your Skin?
Understanding more about the fabrics part of sunblocking clothing will help you make better decisions about what you already have in your closet. There are probably some garments already hanging there that can help keep your skin safe.
The best sun blocking fabric is tightly woven and has a darker color. Think cotton denim or a blended poly-cotton.
To get the denim fabric, the manufacturer uses a very tight weave. The fabrics are tightly woven, with the treads very close together. Denim is sturdy and withstands wear.
However, there will still be signs of wear. Today’s fashion of distressed denim will not protect your legs or body as well as regular denim. The places that show distress will allow more sun through because those places are not as strong as the regular fabric is.
Many fabrics can block some of the sun’s harmful rays because they are naturally resistant to fading from sunlight exposure. Some materials are just naturally better for sun safety than others.
You will need to make wiser decisions, now that you know how important it is to protect your skin. The wisest decision will be to stay out of the mid-day sun. If you have to work out in the mid-day sun, at least stay in the shade when possible.
Sami’s Take On Do You Have Questions About Sun Blocking Clothing?
My path of learning about the dangers of the sun is daily finding new practical experiences.
And these experiences are helping me change years of bad habits. Years when we really didn’t know so much about the dangers of the sun. We can’t undo the damage we have already caused. All because we were not paying attention to protecting our skin.
How has your learning experience gone as you have learned about the dangers of the sun? Are you practicing safer sun habits?
Are you covering your skin? Wearing sun blocking sunglasses? Make sure to grab your sun blocking hat at you go out to the garden, or even to a ball game.
Are you making sure to keep yourself extra protected between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM in the more direct times of the year?
Are you adding sunscreen every day? I am glad to say, this has finally become a habit, I don’t have to remember it. I did have to try more than one product to get a sunscreen that works for me daily.
My sunglasses and hat are easier to remember as the sun is so bright and I don’t drive without them.
Don’t give up on yourself. Give yourself credit for what you do get right.
Think about all those sunburns you avoided because you protected your skin. Keep moving forward and keeping yourself and your family safe from the sun