What are Hi-Vis Vests Made from and Care?

Posted On June 15, 2020 By Amit Parmar

What are Hi-Vis Vests Made from and Care?

High visibility or hi-vis workwear sometimes referred to as reflective clothing is an important piece of gear for people employed in a wide range of industries. In fact, many government administrations require companies to outfit their employees with this type of clothing such as in manufacturing facilities and warehouses.

There are several jobs that require hi-vis clothing such as those that entail moving equipment, in or near oncoming traffic, or those jobs where employees are susceptible to injury and to avoid personal injury. Other occupations that require high visibility clothing include road surveyors, utility workers, and first responders.

This type of clothing offers a plethora of benefits: most notably:

• Makes it easier for drivers to spot workers, especially in areas with high roadside traffic.
• Creates a safer working environment, where your employees feel safer, resulting in high productivity.
• Reduces likelihood of accidents, thanks to the reflective material.

High visibility vests can be ordered in an assortment of reflective and fluorescent bright colors, so they can be used at any time of day. Hi-vis clothing can be made from several different reflective materials, which are known for their excellent light reflecting properties.

The two most common materials used in the construction of hi-vis clothing are micro-prismatic tape and glass bead reflective tape. Micro-prismatic tape just as the name suggests is made from a special type of plastic vinyl. This vinyl is emblazoned with a large number of small prisms, which collectively reflect the light internally, before reflecting it back at the source.
Micro-prismatic tape material is often a preferred choice, because the light reflected from them tends to travel far, and is concentrated in one direction. Most LED high viz vest are made from glass bead reflective tape, which is the same tape you see on the silver-grey strips on the vests.

High-vis vests made from glass bead reflective tape tend to be more affordable, and reflect light from a source across a wider angle. Even though the light from glass bead reflective vests doesn’t travel that far, they still make a great fit for certain occupations such as building sites, and smaller manufacturing facilities.

Hi-Vis Clothing Care
Given that hi-vis clothing is not the same as regular clothing, they must be cared for a little differently as well. First and most important thing to note is that this type clothing should always be washed in cold water. You may feel that washing high visibility clothing will work more effectively to get rid of the stains, but on the flipside doing so may actually compromise the quality of the reflective clothing.

Another important thing to remember is to wash your hi-vis clothing inside out when washing by hand or in the washing machine. If you forget to flip them inside out, then the reflective tape may be more susceptible to wear and tear.

Lastly, refrain from using bleach or fabric softener, but rather use mild detergent instead. Most high quality hi-vis clothing does not have to be dry cleaned or ironed, so all you have to do is wash, dry and wear them.

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