It’s well known that clothing is the best means of sun protection. But not all fabrics are equal.
Recently I investigated having my Simply Joolz sun accessories analysed for Ultra Violet (UV) protection, however, they’re made from offcuts of lycra and often ‘one-of’s’ making it unrealistic to do so.
An article reproduced in the Skin Cancer Foundation Journal* clarified which fabrics make you sun-safe. Lycra, with its tighter knit or weave, is pretty much up there for sun protection. For instance:
‘The tighter the knit or weave, the smaller the holes and less UV can get through. Synthetic fibres such as polyester, lycra, nylon, and acrylic are more protective than bleached cottons. Shiny or lustrous semi-synthetic fabrics like rayon reflect more UV than do matt ones such as linen, which tend to absorb rather than reflect UV.’
I gravitate towards bold and bright colours and was delighted to read that darker colours tend to absorb more UV than lighter colours such as whites and pastels. Bright colours such as red can also substantially absorb UV rays. The more vivid the colour the greater the protection; a bright yellow shirt is more protective than a pale one.
Ah ha! I’m seeing red and yellow! Of course, our lifeguards wear the most appropriate colours. They’re tested and rated UPF50+
Sometimes I wonder about my excess of colour, but I’m liking this article. I agree, sun-protective clothing (aka SimplyJoolz) doesn’t have to be boring, it can be light and bright and fashionable and fun as they say!
*Skin Cancer Foundation Journal Vol XXX 2012 Ready to Wear Sun Protection Clothing Fits the Bill Peter Gies, Phd and Alan McLennan, NZCS
Photo: Surf Rescue NSW