Sun yes. Sunburn no.

Solar radiation is essential for human health. The body needs it to form vitamin D. But, ultraviolet rays present great potential stress to the skin. Dermatologists have seen a significant increase in skin cancer worldwide. In the U.S., skin cancer is diagnosed more than all other cancers combined.

Risk is especially high for children and outdoor workers.

Children, whose skin is still very thin and without the full protective mechanisms that develop around age 15, are at higher risk. People who work outdoors for extended time periods (i.e. construction workers, road workers or gardeners) require optimized workwear.

Durable sun protection.

Even the strongest cosmetic sunblock offers a maximum Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50. What’s more, for long-lasting protection, it must be applied several times and used correctly: 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied after being washed or rubbed off.

In comparison, clothing and shading textiles are ideal for practical UV protection. Depending on the design, textiles can achieve an ultraviolet protection factor of up to UPF 80, meaning the user stays protected for up to 80 times longer than intrinsic protection allows (dependent on skin type).

Textile UV protection can be maximized with the right materials and construction. We must also consider usage, as UPF can change significantly with stretching of the garment on the body or aging of the shade, for example.

Exposure Risk

There is a direct link between exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radation and skin cancer.


    Certain people and situations require special attention.


    • Children and young people (especially under age 15)
    • People frequently working or active outdoors
    • Elderly or sick people


    • Repeated or prolonged sun exposure
    • Current UV Index (UVI): higher number = higher risk
    • Midday exposure - when is generally strongest
    • Particular environments, e.g. in or on water, on snow, between mountains

    Higher Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) means lower transmission of UV radiation to the skin.

    Factor calculation considers the solar spectrum, typical skin reddening, etc., not just the pure measurements.

    Individual skin type affects protection time.

    Protection against UV radiation varies by method.

    UPF calculations depend on the standard that is used.

    We determine the UPF for textiles using spectroscopy based on different regulations and then certify according to the results.

    • UV STANDARD 801: UPF 10, UPF 15 UPF 20, UPF 30, UPF 40, UPF 60 and UPF 80
    • AS/NZS / 4399: UPF 15, UPF 30, UPF 50 and UPF 50+
    • DIN EN 13758-1: UPF 15, UPF 30, UPF 50 and UPF 50+
    • DIN EN 13758-2: UPF 40+
    • AATCC TM 183: UPF 15 (good), UPF 30 (very good), UPF 50 andUPF 50+ (excellent)

    Tested and proven protection.

    We test, develop and certify UV protective textiles to these international standards:

    In new condition

    Earn a Hohenstein Quality Label

    For real life

    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 January 1st (peak of the Australian summer).

    Learn about UV STANDARD 801

    Help customers choose.

    Consumers cannot judge a product's effectiveness against UV rays by sight or touch. 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 and product labels based on international standards.

    Hohenstein Quality Label


    Optimize material or design for max UV protection.

    In addition to consumer safety and claim verification, Hohenstein tests the UPF for product and material optimization during development.

    Standard or customized testing can be used to consider all situations (e.g. industrial laundering, washing procedures for shades, PPE, body coverage requiremnets, pre-treatments, etc).

    Physical behavior of rays on a textile

    Combining materials for maximum UPF

    Measure transmission, reflection & absorption of UV, VIS, IR wavelengths

    Textile UV protection during welding processes.

    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 for personal protective equipment, which can then be used to determine the maximum usage duration of the textiles in the respective welding process.

    UV Protection and the EU PPE Directive

    In the EU, any UV protective clothing is considered PPE, which must also carry a CE Mark. The CE mark requires protection of skin and eyes from UV-A and UV-B rays.

    Innovate further.

    UV STANDARD 801 is different.

    Testing considers real-life use situations.

    Ben Mead
    Managing Director
    Hohenstein Institute America