What began as skin protection activewear for surfers, rash guards in recent years have become general use, sun protection swimwear commonly called rashguards, rash guard tops, swim shirts, surf shirts, sun protection shirts, short sleeve rash guards, water shirts, or rashies.
Back in the day, surfers had three main concerns, other than sharks, while in the water. They needed to:
By using knitted polyester or nylon fabric with four-way stretch, activewear designers were able to make functional tops that met the goals of skin rash, stinging, and sunburn protection. Technological knitting advances have improved the wicking and UPF ratings of rash guard tops. Wicking is also known as the characteristic of textile to pull moisture from the skin to absorb and dry at the fabric surface. UPF is defined as Ultraviolet Protection Factor that is a certification rating of sun protection. You can find out more about sun protection ratings by clicking here.
For added wearability, seamstresses building rashies use a special flat-lock stitch sewing machine to provide flat seams that are much more comfortable to wear.
Nowadays, rash guards are made with a high percentage of polyester or nylon and a smaller percentage of elastane, also known as spandex. The stretch of the fabric comes from the amount of spandex knitted into the fabric. The range of spandex can vary but typically makes up 10 to 20 percent of the knit. The result is a close-fitting or compression garment. In recent years, even loose-or-comfort-fit shirts have grown in popularity.
But what about female rash guards?
Over the years, activewear manufacturers have responded to the need for skin and sun protection tops designed with women in mind. With the awareness of potential skin cancer for active women who love the outdoors, it is of utmost importance that ladies choose beach, surf, and swim clothing that will protect their skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Available in many attractive styles and colors, these rash guard tops, designed for use in or out of the water, come in long and short sleeve variations with many different styles.
Interested in reading more? Click here to read "6 Things Surfers Need to Know When Buying a Rash Guard."