how much sun protection does clothing provide

How Much Sun Protection Does Clothing Provide?

If you’re wondering how much sun protection does clothing provide, this article will help you answer that question.

Find out how much clothes protect you from UV rays, what alternatives there are, how it works and whether it makes a difference or not.

Ultraviolet Rays & Its Potential Harm

Forty years ago the search for materials that can adequately block out UV rays began in Australia, but it’s not just for protection against skin cancer.

There are two types of UV rays, UV A which has a longer reach and ages skin faster.

UV rays B that have a shorter reach, though these types of UV rays bounce off the skin, they can cause cancer.

These three main kinds of skin melanoma, basal cell disease, squamous cell growth, and melanoma .

They’re primarily caused by exposure to UV rays.

If the skin is left unprotected, UV rays can cause harm to the DNA in the skin cells.

This can lead to skin anomalies and potential problems associated with skin cancer (as well as faster aging).

Later on, in 1998, the AATCC accepted the Australian UPF standard in the US.

After that, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) started developing a standard for producing clothing that will protect the wearer from UV rays.

Millions of garments testing occur each year using the AATCC and ASTM standards.

These types of clothing are carefully designed to be comfortable.

Not only that, they also provide the most protection and affordability than the alternative, which is sunscreen.

Advantages of Sun Protective Clothing

One sun-protective shirt lasts many seasons.

It also maintains its UPF rating after getting washed a thousand times.

This type of UV clothing that shields you from the sun is found at local retailers.

They come too with big discounts.

Often, they’re available when shopping online in the winter.

Dermatologists highly recommend using sun-protective clothing because they give the best sun protection.

These clothes are better than sunscreen because they’re not determined by the application of sun-screen, as well as the expiry date.

Moreover, the degree of protection is constant, unlike results from sun-screen.

Also, health care providers recommend that if you use sunscreen, it should be water-resistant.

Moreover, it should have at least SPF 50 and applied on exposed skin every 2 hours.

What to Keep in Mind When Shopping for UV Protective Clothing for Utmost Protection

Clothing in general will shield you from the sun.

But not all materials and colors will give you equal shielding.

Keep the following factors in mind when shopping for protective clothing.


Dark or radiant colors will keep UV rays from getting to your skin by absorbing the sun rays.

These colors also prevent UV rays from penetrating the clothing.

This is why darker and more radiant colors give you better protection and not lighter colors.


Heavily interlaced cloth like denim, canvas, wool, and synthetic fibers give more protection than thin (lightly) interlaced cloth.

One way to check the fabric’s protective capability is by holding it up against the sun.

If you can see through the material, then the UV radiation can go through the material easily and reach your skin.


The process with which the clothing material is made matters.

Unbleached cotton is a natural UV absorber.

Polyester and lightweight satiny silks have high protection because of their radiation reflection.

Fabrics created with high-tech and treated with chemicals are ultraviolet absorbers.

They can also stop some of the UV rays from penetrating the clothes and reaching the skin.


Loose-fitting clothes are more desirable because tight clothes stretch and allow, therefore, UV rays to go through.

The fibers in this situation pull away from one another.

Because of this, they allow more UV rays to pass through them.

Ultraviolet Protection

Some apparel makers add the ultraviolet protection labels.

These labels tell us exactly how much the piece of clothing shields us from UV rays.


If your clothing covers more skin, then you logically have more protection from the sun.

Long-sleeved garments, pants, and long skirts give more sun protection.


Additionally, if your apparel gets wet or the fabrics start pulling away from one another, they will lose their ability to shield you from potentially damaging UV rays.

They will also become more transparent.

Keeping these factors in mind is key when going outside at high temperatures.

It’s all about protecting yourself from the UV rays.

People these days usually, don’t think about the protection their clothing gives.

Fewer than one-quarter of youths wear a cap (23%), or sunglasses (24%).

Adults are more conscious of the need for protection.

Several adults use sunglasses (57%), a cap (45%) and wear ¾ length or large leg-cover (44%).

36% of adults use sunscreen products on the weekend when outside.

Potential Factors of UV Danger & How to Shield Yourself

 The strength of the sun rays is important to consider.

