How Fabric Can Make Or Break A Design: Deconstructing What's In Your Sun Protective Gloves & Arm Sleeves

How Fabric Can Make Or Break A Design: Deconstructing What's In Your Sun Protective Gloves & Arm Sleeves - HELIADES UPF Street Clothing
Strictly speaking, a gauntlet is a type of armored glove typically worn in battle by warriors. For those of you serious about protecting your skin every day from UV rays, you will understand why we named our collection of women’s UPF 50+ sun protective gloves and arm sleeves 'UV Sun Gauntlets'! We wanted to explain why wearing ours every day should feel effortless in your desire to keep your skin healthy and looking good.
Many of you have asked questions about our UV Sun Gauntlets collection. This week we've compiled the most common themes in to this article. In this post we cover how our Gauntlets fit, tricks for how to wear them, and why the attributes of the fabric we chose contribute significantly to the design. We’ll also share how we chose our textile mills and our decision to manufacture in the USA so topics like sustainability, ethics and what we value as a brand are also touched upon in this article.
To start, our UV Sun Gauntlets are designed by a woman for women who value style and feeling good about what they're wearing. They’re made in both hand glove and arm sleeve lengths.
They’re a fingerless sun glove -
So it’s easy to use your electronics and keep your fingers available for all the tactile activities we do like when we’re shopping.
You can easily slip your hands out and tuck the thumbs into the gloves by your wrist if you want to get them out of the way, or to sanitize your hands without taking the whole glove off.
The hand gloves extend beyond the wrist which in the glove world is known as ‘eight-button length’.
The arm sleeves can be worn gathered around your elbows (called elbow length) or extended up around your biceps. This is called ‘opera length’.
They're designed to be a flattering fit.
A design meant to be worn daily should make you feel good and flatter your body shape, right?! But check your closet - we both know that isn't always the case.
From our founder, "I had been looking for arm sleeves for a long time and one of the first things I’d check for was a seam at the top of the arm which creates what I call, ‘muffin top arm’."
Just as you’d imagine the phrase means, muffin top is not flattering nor comfortable to wear. For example, if you've ever tried on yoga pants then you know some brands with a band at the waistband cut in to your hips and create muffin top, whereas other brands have a wide, flat waist with no elastic band which looks smoother on you.
"Fabric has the ability to help hold your skin in place while also being stretchy enough to be forgiving and comfortably complement your authentic self."
The results of fitting our gauntlets on actual women's upper arms resulted in three sizes we think will flatter most of us. Our recommendation is to measure your upper arm with a measuring tape and consult the size chart to determine if you’re a S, M or L.
You’ll notice there’s no banded seam whatsoever. There are no tags either!
There’s two reasons this collection is comfortable. One is the design, and two it’s the fabric. And since we want to be sun protecting our skin all the time, the best product is going to be the one you feel good wearing every day.
The Fabric.
Ok, so pre-pandemic when you were out shopping, how often did you see a design you liked but the fabric was cheap? And how often did you find a design that was beautifully made with really nice materials? What comes to mind is Lululemon and Louis Vuitton as brands that create products that are both well designed and made with quality materials.
Not that we're comparing! However the fair point is that quality means different things to all of us.
"I mentioned earlier when I was looking for arm sleeves for myself, I always checked to see if there was a banded seam at the upper arm which would cut in to my skin creating an unflattering look (arm muffin top). I would also check the fabric to see if it was too shiny or cheap looking or if it felt scratchy in my hands."
To qualify it, here’s what quality sun protective fabric means to us:
Is it breathable?
Is it thermo-regulated? Keeping you warm or cool throughout all seasons - because remember, UV happens year round so you want sun protective products comfortable to wear every day to protect your skin - and quite frankly, your investment.
Is it odor resistant?
Is it quick drying?
Does it have 4-way stretch?
Of course, first and foremost the fabric we select needs to be rated UPF 50 which means it blocks over 98% of UV rays, but what we learned along the way is that there are different ways to produce sun protective fabrics. We wouldn't want to wear every type and don't think you would either.
Ultimately in addition to the features listed above, there are a set of standards that fabric we use to make our Sun Gauntlets must meet.
Is the fabric permanently sun protective? is it durable and long lasting?
Some fabrics are treated with a UV finish - a chemical treatment that sits on top of the fabric which eventually washes out or breaks down when worn. We don’t want that. We look for fabric made with titanium dioxide minerals woven in to the thread.
Is the fabric made in a sustainable manner?
Does the process to make use recycled water? Utilize renewable energy like solar energy to produce? What is the carbon footprint, what is the environmental footprint to produce this fabric? If a textile mill practices sustainablility they will know these statistics for the fabric they produce.
Is the fabric OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified? All fabrics, including those made with natural and organic fibers, require chemicals to process. Fabrics that are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified are tested to ensure fabric is free of over 350 harmful chemicals, dyes, pesticides, allergy inducing and banned substances we might absorb through our skin, by breathing or putting it in our mouths (babies!), and certifies it for both human and ecological safety. An OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification means the fabric is safe for us to wear against our skin for extended periods of time. It also means we're keeping harmful chemicals out of the supply chain.
It goes without saying that in addition to meeting all of the above, we make sure the fabric is available in fashionable prints and colors. Style is important!
Is the fabric available in fashionable prints and colors?
The process of matching the ideal fabric with your product isn't unique. It's a key step to create a quality product.
Making It.
They often say the product is your baby. And we realized we wanted to have a clear conscience about how this baby arrives in your hands.
For us, designing a product that's good for you and safe for your skin wasn’t enough, we should produce in a manner that’s good for our planet, too.
Ensuring products are quality made and help our local economy,
Provide the people who make them with a means to earn a livable wage.
"So the decision to make right here in California, in the Bay Area where I’m from - meant I would be able to observe and inspect every step of the manufacturing process, and also be witness to the working conditions and the people making our products."
All of this - the quality and safety of the product, and the way they’re made is what you’re putting on when you wear our UV Sun Gauntlets.

What you’ll experience though, is you’ll be wrapping your skin in bright, fun, elegant sun protection that feels so comfortable we hope you’ll forget they’re on and will wear them every day - even inside like we tend to do.

Here's our UV Sun Gauntlet Check Off List:
The design -
How does it fit?
Is it flattering?
Is it comfortable to wear?
Is it stylish?
The fabric -
Is the fabric tested and rated UPF 50+?
Is it breathable?
Is it thermo-regulated to keep your skin warm or cool?
Is it odor resistant?
Is it quick drying?
Does it have 4-way stretch?
Is the fabric permanently sun protective?
Is the fabric made in a sustainable manner using renewal energy?
Is the fabric safe for us to wear on our skin? (OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified?)
If the fabric meets all of the above, is it available in fashionable prints and colors?
Making a quality product -
Do we have a clear conscience about how this was made?
Were we good to our planet?
Did we help our local economy?

Contribute to the opportunity to earn a livable wage?

What you have on your hands checks all the above boxes.

Are you passionate about protecting your skin? You're in the right place. So join us!

#wearUPF #getHeliGirl 

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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.

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