SPF/UPF Rating of Golf Clothing

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Sun protection from UVB rays provided by clothing and fabrics is expressed in terms of a UPF rating similar to the SPF rating of clothing.

In very hot weather, wear loose fitting, tightly woven, clothing. The folds of loose fitting clothing provides sort of a "double layer" of fabric, thereby doubling the SPF of the clothing. The tight weave helps reduce UVR transmission when it's too hot for more effective heavier-weight fabrics.

We received a Question about the SPF Rating of our clothing so here is some information I found during my research which I found very interesting!:

Factors Affecting Fabric UV Protection Levels

There are a number of factors that affect the level of ultraviolet protection provided by a fabric and the UPF rating.
In order of importance these are:

   1. weave ( tighter is better),
   2. color ( darker is better),
   3. weight ( heavier is better) also called mass or cover factor,
   4. stretch ( less stretch is better) and
   5. wetness ( dry is better).
   6. addition of chemicals such as UV absorbers or UV diffusers during the manufacturing process.

Source: Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing -UPF Ratings

Sun Protection Methods

Research on clothing and UVR protection has found that:
  • One hundred percent (100%) polyester has the highest SPF of all fabrics, providing 2 to 3 times more sun protection that any other fabric.
  • Darker colored clothing has a much higher SPF than light colored clothing (black clothing provides 5 times more protection than white clothing - a white T-shirt has only a 5 SPF rating).
  • Knits have a higher SPF than woven fabrics, and nylon spandex knits have a very high SPF, regardless of color.
  • The heavier the weight of the fabric, the higher its SPF. A double layer of fabric almost doubles the SPF of clothing. This is true regardless of fabric type (the same for cotton, silk and polyester, for example).
  • More tightly woven fabrics help reduce UVR transmission to the skin, but not as effectivley as heavier-weight fabrics.
  • Wet fabrics INCREASE the amount of UVR that reaches the skins - by as much as one-third.

Source: Belize Vacations: Sun Protection Advice for Belize

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