What Is UV-Resistant Fabric?

UV-resistant fabric utilizes special yarn or fabric structure design to protect against excessive UV radiation and block it from penetrating the skin, thus preventing skin damage, sunburn, and premature aging. Utilizing this type of fabric can shield the skin from the detrimental effects of UV rays.


UVA, the Killer of Skin Aging

In addition to visible light, the sun's spectrum also includes invisible ultraviolet and infrared light. Ultraviolet light is an electromagnetic wave with a shorter wavelength than visible light and accounts for about 6% of the spectrum. According to wavelength, ultraviolet radiation can be divided into three types: UVA, UVB, and UVC. Among them, UVA and UVB cause the most harm to the human body.

UVA: It is an invisible killer that can penetrate glass, some clothing, and the epidermis of the skin. It can penetrate the dermal tissue and react with it, gradually destroying the skin's elasticity, leading to the production of melanin, wrinkles, and sagging. UV radiation is the primary cause of skin aging and tanning.

UVB radiation possesses higher energy levels, enabling it to penetrate the skin's epidermis, leading to sunburn, redness, swelling, and blisters. Excessive exposure to the sun is the primary cause of sunburn, skin tumors, and immune suppression.

UVC radiation possesses the highest energy and the most potent effect, capable of inducing sunburn, genetic mutations, and tumors. However, it is largely absorbed by the ozone layer before reaching the Earth's surface, thereby posing no harm to humans.

Only UVA and UVB rays can impact human health. Among them, UVA is the most harmful and potent, leading to tanning, loss of collagen elasticity, wrinkles, and aging. It constitutes approximately 95% of all UV radiation in sunlight. The remaining 5% is UVB, which is the main cause of sunburn. Long-term exposure to UV radiation can also cause textiles to fade and age. Therefore, it is necessary to treat textiles with UV-resistant finishing.

What Is UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor)?

UPF is a professional sun protection factor used for textiles, and a higher UPF represents better sun protection ability (the ability to resist UVB and UVA). In typical conditions, a UPF25 sun protection factor is effective in blocking most of the UV radiation. If you expect to be exposed to the sun for an extended period, opt for clothing with a higher sun protection factor.



The Mechanism of UV-Resistant Finishing

From an optical perspective, when light is projected onto an object, a portion of it reflects off the surface, some is absorbed by the object, and the rest passes through the object. In general, the sum of transmittance rate, reflectance rate, and absorbance rate equals 100%.

The principle of UV-resistant processing involves using UV blockers to treat fibers or fabrics.

When light radiation reaches the fabric, a small portion passes through the gaps in the fabric, while most of it is reflected or selectively absorbed by the UV blockers. The absorbed light is converted into low energy, which is then released, effectively blocking the UV radiation.


UV-Resistant Textiles Production

The production of UV-resistant textiles belongs to the category of textile post-treatment. It primarily involves the application of UV-resistant finishing agents, the preparation of finishing solutions, and the selection of appropriate finishing processes.

The finishing process of UV-resistant fabrics depends on the type of fabric and its intended use. For example, summer clothing requires high softness and comfort, and it is better to use absorption or impregnation methods for UV-resistant finishing.

When used as decorative, household, or industrial textiles, the focus is on their functional requirements, and surface coating methods can be applied.

For UV-resistant finishing of blended fabrics, impregnation and rolling-baking methods are still preferred from a technical standpoint. This process has less impact on fiber properties, fabric style, moisture absorption, and strength. Additionally, it can be combined with other functional finishes like antibacterial, deodorant, hydrophilic, and wrinkle-resistant finishes.

Factors Affecting the UV Radiation Resistance of Fabrics

The ability of fabrics to resist UV radiation depends mainly on their capacity to shield against UV radiation. Fabrics typically have intricate surfaces that not only absorb light but also scatter and reflect it.

The effects of scattering and reflection need to consider various factors of the fabric itself, such as fabric structure, original yarn structure, fiber variety and regularity, and fabric color.


1. The Influence of the Structure of UV-Resistant Fabrics

The fabric structure determines the geometric shape of the fabric. The thickness and density (covering coefficient or porosity) of the fabric structure. The tighter the fabric structure, the larger the covering coefficient, and the lower the UV transmittance, the greater the protective effect on the human body. Sparse fabrics have a low covering coefficient and do not effectively block light, resulting in limited protective effects.

2. The Influence of UV-Resistant Fibers and Yarns

Under the same fabric structure, different types of fibers have varying rates of UV transmittance. Polyester and wool fibers have lower UV transmittance rates than cotton and viscose fibers. This is due to the benzene ring in the polyester molecule and the amino acid in protein fibers like wool and silk, which possess strong absorption properties for UV light with wavelengths less than 300nm.

3. The Influence of Fabric Color on UV Resistance

As the fabric color deepens, the UV transmittance of the fabric decreases, indicating an improvement in the fabric's resistance to UV radiation. When testing conventional polyester products, the sequence of UV radiation transmittance rates from low to high for different colors with the same shade is as follows: black has a transmittance rate of 5%, followed by dark blue, red, dark green, and purple, all with a transmittance rate of 5%~10% of light green, light red, light green, and white have a transmittance rate of 15%~20%.

Selection of UV-Resistant Fabrics:

  • From Color Classification:

    Dark colors are most effective at absorbing UV rays, making them the best for preventing UV radiation. The darker the color, the higher its UV protection, such as black, navy blue, dark blue, and dark purple.

