The Difference Between High Visibility Clothes & Reflective Clothes

When it comes to health and safety, high visibility clothes are essential. Especially for those who work in high-risk positions. Part of the health and safety rules stipulate that certain workers must wear high visibility clothing at all times during their working hours. But what is the difference between high visibility clothing and reflective clothing? Below, we are going to look at the differences between the two and how each one works to provide safety for the worker.

What Is Reflective Clothing?

Reflective clothing is clothing which has been manufactured using materials with light reflecting properties. The retro-reflective material is made with a base layer of either cloth or polyester. Next, a layer of thin and flexible adhesive is applied and then micro glass beads are attached. The second layer of adhesive is then placed over the top of the micro glass beads and then it is left to cure.

The glass beads work much in the same way as a mirror and will reflect any light that is directed at them, thus illuminating them to create a bright glow. The reason that the beads possess such reflective qualities lies in the fact that they are half coated with an aluminum foil. It is this foil which catches the light and then refocusses it back in the direction it came from. While they are not high visibility clothes per se, it does offer a high level of visibility during the dark hours.

What Is High Visibility Clothing?

High Visibility clothes are items which have been produced in some of the most vibrant and bright shades possible. Typically you will find the clothing in varying shades of yellow, green, and orange, or a combination of 2 or more shades.

The types of clothing you will find are trousers or pants, vests, jackets, tops, and hats. The type of clothing worn will primarily depend on the position of the worker and their uniform requirements. High visibility clothes do not usually have its own reflective qualities.

A Mix Of The Two Types

For maximum visibility and impact, high visibility clothing will consist of a mix of both types of fabric. The high visibility colors provide ample exposure during daylight hours or in brightly lit locations, while the reflective wear provides easy sight of the wearer during dark hours and poorly lit locations.

Final Thoughts On The Difference Between High Visibility Clothing & Reflective Clothing

The 2 different types of clothing both have their own obvious advantages and will fit different types of working locations differently. The best high visibility clothes make use of both types in one and make for a versatile item of clothing for all situations.