Rayward Apparel

UPF By Design

Rayward UPF Certification Process

When it comes to protecting yourself from the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, not all fabrics are created equal. Certain fabrics possess qualities that make them highly effective at blocking UV radiation and providing adequate sun protection. Understanding these qualities can help you make informed choices when selecting sun protective clothing.

What is UPF

UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and is the standard for measuring the amount of UV protection a fabric provides. Put simply, higher UPF rating = more UV protection. Sun shirts and apparel designed for the outdoors should always have the UPF rating posted, if it's not listed it's safe to assume it's not designed for UV protection. The UPF value is the same as the SPF value, but specific to fabrics rather than sunscreen.

Why UPF Matters

A fabric with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating is designed to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation. UV radiation is proven to be detrimental to your skin health and one of the leading causes of skin cancer. Especially when outdoors, it’s important you wear UPF clothing to keep your skin healthy and help prevent skin cancer.

All of Rayward Apparel products are certified to provide UV protection of UPF 30 and above, meeting the recommendation of the Skin Cancer Foundation, which provides the equivalent of a sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or greater. This means all of our products have been tested and certified to block at least 97% of the sun’s UV radiation. Of course, this only applies to areas of your skin covered by our apparel.

Unlike typical clothing, which often provides far less UV protection than you need, UPF products give you the peace of mind to enjoy the outdoors without exposing yourself to the risks associated with the sun’s UV radiation. This is especially important for anyone previously diagnosed with melanoma or other forms of skin cancer, which is exactly why we started Rayward Apparel.

What impacts the UPF rating?

There are a variety of ways to create clothing which is not only extremely comfortable, but equally as protective.

Often times, UPF ratings depend on the fabric composition and design. Thicker and heavier fabrics often have a higher UPF rating. However, certain fabrics like bamboo and polyester have inherent UV protective characteristics. By using a specific blend of these fibers, it's possible to achieve a greater UPF rating without any type of fabric treatment. This helps provide a high level of UV protection while still keeping the clothing lightweight and breathable.

Another way we can achieve sun protection is through a UV treatment. This technique applies a chemical UV treatment to the yarn before the clothing is produced. It's done in a way that infuses UV protective qualities into the yarn, preventing it from being washed out or diminished with normal wear. This provides a safe and effective way to ensure sun safety without having to increase the weight of certain fabrics and products.

All of the methods we use to achieve our UPF ratings are in accordance with U.S. guidelines. This ensures everything is responsibly produced and prioritizes the safety and well-being of our manufacturers, employees and customers.

Rayward Apparel

Lab Testing

All of our products are lab tested and certified in accordance with AATCC Test Method 183.
This is the standard test method is used in the United States. It measures the UV radiation blocked or transmitted by fabrics intended to
provide UV protection.

We send all of our finalized products out to the lab for testing and certification. The lab takes our fabric and uses a spectroradiometer to measure the exact amount of UV radiation
that is able to pass through it. The result of this test determines the effective UPF rating.  Because even the color of a fabric can impact its UPF rating, we take the time to certify every fabric AND every color we produce.

Here is a sample UPF certification report showing ultraviolet protection factor results. This one is specific to our Del Mar UPF 50+ Neck Gaiter.