    Bright colors, in addition to dark colors, have the ability to absorb UV rays. For instance, bright red, with its longer wavelength, can absorb a significant amount of UV rays from the sun. White can only reflect visible light and cannot effectively block UV rays.

  • From the Fabric Structure:

    Thicker fabrics in different types of clothing are more effective at resisting UV radiation compared to thinner fabrics. Polyester fibers offer the highest UV resistance due to the presence of a benzene ring in their molecular structure, which enables them to absorb UV rays effectively. Nylon, cotton, and silk have low UV resistance. Therefore, when selecting UV-resistant clothing, it is advisable to opt for thicker fabrics that contain polyester fibers.

    The tighter the fabric, the stronger the blocking ability, and the less UV radiation can penetrate. Woven fabrics have better UV resistance than knitted fabrics. The darker the color of the clothing fabric, the less UV radiation can penetrate, and the better the UV resistance.

Other Related Factors:

Experts suggest that the best way to protect against sun exposure is to avoid direct sunlight, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest. Secondly, choose clothing that can cover the skin. Many outdoor functional brands offer clothes that claim to have UPF ratings, which, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, can provide effective sun protection. In fact, any clothing with the following characteristics can provide some protection:

High Density: The most crucial factor is the density of the material, and it is not necessary to wear multiple layers of clothing for better protection. The tighter the knit or weave, the smaller the holes, and the less UV radiation can penetrate.

Synthetic Fiber: Synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon, offer more protective properties than bleached cotton or rayon. Keep dry: Research shows that the UPF value of clothing will decrease by one-third after sweating. New is better than old. Clothes that are too old, worn, or faded may not provide adequate protection from harmful radiation. More coverage is better. To fully protect against sun exposure, it is necessary to cover as much skin as possible. This entails choosing long-sleeved shirts and pants that cover the most area.


Advantages of BEGOOGDTEX UV-Resistant Fabric

1. Good absorption and emission of ultraviolet radiation in the 180-400 nm wavelength range, particularly UV-A and UV-B.

2. It has a strong shielding ability with a UV transmittance rate of less than 3%.

3. UV resistance remains above 85% after multiple washings.

4. Non-toxic, safe for human use with no skin irritation or allergic reactions.

5. Good moisture absorption and breathability.

6. Can achieve UPF50+ according to customer requirements, offering excellent protection against UV radiation.

7. Suitable for outdoor workwear, high-altitude clothing, and sun umbrellas.

8. Complies with current domestic and international UV protection performance testing standards.


Indicators for Evaluating UV Resistance Performance

1. UV transmittance rate

2. UV shielding rate

3. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)

4. Penetration rate

5. UV reflection rate

6. Logarithm of the average transmission rate for A and B wavelength fabrics

Criteria for Evaluating UV-Resistant Fabrics

Currently, there is no globally standardized testing protocol for UV-resistant textiles. The main testing standards include the European Union standard (EN13758-1:2001), the Australia/New Zealand standard (AS/NZS4399:1996), the American AATCC standard (AATCC183-2010), and the Chinese national standard (GB/T18830-2009), among others. These standards primarily utilize stable UV light sources to produce UV radiation with a wavelength of 290nm~400nm, irradiate the sample with a monochromator, collect the total spectral projection rays, measure the total spectral projection ratio, and calculate the UV transmittance rate and UPF value of the sample.

Australia and New Zealand were the first to develop the "AS/NZS4399:1996 (Sun protective clothing - Evaluation and classification)" standard. This standard is primarily used to assess the UV transmittance rate of skin-tight protective textiles, clothing, and other protective items (such as hats). It also sets forth requirements for UV radiation protection labels.

The EU standard EN13758-1:2001 "(Textiles-Solar UV protective properties-Part 1: Method of test for apparel fabrics)" is primarily utilized to evaluate the UV protection efficacy of apparel fabrics. It is not appropriate for assessing products that offer long-distance UV protection, such as umbrellas and sunshades.

The American AATCC standard AATCC183-2010 "(Transmittance or Blocking of Erythemally Weighted Ultraviolet Radiation through Fabrics," is utilized to assess the effectiveness of UV-resistant fabrics in blocking or transmitting UV radiation.

The Chinese national standard GB/T 18830-2009 "Textiles - Assessment of the UV protection ability of fabrics" specifies the test method for the UV resistance of fabrics, the indication, evaluation, and labeling of the protection level.

Applications Of IFR + Inherent Anti-UV Fabric


Applications Of IFR + Inherent Anti-UV Fabric


UV-resistant fabrics are named for their ability to resist UV rays and are commonly used in people's daily lives.

1. T-shirts, fashion, outdoor clothing, skiwear, student uniforms, skirts and household curtains.

2. Swimsuits, sportswear, beachwear, sun skirts, hats that protect ears and necks.

3. Men's summer wear, women's shirts, skirts, and pants.

4. Stockings, scarves, outerwear, tents, sun umbrellas.

5. Mountaineering clothing, gloves and sun hats.

Among them, UV-resistant polyester fibers are very suitable for producing all kinds of woven and knitted clothing fabrics, which can be made through pure spinning or interlacing. They are mainly used for processing summer clothing fabrics, sun hats, cool umbrellas, and summer women's stockings. The weaving performance is good, the fabric style is unique, and the hand feel is comfortable.

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