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Tips & Techniques > Add UV Protection to Fabric

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Posted by: Patzee

About Patzee
Member since: 2/9/05
Reviews: 12 (tips: 7)
Skill level:Beginner
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Posted on: 6/9/05 5:53 PM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 8 people   
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Rit Sun Guard Laundry Treatment is a relatively new product that adds UV protectant to fabrics. The package states: "... a typical white T-shirt is rated UPF 5. A single treatment wilth Rit Sun Guard boosts its rating to UPF 30."

There are clothing manufacturers that specialize in UPF 50 clothing, but their items are very costly and the selection limited. This product is easy to use and lasts through many washings. I found it at Joann's and at Rite Aid -- both located in the fabric dye section.

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Muria said... (6/14/05 11:11 PM) Reply
The way the Sun Protection Factor works: if something is SPF 5, it protects you from the sun 5 times as well as if you didn't use it. Therefore, an SPF factor of 30 protects you 30 times as well as if you didn't use it. I can definitely see where this would be useful in areas with direct sunlight most of the year. I suspect it's actually more of a gimmick in areas further north, such as Michigan (where I live). It would be nice if there's a way of telling the SPF of a garment before you use it so you only use it on the lower SPF garments you have/make. I would think fabrics with a tighter weave would provide more protection. I would also be careful with this if you have sensitive skin or allergies (in other words, don't wash all your clothes in it till you're sure you won't break out from it).
PhyllisC said... (6/14/05 11:00 AM) Reply
Very cool - and I'll bet you can also treat uncut fabric yardage with this and then cut it out and sew it up! This is so great - RTW sun-protection clothing (such as what you see on is *ridiculously* expensive.
SewVeryTall said... (6/12/05 0:50 AM) Reply
Thanks Patzee! I'll check those sites.
Patzee said... (6/12/05 0:37 AM) Reply
FYI: There's more info on Rit Sun Guard at I also found this very interesting Science Fair project on Rit Sun Guard effectiveness by a budding sicentist at
Patzee said... (6/12/05 0:20 AM) Reply
The package doesn't recommend specific clothing colors or hues. However, darker colored clothing offers more protection than light colored clothing (I have no idea about the degree of difference). When I first heard about the color difference, it seemed so strange to me. I would have assumed that lighter colors offered more UV protection.
ladybegood said... (6/11/05 7:26 PM) Reply
Great tip! I was in Arches Nat'l Park last summer and walked around all day with a long sleeve white shirt over my tank top to protect me from the sun. That was the day I found out that clothes don't protect from UV! The funny part is that the burn was about 2 shades less severe where the ribbed collar was. Talk about an unsexy tan line! I'll be sure to use the Rit this summer!
PixieCat said... (6/10/05 3:36 PM) Reply
Thank you for this tip! As a redhead who burns terribly, I'm definitely going to try it!
Kathy_AZ said... (6/10/05 10:48 AM) Reply
Thanks so much for the information. As a Arizona resident I'm definitely going to get this. My DH is spending a fortune on catalog clothes to get UV protection.
SewVeryTall said... (6/10/05 3:24 AM) Reply
p.s. is this product mostly recommended for use on very light colored or white fabric? [in thinking about this, I remembered a polka dot bikini I used to have...white polka dots...I'd get a little tanned where those dots were located]
SewVeryTall said... (6/10/05 3:11 AM) Reply
I'm surprised! I'd never heard of this product, and when I read the title of your tip, I thought this was about protecting fabric [like cotton especially] from losing its color. Now I'm wondering if I've totally missed some important info about protecting our skin from the sun!! All this time I thought we bought SPF lotion to protect skin that's not covered by fabric [because fabric is the ultimate protection].....I'm blown away!
Patzee said... (6/10/05 0:01 AM) Reply
St. Croix sure sounds good! Let us know what you think. -- Pat
GorgeousFabrics said... (6/9/05 9:02 PM) Reply
Patzee I bought 6 packages of this to use on our clothing and diveskins before we go to St. Croix. I really hope they work as well as advertised! I'll report back. -Ann
Nora said... (6/9/05 8:12 PM) Reply
Neat! Thanks for the tip.
Mirza said... (6/9/05 8:03 PM) Reply
Thanks for the heads up on this one!!! Nice to know a cheaper alternative.
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