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UV protective clothing: key to reducing skin damage
published in Issue 29, 2nd Quarter 2009
The principal role of ultraviolet (UV) protective clothing is to protect the skin against the harmful effects of the sun, notably skin cancer. This is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer but, fortunately, it is also one of the most preventable.
Public awareness about the dangers of excessive exposure to the sun has grown considerably in recent years. However, large sections of the public remain unaware that UV protective clothing exists or that UV resistance in conventional clothing can be increased. Consequently, they rely on sunscreen for UV protection.
The slow and limited adoption of UV protection in clothing by mainstream consumers may be partly due to the fact that it can not be seen or felt—unlike other performance features such as moisture management and stretch.
In the early 1990s UV protective clothing was considered to be a niche market as it comprised mainly swimwear for children and babywear. Its lack of popularity among adults was due to its relatively high cost, and the perception that it was heavy, hot and uncomfortable to wear.
However, in the past decade, a number of companies have introduced UV protective fabrics and garments which do not sacrifice comfort, breathability or other desirable characteristics commonly associated with good performance apparel. Furthermore, high quality UV protective clothing today is both functional and fashionable. It is typically made from lightweight, breathable fabrics, and can provide as much protection from UV radiation as heavyweight denim.
Looking ahead, it has been projected by some authorities that consumers will come to expect their outdoor apparel to offer UV protection—in the same way as they expect it to be waterproof or insulating today. Others in the industry are less optimistic, and believe that it will take some time before garment manufacturers and consumers fully understand the benefits of UV protective clothing.
Table of Contents
UV protective clothing: key to reducing skin damage
UV radiation and its effects
Protection against UV radiation
Measuring the penetration of UV radiation through fabrics
Four times a year, Performance Apparel Markets provides an overview of the sector for performance apparel and corporatewear. It provides market data and analysis of new and established markets for performance fibres, fabrics and clothing, and is essential reading for executives who are working in (or supplying) this fast growing sector. It is also an invaluable one-stop-shop where people who are not involved in the industry on a day-to-day basis can find an authoritative source of relevant information which helps them to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues facing the companies in this sector.
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Performance apparel represents one of the fastest growing sectors of the international textile and clothing industry – and market growth is being fuelled by the emergence of new fibres, new fabrics and innovative process technologies. The market is also being boosted by changes in consumer lifestyles. People are living longer and spending more time on leisure activities. New high-tech fabrics are being developed for a wide range of active sports such as aerobics, athletics, ballooning, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, parachuting, sailing, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, and windsurfing.
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