The Solar Protective Factory,
Inc. was founded in 1989 by Terrill
Breese who had
skin cancer, which prompted his curiosity about ultraviolet (UV)
transmission in general and, more specifically, through clothing.
He discovered that UV rays passed through some clothing
at an alarming rate, the equivalent % of an SPF 4-6. They also
found that the transmission rates of UV were increased when the
fabric was wet, lowering the SPF equivalent to an SPF of 2-4.
He spent the next year testing a large variety of fabric
to determine which, if any, could provide excellent protection and
still be comfortable in warm weather. This led to the
development of Solarweave® their first fabric product.
Solarweave® was introduced in 1990 with a UV
transmission of less than 3% or an SPF equivalent of SPF 45.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came on the scene
in 1991 after they had decided to regulate sun protective fabrics
and clothing as a medical device.
The Solar Protective Factory
spent the next two years, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars
in testing costs, to successfully pass the FDA testing requirements
for a “medical device.?In 1993 the FDA decided not to regulate
sun protective fabric and apparel, consequently eliminating the
“medical device?category for these products. The FDA
turned over the regulation issue of sun protective fabric and
apparel to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer
Products Safety Commission (CPSC) in 1993.
In 1994, under the guidance of the FTC and CPSC, and with the support American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) textile scientists and UV testing experts, a committee of industry leaders in sun
protective fabric and apparel was formed. This marked the first time that a committee was convened with the objective of creating industry-wide standards for sun protective fabrics and apparel.
The ASTM Committee D13.65 began meeting in 1994 to develop
sun protective fabric and apparel testing protocols.
ASTM Committee D13.65 spent the next three years
completing the most stringent testing protocols for sun protective
fabric and apparel in the world.
The current ASTM testing protocols require UVA and UVB
testing after the equivalent of two years wear and tear. This
translates to 40 home launderings and 100 hours of direct
ultraviolet exposure. Fabrics are then rated on an Ultraviolet
Protection Factor (UPF) scale.
All Solar Protective Factory fabrics surpass the maximum
UPF rating of UPF 40-50+. This means that all SPF®
fabrics block more than 97% of UVA and UVB even after two years wear
Australian standards call for testing fabrics only when
they are new.
In 2006 a law firm filed a law suit against the major
sunscreen makers alleging false and misleading labeling and
advertising that created a false sense of security with sunscreen
users. Major sunscreen manufacturers continue to market their
products as waterproof and as having long-lasting protection.
In 2006 the Solar Protective Factory perfected the SPF®
100% cotton t-shirt that achieves the maximum UPF rating of UPF
In 2007 the Solar Protective Factory officially opened its
new website: www.spfstore.com . The website is an
internet Sun-Protection Superstore carrying a full range of
sun-protective clothing and accessories for men, women and children.