How Does UV Protective Clothing Work?

How does UV protective clothing work

How Does UV Protective Clothing Work?

Dermatologists agree that protecting your skin from the sun is essential not only to avoid sunburns, but also to reduce the risk of getting premature skin aging and severe health conditions like skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen is the most common way to protect yourself from ultraviolet (UV) rays, but did you know that your clothes can play a huge part as well? Sun protective clothing refers to garments especially designed to provide UV protection. Today we will introduce you to this particular type of clothing and we will answer two of the most frequently asked questions: how does UV protective clothing work? What is UPF?

How does UV protective clothing work: Fabrics and Designs


Even though all clothes provide a certain level of protection from UV rays, regular fabrics let the light penetrate through the holes in the weaves and get to your skin. In UV protective garments, instead, the density of weaves is higher and form a barrier that blocks sun’s rays. The fabrics that provide more protection are cotton viscose fabrics, unbleached cotton, wool garments, 100% polyester, satin-finished silk, polyacrylonitrile and dark denim jeans. Moreover, some garments can be pre-treated with UV-inhibiting ingredients that will increase their effectiveness.


All type of clothing and PPE can present UV protective fabric, like our t-shirts, polos, shorts, and spectacles. However, in order to get full protection, it is recommended to choose UV protective clothing presenting a design that cover most of the body, such as jackets, t-shirts featuring long sleeves and ankle-length trousers.

How Does UV Protective Clothing Work
50+ UPF Hi Vis T-Shirt
How Does UV Protective Clothing Work
50+ UPF Zip Front Hooded Sweatshirt

Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)

To fully understand how UV protective clothing works, it is essential to get familiar with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). UPF is the rating indicating how much of the sun’s rays that particular garment can block, and it can be found on clothing labels. However, it is important to note that regardless of UPF rate, is the garment gets wet it will lose some of its effectiveness.

UPF rating % UV radiation blocked
UPF 15–24 93.3–95.9
UPF 25–39 96.0–97.4
UPF 40–50+ 97.5–98+

Now that you know how UV protective clothing works and you are familiar with UPF, contact us and browse our full collection of Workwear to find the best UV protective garments!

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