Free Shipping on all domestic orders $100 + [ Free Returns ]. Note: We are only able to honor free shipping when no other discounts are applied.

UPF Fabric vs. Ordinary Fabric

What is UPF?

It’s important to note, that UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) is a numerical rating given to clothing to indicate how effectively the fabric blocks ultraviolet (UV) radiation. A UPF rating of 25 means that only 1/25th (or 4%) of the UV radiation can penetrate the fabric. Also, you will never know how much protection any fabric provides unless it’s been tested, and only fabric that has been tested can be labeled UPF.

Don’t my clothes already protect me?

So when it comes to UPF fabric and sun protective clothing, there’s one question we get all the time: don’t my clothes already protect me from the sun? The disappointing truth: not really! While most fabrics do provide some level of sun protection, their UPFs are not all equal or as high as you may think. I didn’t know this either until I witnessed a friend get a sunburn on her back after playing tennis in the sun despite wearing her cotton t-shirt for protection.

Most Clothing only offers minimum protection.

Did you know? Up to 80% of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can still reach your skin on a cloudy day.

It turns out a variety of factors can impact the UPF of your clothing. The average UPF of a cotton or linen t-shirt is about 5, which means it allows 1/5th of the sun’s rays to penetrate your skin, enough to cause a sunburn or lead to skin cancer. To my surprise, most of the lightweight and breathable summer clothes I owned, such as my silk kaftans and white linen pants, only offered minimal protection from the harmful effects of the sun. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, clothing is the best way to protect your skin from harmful rays, as it doesn’t wash off or require reapplication like sunscreen. UPF clothing is also appropriate for those cloudy days when the sun’s rays can still reach your skin.

Dermatologists and skin care advocates agree that UPF 50 clothing is the best way to protect your skin from the sun. Click on the picture to learn more!

For most fabrics, there are two traditional ways they can be made UPF 50. They can be coated with colorless dyes that help block out the sun’s rays during the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, this process is not eco-friendly, and the chemicals typically wash out after a few laundry cycles.  The second way to make a fabric UPF 50 is to make sure the fabric is tightly woven. The tighter the weave, the more sun protective a garment is, as holes in between the fibers allow sunlight to get through unimpeded. The most common fabrics with these tight weaves are denim and polyester, which both have a UPF of 1,700. But who wants to wear these heavy and uncomfortable fabrics during the hot summer months?

Luminora Technology. The third way, which we call the Luminora way, resolves the problem of having to choose between comfort and sun protection. Our Luminology Technology™ fabric has been infused with an all natural plant-based oil that makes the fabric naturally sun protective, without exposing your skin to any chemicals or leaving you hot and uncomfortable. 

With the risks of skin cancer and excessive sun exposure (remember, the sun is still there even when it’s cloudy!), it’s so important to protect your skin from the sun. Dermatologists, including our co-founder Dr. Hendi, and the Skin Cancer Foundation agree that wearing UPF 50 clothing is the best way to stop the sun’s rays from reaching your skin, because they’re designed specifically with protection in mind. While normal fabrics can be altered to a slightly higher UPF in a variety of ways, buying actual UPF clothing is the only guarantee of protection. Investing in several of these pieces will leave you and your family happy, healthy, and protected for seasons to come.

..Love and Care from Luminora


Author: Azi Hendi

Common query:


Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is a rating system used for apparel. It indicates how effectively fabrics shield skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays.

  • Rated UPF 50+ (Excellent Protection)
  • Rated UPF 30+ (Very Good Protection)