Amount of ultraviolet exposure is very dependent on the time you’re under the sun and for how long you leave your skin exposed, and if you’re wearing proper apparel or sunscreen products.

If you’re living in an area with heavy sunlight, then you’re at a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

It’s very important to consider how much time you spend outside working or having fun without this type of apparel.

If you do not regulate this, it’s going to increase the chances of developing cancer.

The chances of skin cancer are high for those with an exposure pattern.

For example, recurrent sunburns in childhood can have a rise in risk for some types of skin cancer, later in life.

Some people have a higher chance of being harmed by sunrays much easier than other people for different reasons.

One of the easiest ways of protecting yourself from sunrays is simply by wearing a hat.

A hat that has at least a 2-3 inch brim is ideal .

It shields the places that are often at risk of being sunburned, those being the ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.

Having a dark underside that is also non-reflective lowers the amount of UV-rays that will be able to get through the clothing, from reflecting surfaces such as water.

A shade cap that has 7 inches of fabric is also good.

This will give the neck added protection.

These kinds of caps sell in sports stores and outdoor supply stores.

As an alternative, if you don’t wear a hat you can wear a handkerchief or a bandana under a baseball cap.

The baseball cap only protects the front and top of the head .

It doesn’t protect the neck or ears though, where skin cancers are most likely to appear.

While Going to the Beach These Are the Things You Need to Keep in Mind

When spending your days on the white sandy beaches, we think of nothing better than the perfect weather.

We mainly go to the beach for fun and relaxation.

We can’t wait for summer to come.

Being careful while going out in the sun especially on the beach is key.

You need a carefully thought out strategy on how to stay safe while having fun activities.

Staying in the Shade

What reduces sun exposure greatly is staying in the shade under an umbrella, pavilion or a shady tree throughout the highest temperatures during the day.

Going in between sun and shade will greatly reduce the potential damage it can potentially cause. 


If you’re outside for the larger part of the day, the clothing you wear will have a very big impact on the level of UV-ray protection, even greater if you wear UV-ray protective clothing.

Finding the right apparel with good ultraviolet protection is key.

These are the specific types of ratings you should lookout for:

15, 20 – Good Protection

25, 30, 35 Very Good Protection)

40, 45, 50, 50+ Excellent protection.

The effectiveness of UV transmission I percentage:

6.7 – 4.2 Good Protection

4.1 – 2.6 Very Good Protection

less than 2.5 Excellent Protection


Sunglasses will also give protection for your eyes for cataract reduction.

They protect the tender skin around the eyes from forming wrinkles.

Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays give you the best protection.

Also, wrap-around sunglasses will work wonders for this issue because they block UV rays from getting to the sides.

Things To Remember

While clothing with a high ultraviolet protection factor gives you very proper shielding while going to the beach, this alone will not suffice.

 For you to have the best protection is a combination of different factors we have mentioned above.

Wearing clothing that gives UV protection is a must.

Sunscreen is also a must.

It’s recommended to have high SPF factor to prevent sunburn.

Wearing sunglasses that offer 100 percent UV protection is the best way to prevent cataracts.

Being under an umbrella or any kind of shade is key.

Monitoring ,as well as, limiting time duration of exposure to the sun during peak daylight hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m should be seriously considered.

Taking these precautions will surely provide you with the much needed protection from harmful UV rays.

Solar Energy in Clothing

Solar-powered panels in the past had limited usage.

When thinking about a solar collector, you probably envision a panel sitting on your rooftop.

Today solar power mostly powers home appliances like a slow cooker or tumble dryer, but it’s expanding in clothing as well.

This is only possible through solar cell fabrics.

It’s coming out in stores real soon.

Introducing Solar Fabric

Solar panels are created from silicon wafers or other types of materials that enable them to be placed in an area to collect the sun rays for energy purposes.

Sadly, this hasn’t been possible for clothing until recently.

The amount of research focused on this area has made a huge breakthrough in creating solar cell components that are functional.

Furthermore, they can also be placed in clothing as well.

The usefulness of these materials is amazing.

Now you can charge your cellphone and tablets with your clothing as well.

It’s all because of the small panels that are embedded in your clothing.

Your car seat, when embedded with these materials, can help charge the electronics in your car or keep your phone at 100% while you drive.

