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SPF Fabric?
is there something special about SPF fabric?
sky
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sky
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Date: 6/1/12 12:43 PM

I want my son (9 months) to have a long sleeved swim outfit so that I don't worry so much about the sun and sunscreen when we are out at the pool. The ones in the catalogs are $40 and I don't really want to pay that.

I was thinking that I would use some of the athletic wicking jersey in my stash to make him a top and possible shorts for him to wear.

My gut tells me that any fabric has SPF as it physically blocks the light, but am I missing something about the special SPF fabric? I'd hate for him to get burnt under his shirt when I was thinking everything was okay.

crazygrad
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crazygrad
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In reply to sky <<


Date: 6/1/12 3:16 PM

Not all wicking fabrics are SPF fabrics. To be considered an SPF fabric, a fabric needs to have one of a few special weaves and a certain thread count. many of the fabrics or threads are also treated with a special UV blocker for added protection.

If you wanted to try it with fabric, dark colors provide more protection.

AK
AK
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Date: 6/1/12 4:02 PM

Rit makes a product called
Sun Guard which they say can be used on clothing for children over 6 months old.

CSM--Carla
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CSM--Carla  Friend of PR
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In reply to sky <<
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Date: 6/1/12 4:49 PM

sky,

I recently asked these questions too.

This info from REI helped me understand more.

I thought this was especially interesting:

Polyester does an excellent job at disrupting UV light (due to hydrogen- and carbon-based benzene rings within the polymer). Nylon is good. Wool and silk are moderately effective. Cotton, rayon, flax and hemp fabrics (natural fibers composed of cellulose polymers) often score low without added treatments. However, unbleached or naturally colored cotton performs better at interacting with UV light than bleached cotton.

I have used the Rit SunGuard very successfully on white cotton and linen shirts. I found it affordable on ebay and on the Rit website. I've never tanned or burned thru those shirts while sailing in hot summer Florida sun. The application causes no color change to the fabric and lasts 30 washings.

Some more affordable sun protective fabrics are available at
Rockywoods. They have a great reputation for service in their B&M store as well as online.

Finally, after reading all the above info from REI, I bought some breathable 'sports knit fabric' (polyester) from Walmart at $3.97 per yard. I am making long sleeve tennis and cycling clothes as these are almost impossible to find in RTW. You can search the Walmart site to see if they carry any of this fabric close to your home.

HTH.

Carla

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to sky <<


Date: 6/1/12 5:58 PM

I have some very expensive items from probably the first company to come out with clothing that is registered as a medical device. Their relatively new selection of knit swimwear is limited and equally high priced. I have been doing fabulously well with seemingly ordinary wicking wear in a medium to medium heavy weight.

Medications caused my husband to join me in sun sensitivity and he now wears similar items for our many beach visits. Just a couple of days ago, we made the hike down to the beach, spent about two hours in the water, and hiked back to the campground. It's not that far, but we did spend over three hours in full mid day sun. Not a spot of pink anywhere. Usually we're out for a total of four hours with the same good results.

When you trial his beach wear, check often to be sure you get the same results.

Of everything that I have used over the past 15 years, high dollar SPF brand, newer SPF copycats, and medium weight wicking wear, they have all performed the same and none have lost any visible performance ability over extended use and abuse.

You'll have to be careful to match the protection of exposed areas to that of the covered areas. Top of feet, scalp (I wear a hat, even in the water), face, back of hands, top of neckband or collar where abrasion might rub sunscreen off quicker.

Your gut instinct about just any fabric is not accurate enough for your son. The old idea about throwing on a t shirt for protection was horribly wrong. And there are studies on the best colors to use too.

Study the well made SPF clothing to see how venting is incorporated to keep it cool. If your little guy will also be exposed to heat, consider a combination of knit and supplex type SPF fabrics with the venting. We don't get hot in our clothing, but we're constantly in the water and can determine on our own when it is time to drink water or head for the shade.

The clothing is so much easier than globs of sunscreen. And, I think it is ultimately safer.

Best wishes

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to sky <<


Date: 6/1/12 5:59 PM

Say, this is the new little fellow that shares your sewing room. Hope you are having loads of fun with him.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

kkkkaty
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kkkkaty  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/1/12 6:01 PM

This articl was in the NYT recently, I thought it was a good discussion of the issues. here's a quote from a prof of dermatology: "When it comes to sun protection, you really can’t beat a dark shirt with a tight weave and a good hat,” she said. “There is a lot you can do and not spend a lot of money.”

------
Viking Lily 545
Viking Ruby
Bernina Activa 210
Brother 1034d

Coconuts
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Coconuts  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/1/12 11:44 PM

Land's End does have one for $25, and I think there's a discount code out there, too.

sky
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sky
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Date: 6/1/12 11:44 PM

Thanks for the links everyone. The fabric I was going to use is a Supplex (nylon) knit fabric. It is fairly thick, a tight weave, and dark blue. I was going to make a simple t-shirt out of it.

After reading the REI article, I think I might be okay. We won't be spending entire days out at the pool (I think, anyway, next year might be different). He most certainly wears sunscreen on all exposed parts and a hat when we are out.

It might be warm to wear, but I intend him to pretty much only wear it in the pool. Once we get out of the water, I'll have to put a real diaper on instead of the swim diaper, and I'll just put on regular clothes too.

sky
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sky
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In reply to a7yrstitch <<


Date: 6/1/12 11:46 PM

a7yrstitch,
yes, this little guy has taken over my sewing room. He's nine months now, and I've gotten a little sewing done, but not much. He does need new clothes so I'm entered in the One pattern many looks contest. Perfect incentive to sew instead of watch tv in the evenings!

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