What You Need To Know About UPF Fabric

Man flats fishing in Biscayne Bay, Miami for bonefish while wearing the Jigalode Mighty Jig UPF Performance Fishing Hoodie Shirt

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, you’ve most likely bought your fair share of UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) shirts. But what exactly is UPF fabric, and how does it work? Let's explore the science behind UPF fabric to understand its importance and functionality.

Understanding UPF Ratings

UPF ratings indicate the effectiveness of a fabric in blocking ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Similar to SPF (Sun Protection Factor) in sunscreen, UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that penetrates the fabric and reaches the skin.

Let’s use Jigalode’s Mighty Jig Performance Hoodie as an example. Our performance hoodie boasts a rating of UPF 30. So what exactly does that mean? We’ll explain:

  • UPF 30 allows 1/30th of the sun’s rays to get through.
  • 1/30 = 1 divided by 30 = 3.3%
  • If 3.3% of the rays get through, about 96% of the rays are blocked.

How UPF Protection is Achieved

There are a few different ways that manufacturers achieve UPF sun protection through their fabrics.

1. Fabric Composition

  • Tightly Woven Fabrics: Fabrics with tighter weaves or knits allow fewer UV rays to pass through, offering better protection.
  • Dense Fibers: Certain fibers, like polyester and nylon, naturally provide better UV protection due to their dense structure.

2. UV Absorbent Additives

  • Dyeing Processes: Some fabrics undergo dyeing processes where UV-absorbing compounds are added to the fibers, enhancing their ability to block UV rays.
  • Chemical Treatments: Fabric treatments with UV-absorbing chemicals can significantly increase UPF ratings.

 3. Fabric Thickness

    • Thicker Fabrics: Generally, thicker fabrics provide greater UV protection by creating a denser barrier against UV penetration.

4. Color Choice

  • Dark Colors: Darker colors tend to absorb more UV radiation compared to lighter shades, offering better protection.

     5. Specialized Finishes

    • UV Blocking Finishes: Certain fabric finishes are designed specifically to block UV radiation, contributing to higher UPF ratings.

    When it comes to the Mighty Jig Performance Hoodie, we take pride in being able to provide UPF 30 protection by utilizing only a tighter weave and the dense fibers in our premium polyester and rayon blend. This allows us to avoid using any additives or finishes to achieve our UPF rating.

    These additives and finishes only last a certain amount of washes which over time can leave you vulnerable to UV radiation.

    Man flats fishing in Biscayne Bay, Miami for bonefish while wearing the Jigalode Mighty Jig UPF Performance Fishing Hoodie Shirt

    Benefits of UPF Clothing

    Investing in UPF clothing offers a range of benefits, making it a valuable addition to your wardrobe and outdoor gear.
    • Skin Protection: UPF fabric effectively shields your skin from harmful UV radiation, reducing the risk of sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer.
    • Versatility: UPF clothing and accessories are available in various styles, ensuring you can stay protected without compromising on fashion.
    • Long-lasting Protection: Unlike sunscreen, which requires reapplication, UPF fabric provides consistent protection throughout wear, regardless of sweat or water exposure.
    • Environmentally Friendly: Opting for UPF fabric reduces reliance on chemical-based sunscreens, promoting eco-friendly sun protection solutions.
      Now that you’re filled in on some of the facts behind UPF fabric, hopefully it will help you better understand what all of these labels and claims made by brands actually mean. So, next time you're gearing up to go out into the wild, make sure you’re wearing a solid UPF shirt that’s keeping you comfortable and protected. Need a good place to start? Check out the Jigalode Mighty Jig Performance Hoodie and experience comfort that performs.
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