Traditional cotton fabrics do not provide good protection against UV. Heavier cotton fabrics can provide good protection but are impractical in terms of air permeability and moisture vapour transmission.
This led researchers to investigate 16 plain and 16 twill woven fabrics and to use nonlinear regression models to compare the fabric parameters with UV protection factor, air permeability and thermal resistance. They then created new fabrics using the optimum UV protection factor, air permeability and thermal resistance.
The resulting cotton provides good UV protection when the air permeability requirement is high and excellent protection when it is low. Majumdar A, Kumar V, Mondal A. Photoderm Photoimmun Photomed 2010; 26: 290-6