Most people use chemcial sunscreens. The problem is that even the strongest cosmetic sunblock only offers a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50. This also gets washed or rubbed off and must be re-applied several times to ensure long-term protection.
Clothing and shading textiles with optimized materials and constructions are ideal for practical protection that far exceeds the maximum UV protection factors (UPF) of the strongest sunblock cream. Depending on the design, textiles can achieve an ultraviolet protection factor of up to UPF 80, meaning the wearer can stay protected in the sun for up to 80 times longer than the self-protection time that is dependent on the wearer’s skin type.
People cannot assess the UV protection factor of a material by sight or touch because UPF is neither visible nor tangible. UV protection also varies with skin type and sun intensity. Based on standardized measurement procedures and neutral testing, we assign comparable and reliable values for the UV protection of garments or shades. We also offer certifications based on international standards and the Hohenstein Quality Label or UV STANDARD 801 label for consumer communication.
We test according to various international standards and award the Hohenstein Quality Label.
- American (AATCC TM 183): textiles in new condition under the Albuquerque, New Mexico solar spectrum
- Australia-New Zealand (AS/NZS 4399): new, unstretched and dry textiles under the Melbourne, Australia solar spectrum on January 1st
- European (DIN EN 13758-1): new, unstretched and dry textiles under the Albuquerque, New Mexico solar spectrum
For the UV STANDARD 801, we consider important aspects of use, including stretching of the textile, wetting of clothing, weathering of shading textiles, aging by certain abrasion and washing cycles and many more. We also assume maximum radiation intensity with the solar spectrum in Melbourne, Australia, on the 1st of January (peak of the Australian summer).
In addition to consumer safety and claim verification, Hohenstein tests the UPF for product and material optimization during development.
Factor calculation considers the solar spectrum, typical skin reddening, etc., not just the pure measurements.
Skin is also damaged by artificial UV radiation. To specify the UV protection factor of protective clothing for welders, for example, we calculate the UV transmission accordingly for personal protective equipment, which can then be used to determine the maximum usage duration of the textiles in the respective welding process.