The possibilities are truly endless.

These little things can make our daily life a lot easier.

Let’s look at what makes this possible.

Charging our phones and tablets with USB that is external or in this case, integrated into the fabric of the clothing will be very convenient for the wearers.

If these materials are implemented for other purposes on a grander scale, there will definitely be a huge cutback in electrical power being used.

The biggest problem that needs tackling first is the size of these materials.

The challenging part of making these clothes with this material is quite obvious.

Garments shrink over time, thus, affecting everything embedded or sewn to the clothing.

In 2017, “the University of Tokyo and research institute RIKEN” demonstrated a prototype called ultra-thin photovoltaic material.

This is a material that can stretch and is waterproof.

This means that it can be washed in a machine.

Clothing with embedded solar cells that are just 3mm x 1.5mm create these solar-powered clothes.

Even though the solar cells are small, the technology is big.

Wearing these solar-powered clothing is also comfortable as well, as useful.

Solar Fabric for Tents

Solar-powered tents is a potential for people who have suffered a sudden loss of their homes from a natural disaster like flooding or earthquake.

This will give shelter and electrical power, avoiding installing power generators nearby.

The electrical power is renewable.

People in these situations will get it almost instantly.

Normally, power generators take a long time to arrive and be installed.

Moreover, with solar powered tents, fewer people and resources needed to be dispatched for emergencies.

Getting the tents to the target destination is the only worry you would have in a situation like this.Solar

Solar-powered tents can bring relief faster and more reliable than anything out there!

The only potential problem would be if there is no sunlight.

Everything that was once considered science fiction can be a reality now.

The waterproofing comes from each cell being able to keep intact with all kinds of environments like heavy rains and washing machine cycles.

A notable problem with the usage of this technology in clothes is that it’s very much in its early stages.

Learning about the micro-sized cells in-depth is key for understanding what the possibilities are and their countless uses.

The amount of information that needs learning is abundant.

There is a lot to learn here. 

These prototypes are indicators of what’s to come, but they’re so far only still prototypes.

With enough resources, it will soon be made into reality.

It will make our lives different in the sense that it will make it easier.

“Markus B. Schubert and H.Werner of Stuttgart universities wrote in a 2006 article that finding the right combination of traits is hard”.

 It means that science is yet to find a way to embed solar panels into clothing effectively.

This method hasn’t been found yet.

It’s only when this problem gets to be solved, can we be able to see mass manufacturing of these types of clothes.

But this idea will come into reality sooner than later.

Solar-Powered Hats & Their Different Uses

Not only clothes, but hats as well are being embedded with solar-powered cells.

People when faced with hot days, usually like to kick back and have a cold drink in an air-conditioned room.

Using solar-powered hats were created for people to be able to stay cool outdoors for a longer time.

Batteries are not needed as these hats are solar charged.

These are just a few of the amazing products scientists have created.

Solar Hat Varieties

There are hats that have cooling fans that store energy from the sun and can be used for playing sports.

These hats are comfortable and easily adjustable to your head size.

So you don’t have to worry about that.

Children and adults can use these hats alike.

And the interesting part about these hats is that, they turn on when you go outside and turn off when you go indoors.

There are also hats for the people who have to work outside during the hot summer days,.

The wearer can choose the amount of battery power, from 3000 to 6000 milliamp hours.

These solar panels are also waterproof, so if it’s raining outside you can still use it.

There are also hats that have a compass, as well as a USB port for charging your phone.

These hats are made with high-quality materials, so they won’t be a health threat.

These hats have a lot of different uses for every person, the key is to make your life easier.

Final Thoughts

This topic seems to be from a science fiction movie.

The interesting part is the many different ways we can use these potentially deadly UV rays to our advantage.

But still being careful won’t hurt right?

UvVrays are both helpful and harmful.

We just have to make the most of the benefits of the UV rays.

With sun rays as an energy source, we can be sure in making an everlasting change to the environment in many positive ways.

Keep in mind, though, that some of this technology is very new.

It has a long way to go, especially for mass-production.

But the potential benefits are there for us to enjoy enormously.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on how much sun protection does clothing provide.

If you have something to add, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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