• Viewbrite Safety Products
  • Viewbrite Safety Products
  • Viewbrite Safety Products

Fluorescent Orange T Shirts Will Help You Remain Visible

The decade of the 1960s was nearly half a century ago but the eye-popping colors that emerged from those psychedelic years endured far beyond the fashions that made them seem attractive. As with most popular trends, the underground culture of the time was quickly co-opted by the fashion and entertainment industries. Bright colors previously unseen in apparel became widespread, and one of the more enduring and practical applications was in fluorescent orange t shirts.

The Science

There is a real difference, however, in true fluorescence and the garish colors we label with that name. Throughout nature, the phenomenon is found in many creatures and substances that are able to create their own light by absorbing photons and then emitting them as visible light. The actual production of this light, fluorescence, is named after the mineral fluorite, known for its glow.

The scientific description, however, is actually very different from its role in manufactured clothing. Scientists have discovered methods that can improve clothing dyes and are able to make the hues incredibly bright and reflective. Additives and brighteners that amplify light emissions create not only clothing that is fun to wear but is also highly visible, even at night.

In The Safety Industry

This unintended consequence proved to be fortuitous in the industrial safety industry. The new, easy-to-see colors meant that workers in many jobs now had a new way to cut down on injuries caused by poor visibility. Bright orange is popular for these worker applications but other highly visible colors treated in the same chemical fashion include lime green and even bright yellow.

Greater Awareness

Today, there are truly valid reasons for using these kinds of colors in manufacturing safety garments ranging from the ever-present cotton t-shirt to the dyes used in coloring the clothing worn by heavy equipment operators. Simply wearing these glowing uniforms automatically creates a greater awareness through an amplified visual presence. Untold numbers of accidents have been prevented because of this new safety clothing.

Useful Elsewhere As Well

Workers in construction or manufacturing are not the only people benefiting from the development of highly visible fluorescent dyes and other materials. While shirts of all types have been given this treatment, some manufacturers combine sturdy space-age fabrics for outdoor recreational use with the same bright colors, creating an extra measure of visibility for hikers, hunters, and other sports enthusiasts.

Coats, trousers and even fleeces and sweatshirts now sport the same bright orange as the ubiquitous t-shirts. Apparel is not the only area where the color is useful, however, because the same dyes have been used in the manufacture of everything from shopping bags to laptop cases, making them easier to see and harder to lose. Today, this type of high visibility coloration has gone mainstream, even down to your personal monogram or company logo.

Fluorescent orange t shirts must meet minimum safety standards. The sleeveless look is out and most safety t shirts must have at least a short sleeve to qualify for sale in a safety store. They must be durable and adaptable to changing weather. Some safety gear is made with further reflective bands for extra visibility, and make a good undergarment for other safety vests and jackets. From its humble beginnings in psychedelic circles, the fluorescent t shirt has become respectable and useful.

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