Clothing and fabric testing

Testing clothing for sun protection

Clothing and hats are some of the most convenient forms of sun protection but not all garments provide enough protection. 

Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, or 'UVR', from the sun can cause sunburn, skin damage and an increased risk of developing skin cancers. All fabrics have some ability to block UVR but laboratory testing is needed to tell how useful different fabrics are for sun protection by measuring the Ultraviolet Protection Factor or 'UPF' rating of the fabric.

What is a UPF rating?

A UPF rating shows how effective fabrics are at blocking out the sun’s rays and reducing a person’s UVR exposure. A UPF rating of 15 is considered to provide 'Minimum Protection', a rating of 30 provides 'Good Protection', and ratings of 50 and 50+ provide 'Excellent Protection'.

UPF testing at ARPANSA

We test garments, fabrics, hats and other clothing materials to determine the UPF rating. UPF testing is done in accordance with the Australian Standard AS4399 'Sun protective clothing - Evaluation and classification' which was developed by Standards Australia

Our testing laboratory is NATA-accredited to ensure the quality of results. Our test reports contain all the information required by the Australian standard for sun protective clothing and you can use the results to ensure your products are correctly labelled.

UPF Testing Request Form

Send samples to:

UVR Services
ARPANSA
619 Lower Plenty Road
Yallambie VIC 3085
Australia

Sample UPF report 

PDF icon Sample UPF report

Explanatory notes for UPF reports 

PDF icon Explanatory notes for UPF reports
Microsoft Office document icon Explanatory notes for UPF reports

Notes about fabric sampling and identification

To obtain meaningful UPF results, it is essential that samples sent for UPF testing are representative of the bulk of material. Due to manufacturing variations, UPF results for one batch of material may not apply to different batches of the same material.

The Australian standard for sun protective clothing, AS 4399, specifies certain requirements for test reports. These include adequate descriptions of the type and colour of the material tested. ARPANSA cannot issue an AS 4399 compliant report unless adequate descriptions are supplied with samples.

Payment methods

Schedule of charges

Effective 1 July 2019

Fabrics and single-colour garments:

Number of samples

Cost per sample (including Australian GST)

Cost per sample (excluding Australian GST)

1 to 10

AUD $150.00

AUD $136.36

More than 10

AUD $130.00

AUD $118.18

Hats and multi-component garments:

Number of samples

Cost per sample (including Australian GST)

Cost per sample (excluding Australian GST)

1 to 10

AUD $160.00

AUD $145.45

More than 10

AUD $140.00

AUD $127.27

Prices are in Australian dollars. Australian companies pay the charges in the column that includes Australian GST. Non-Australian companies pay the charges in the column that excludes Australian GST. Payment is in Australian dollars, either by bank cheque made out to ‘ARPANSA’, by electronic funds transfer (EFT), BPAY or by credit card (VISA or MasterCard) up to $10 000. Please see Payment methods for more information. 

Re-issue of test reports
Logo for NATA. Text says: NATA accredited laboratory 14442

If you require changes to a test report after it has been issued, a processing charge of $35 per report will apply.

UPF swing tags

The ARPANSA swing tag: a sun shape with the number 50+ inside the inner circle. Text reads 50+UPF excellent protection

After you have received your UPF report, you are eligible to purchase ARPANSA’s UPF swing tags to use on your item. Please see UPF certification trade mark information | ARPANSA for more information.

Further information about sun protection by clothing

An article published in the Skin Cancer Foundation Journal in 2012 titled 'Ready to Wear Sun Protection' was co‑authored by Dr Peter Gies and Mr Alan McLennan from ARPANSA. Download the article as a PDF.

PDF icon Ready to wear sun protection - SCF article