can uv light go through clothes

can uv light go through clothes

Can UV Light Go Through Clothes?

It is well-known that ultraviolet (UV) light can cause sunburn and other skin damage, but can it pass through clothes? The answer is yes and no.


Some UV radiation can penetrate many fabrics, such as:

  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Rayon
  • Silk
  • Nylon

These materials are usually not thick enough to block all UV rays. So if you’re spending any time outdoors and are wearing clothing made of these materials, you should still apply a sunscreen with a SPF rating of 15 or higher.


On the other hand, clothing made from certain fabrics can provide full protection from UV radiation.

  • Darker Colors: Darker colors, such as deep reds, blues, and blacks, absorb more UV radiation.
  • Clothing with Tight Weaves or Tighter: Fabrics with tight weaves, such as denim and polyester, can block out most UV radiation.
  • UV Protective Clothing: You can also buy specially-made clothing with built-in UV protection.

These garments use combination of fabrics, like polyester and spandex, along with a special UV-blocking chemicals, to create clothing that blocks out all ultraviolet ray.

Bottom Line

The level of UV radiation that can pass through clothing depends on the fabric, color, and weave. But by wearing darker colors and clothing with a tight weave, you can significantly reduce your exposure to ultraviolet rays. Additionally, special UV-blocking clothing is available for those who want an even higher level of protection.

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