Wearing suitable UV protection clothing provides immediate protection from harmful UV radiation. Material that stays permanently safe is an important prerequisite.

However, as clothing textiles are exposed to a range of factors in daily use, the initial protective effect for an article can deteriorate swiftly during use. Restrictions to the protective effects of UV protection textiles result primarily from stretching of the material and the absorption of wetness, for example, by sweating and swimming. However, regular washing and wear and tear from use can also have a detrimental effect on the protective properties.

For this reason, articles from the clothing materials group can be tested in new, used and aged states to determine the respective UPF.

Scope of testing programme

  • new material
  • stretched
  • wetted
  • after abrasion
  • after washing

Testing process

  • In the new state, the UV transmittance of the material is measured at several points over an area of 1 m².
  • Random samples are then taken from the material. 
  • Some of the random samples are used to determine the UV protection factor in both the stretched and wetted states.
  • The remaining material samples are each subjected to abrasion and a washing or cleaning treatment and are measured using the same schema. The washing or cleaning treatment is carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • With regard to consumer protection, the lowest determined value as per the worst-case scenario is used as the UV protection factor of the full test as the end result for the material.

Observe the CE mark obligation

With the introduction of Regulation (EU) 2016/425 on Personal Protective Equipment, in short: PPE Regulation, clothing identified and represented as providing UV protection is subject to the requirements of this regulation. Thus UV protective clothing is subject to a CE mark as Personal Protective Equipment.

The Europe-wide testing programme for clothing materials according to UV STANDARD 801 is recognised as a “technical specification” as proof of the UV protective properties of textiles.

In addition to the proof of UV protection, UV protective clothing must meet further requirements of the PPE Directive. These are not part of the material testing according to UV STANDARD 801