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Sunday, March 25, 2012

SolarVeil Shocker

SolarVeil fabric had been coveted among the babywearing community since it's lightweight and breathability made it perfect for summer baby carriers.  One of the added benefits that most people loved about this fabric was it's ability to also offer sun protection despite it's open weave.  So you can imagine my surprise when I just came across an article that said not only does Solarveil fail to offer the claimed 90-95% protection against UV rays, but in fact it offers NO protection at all!

The article was just a short blurb published in the Product Reviews section of Goodhousekeeping.com and can be read in it's entirety here.  I'm not sure how old this article is, but I am assuming it is not new since Solarveil fabric has been discontinued for some time now.  Now I have to wonder if this is the reason this fabric disappeared from the market.

While Solarveil is still a lightweight airy fabric that will be cool for summer, many people are purchasing these carries believing that they can function in place of sunblock.  Both the people making and using these baby carriers are victims of a company that sold their product under false pretenses.  The company clearly claimed their product had a high UPF rating and the small WAHM businesses unknowingly passed along false information.

Now if you are one of the lucky people who just get their hands on a Solarveil carrier, don't panic!  These are still going to be arguably the coolest baby carrier you can find on the market for summer babywearing.  They are still going to be great for the pool and dry super fast, just make sure you put some sunscreen on your baby when you go out and don't rely on your carrier to protect their sensitive skin.

Update:

Some people have commented that they used SolarVeil without any other sun protection and they believe it totally works since their children never burned.  I think some people believe that not burning is the same as sun protection, and that is not the case.  If you simply want to prevent a burn, even a standard white T-shirt will do that, but it will not block enough of the UV rays to actually protect your skin from the damaging affects of the sun.  Also, UVB rays are the ones that burn your skin, but UVA are the most damaging and cause skin cancer and those are just as strong at noon as they are at 6pm, but they don't burn you, so it is easy to get too much exposure to UVA rays when you think you are safe.

If you have questions about UV rays, I would highly recommend checking out this link on the Skin Cancer Foundation website.  I am very glad that SolarVeil was able to stop many babies from being burned, but please do not let it lure you into a false sense of actually being protected.  Many fabrics are capable of casting enough of a shadow to prevent a burn, but that is not the same as offering UV protection.  I believe these results are accurate and shared them because this is something I feel is extremely important for people to be aware of.

Also, after reading the above mentioned article, I felt it was necessary to make sure that the SolarWeave fabric we use for our Kalea Baby Water Ring Slings are in fact providing the UPF 50+ protection that it claims and that I am accurate in restating that on our website.  I was able to confirm that SolarWeave has been tested by the International UV Testing Laboratories (IUVTL) and has certified the UPF 50+ rating.
SolarWeave fabrics Block more than 98% of the sun's damaging UVA and UVB rays.  It is lightweight, washable, breathable and cottony soft. Solarweave rates Excellent UV Protection.  UVBLOCK certified for certain protection after laundering.  All colors are tested and meet or exceed AATCC 183  and ASTM D6544 & ASTM D6603 Standards; are certified by the International UV Testing Laboratories; and are rated UPF 50+ (Ultraviolet Protection Factor 50+) 

6 comments:

  1. Solarveil does an excellent job as a sunscreen. I have used it without any other protection all day on the ocean this fair skinned person did not get burned.
    It may not be your intent but it seems like this is a promo for your fabric and a putdown on Solarveil.

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    1. Yes, this is a blog for a business and although we do lots of informative posts, we are also promoting the products we carry. But when I read the above mentioned article, I felt it was VERY important to do this post since Solarveil is highly sought for it's alleged sun protective properties.

      The fact is that this fabric was independently tested and found to offer ZERO UV protection. Now maybe the threads themselves create enough of a shadow to prevent the same amount of damage one would receive with no fabric, but this is not the same as UV protection. Even an average T-shirt offers some UV protection, but Solarveil was found to offer none. Since this study and article were posted a long time ago, this is probably the reason the fabric was discontinued and disappeared from the market. But people have continued to try to find and sell is as offering UV protection, which it does not do.

      Here's what the article said regarding Solarveil:

      "Two brands made false label claims. Sunveil claimed its cover-up was "designed to block up to 97 percent UV radiation," but our tests showed it actually had a UPF of zero. A tunic from Solarveil also flunked: Though its tag boasted 90 to 95 percent UV blockage, its real score was zero."

      I am glad Solarveil has kept you from burning. But people need to be careful when buying this fabric, especially for babies, when they believe it offers the same protection as sunblock.

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  2. I used a solarveil fabric sling exclusively for my now 9 year old son. Worth noting, I live in Florida and used this without any sunscreen at all for entire days at the beach here in the summer time...from the time he was only a month or so old and he never once got burned. I tend to think they did not test it properly. The makers website was pretty clear, you only got that level of protection by using double layers and they must be "draped" (not pulled tight, so single layer sling would be no good...we had an extra long tail on a ring sling that I would double fold over my son) Now at 9 years old, I am looking to get my hands on some of the fabric to make him clothing because as it turned out, he is allergic to most sunscreen. At $25 for 2 oz of special sunscreen that does not give him hives, I will scrounge for the solarveil. I really hope they did not go out of business because of this, as I know first hand, they were the real deal.

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    1. I am really glad that solarveil stopped your son from getting sun burned. I think people easiy mistake a lack of burn for sun protection and that is just not the case. Even a simple T-shirt will prevent a burn, but depending on the actual color and fabric, it is often not blacking that much of the suns UV rays. This is why you will noticed sometimes that by the end of the summer, our little babes will have a nice white butt where there was serval layers of protection (often a diaper) and their backs are slightly darker even though they were covered and protected from the sun.

      Since your son is allergic to sun blocks, I would highly recommend you research UV rays and how they work. Skin can be damaged by UV rays even without a burn or tan, so it's important to understand how to propperly protect yourself. The UVA rays are the ones mostly responsible for skin cancer and don't burn the skin the way UVB rays do, but they also are the same intensity throughout the day and do as much damaged at noon as they do at 6pm. There are lots of really amazing sun protective fabrics and clothing available that will do more than just provent a burn on your son. Also, not sure if your son will react to this otr not, but this new product I've heard about is made out of 100% natural mineral powder and is supposed to be really great, though I haven't tried it myself yet. It's called Tickle Time and here's the link: http://www.tickletimesunblock.com/

      Might be worth a try? Best luck to you and your son!

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  3. I am a redhead that sunburns easily. I spent a weekend in Palm Springs CA in August, my torso protected only by my SolarVeil shirt. The only place I burned was the back of my hands. SolarVeil works, and works well.

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  4. Why don't people read????

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