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UPF Rating

01-03-2016

UPF rating

A relatively new rating designation for sun protective textiles and clothing is UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), which represents the ratio of sunburn-causing UV measured without and with the protection of the fabric. 

UPF rating

A relatively new rating designation for sun protective textiles and clothing is UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), which represents the ratio of sunburn-causing UV measured without and with the protection of the fabric. For example, a fabric rated UPF 30 means that, if 30 units of UV fall on the fabric, only 1 unit will pass through to the skin. A UPF 30 fabric that blocks 29 out of 30 units of UV is therefore blocking 96.7%. Unlike SPF (Sun Protection Factor) measurements that traditionally use human sunburn testing, UPF is measured using a laboratory instrument (spectrophotometer or spectroradiometer) and an artificial light source, and then applying a sunburn weighting curve (erythemal action spectrum) across the relevant UV wavelengths. Theoretically, human SPF testing and instrument UPF testing both generate comparable measurements of a product's ability to protect against sunburn.

Below is the ASTM Standard for Sun Protective Clothing and Swimwear:

UPF Rating Protection Category  % UV radiation Blocked
UPF 15 – 24 Good 93.3 – 95.9
UPF 25 – 39 Very Good 96.0 – 97.4
UPF 40 – 50+ Excellent 97.5 – 98+