Developing Technical UPF50+ Fabric: Launching New Fashion Sun Protection Designs, Part 3

This is Part 3 in a series about our Heliades Designer/Entrepreneur's experiences launching new and existing fashion sun protective clothing designs.

This series is an update on our entire UPF50+ clean fashion sun protection clothing line: the UV Sun Gauntlets Collection (UV gloves and sun sleeves), reintroduction of our signature Sol Escape sun protection cape, and launch of two new designs the Sun Shrug and Sun Dickie, plus the Sun Bolero which is in the design idea phase. I'll also cover issues that occurred regarding my heat press, fabric labels, fabric manufacturing and production set backs (there was a fire!).

I hope this gives you some insight into what it's like running a small business and dealing with seemingly small challenges that upend the process of launching new designs and getting product back in stock on our store!

Part 3: New, Permanent UPF 50+ Fabric For Sol Escape Sun Protective Cape In The Works.

Last October I started the process of ordering new UV fabric to reintroduce our bestselling design, the Sol Escape sun protective cape. I was unable to verify all the standards and certifications of the fabric we used previously (OEKO-TEX and BLUESIGN) and decided that if Heliades is going to talk the talk about safe clothing for your skin and being a socially responsible, sustainable fashion brand, we need to be certain our actions and decisions are all in.

Our fans know the Sol Escape has been sold out for a while. That's partly because it took a long time to source fabric partners with the proper standards and certifications in line with the Heliades brand. Like, it took a few years. After identifying potential partners that meet our criteria including the weaving of TiO2 into the fabric to make it permanently UPF 50+ sun protective -- yes, permanent as in the sun protection will not wash out in your laundry. Nor will it wash down the drain and into our oceans and waterways - you see our theme of what's good for you is also good for the planet, right? Because a garment that will functionally protect your skin from more than 98% of UVA and UVB rays for the lifetime of the fabric is not only a good investment, it is better for the planet.

Where were we? Ah yes, so now we've whittled the potential partner list to only those with OEKO-TEX, BLUESIGN Partner certifications, GRS (Global Recycled Standard) and REACH certifications where applicable, and produce sun protective fabric made with TiO2 woven in with a UPF 50+ certified rating of either AATCC 183 (American Standard) or NZS 4399 (Australia/New Zealand Standard). Phew! I should draw you a kissing circles diagram.

The next step in our fabric sourcing after qualifying our potential partner list to adhere to the above standards and certifications is to determine if the textile mills are willing to work with small businesses and will produce in small order quantities. Many won't. The mills that will charge surcharges and additional fees.

Fortunately I found a textile mill to partner with that champions small businesses and was willing to work patiently with me. We've gone back and forth for months to approve colors and I'm happy to report that the Sol Escape will be back in limited colors like light blue, pink or purple plaid, and grey. Many of you love the charcoal grey Sol Escape because it coordinates so well with the modern wardrobe and has an elegance that makes it easy to dress up as well as pair with your favorite jeans. We'll be approving the charcoal gray fabric sample soon which means the fabric will go into bulk production soon!

Go here to read Part 4 of this series!

Please know how much I appreciate you and all your support of Heliades. Our mission remains unchanged: to help stylish, skin-conscious individuals like yourselves defend your glow - maintain healthy skin and a positive self image, and raise awareness about the importance of skin health as it relates to your overall health by protecting skin from UV sun exposure.

Read Part 1 - Repairing A Heat Press Myself

Read Part 2 - Fabric Labels, Please Stick!

Read Part 4 - Patterns, Samples + A Fire

Be well,


We are a woman-owned brand and emails are a crucial way for us to contact our readers and fans. We regularly provide store offers, tips for keeping your skin healthy, how to's for staying stylish and sun smart, and updates on what it's like to run a small business. Sign up to receive our updates and get 10% off your first order. Give us a try, you can unsubscribe anytime!
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About our founder

I started Heliades with the intent to combine fashion with function by designing sun protective apparel with an elevated look that doesn't scream beach, resort or activewear. My goal is to create stylish options to protect our skin every day, for every occasion.

Clean clothing Values