What’s In YOUR Swimsuit? UV Sun Protection And How It’s Done

When somebody asks you what is in your swimsuit, you might not be so inclined to tell them. However, if the question is more about what your suit is made of rather than your anatomy, it is a valid question worth answering, especially if you have a suit with built-in UV sun protection. Clothing that protects you from UV rays has become very popular, and here is how that protection is added to everything from hats to socks.

Fabrics and Weaves

Tighter woven fabrics are at the heart of this UV sun clothing trend. All fabrics tend to block UV rays, but the denser and more tightly woven fabrics block these rays the best. Special man-made fabrics, such as stretch nylons used to make rash guard shirts, are designed to be ultra-dense while they are simultaneously lightweight. UV clothing differs only in that it carries a label that tells you how much protection the fabric provides.

Chemical Treatments

This is probably the answer you would be most likely to give when someone sees you wearing a UV swimsuit and wants to know what is in your swimsuit. The labels on certain UV clothes will tell you what types of chemical treatments have been used to create a long-lasting barrier to UV rays. The chemicals are safe to wear next to human skin and have been rigorously tested prior to being added in the factory.

Types of Fibers Used

Polyester is the number one fiber used to disrupt UV rays. If you check the vast majority of clothing labels that carry the "UV protection" sticker, you will find that they are either 100% polyester or contain a high amount of this fiber. This is because of the chemical compounds that create polyester. They naturally deflect UV rays, making polyester a choice fiber for this type of clothing. Nylon, wool and silk are also very good natural UV deflectors. Other types of natural fibers, typically the plant-based kind like cotton and hemp, are not because they are made to absorb sunlight and grow the plants to which they are attached.

What to Look for for Maximum UV Protection in Your Clothing

If you want the maximum benefit of UV clothing, you need clothes that combine most of the above processes. For example, you should buy a polyester, chemically-treated, tightly woven shirt with long sleeves. If you keep the sleeves down, the shirt will completely protect your chest, back, shoulders, torso and arms from dangerous UV rays. It also helps to look for a label that states that the garment protects you with 50+ UV rating. Check out retailers like Aloha UV  to learn more.