We do not offer Hi Vis Cotton products at Reflective Apparel because Hi Vis Cotton does not pass the requirements of ANSI Testing Standards!
Cotton versus Polyester
Cotton that is immersion dyed with fluorescent color is not vibrant enough to qualify as ANSI hi visibility safety apparel. Hi-vis cotton fails after wash and exposure testing because the fibers do not absorb an adequate amount of the fluorescent color that is required for the background material. Therefore hi-vis cotton will not offer the level of protection ANSI and ISEA require. Garments that consist of fifty percent cotton and fifty percent polyester also fail to meet ANSI requirements for the fluorescent background material.
Polyester is a petroleum based fiber. Before the fibers are extruded they begin as small plastic chips that are then melted and extruded through a spinneret that creates the fibers. After this process the dye color is chemically added as the material is spun. The color is uniform throughout each fiber. Unlike cotton, polyester is not immersion dyed giving it the ability to maintain the hi-vis color and brightness for the life of the garment.
When your safety is important, you want to be at your most visible.
For those of you seeking the desirable properties of cotton, feel and comfort…
Modern processes now allow for synthetic fibers to be woven in various textures to simulate the feel of other fabrics, such as cotton. We offer a Jersey knit fabric that has a cotton-like feel but is 100% polyester.
Benefits of polyester
A major difference between cotton and polyester is that synthetic fibers are stronger than cotton! That means they are more durable as work wear. The fabric is lighter and feels smooth on the skin. Lighter weight means cooler work wear.
In addition to being more durable, another benefit of polyester is that it wicks away moisture instead of absorbing it. Wicking is the property of the fiber to transport moisture away from the skin. The fabric lifts moisture from the skin and disperses it throughout a large area which allows the moisture to evaporate more quickly.
If you are looking for ANSI certified High Visibility Apparel, such as ANSI class 2 safety vests and ANSI class 3 safety vests, do not be fooled into buying hi-vis cotton. High visibility polyester will keep you visible, cool, dry, and ANSI compliant.