Reflective Apparel takes pride in supplying quality high visibility garments since 1989. Originally founded to support the public safety market’s need for nighttime reflectivity, RA was at the forefront of the ANSI standard for High Visibility. Over the years we have added a complete line of ANSI 107-2020 Compliant garments. We start with premium components such as YKK™ zippers, 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Materials, 3M™ Thinsulate™ and Teflon™ coatings. Breathable fabrics coupled with quality sewing production provides a top value for our customers.

ANSI FAQ

Are there other differences between ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 and ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 standards?

The updated ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 standard includes changes such as:

  • Removing the criteria for high-visibility accessories in favor of continuing to emphasize the configurations and design requirements that contribute to the Type-Performance Class designation.
  • Adding accommodating scenarios since garments can become soiled easily because of the work environment. This edition includes specific criteria for a single-use disposable coverall, which complies with the requisite minimum material amounts and color requirements imposed on all compliant HVSA, and emphasizes that the associated material integrity requirements are only applicable to single-use disposable coveralls, for which unique marking is applied.
  • Updates to the tests methods in an effort to align more closely with other material integrity tests and to recognize current versions used for evaluating the materials.
  • Introducing the concept of measuring the overall nighttime luminance of a garment by including optional language that allows a manufacturer to test a garment according to ASTM E1501.

Should I personalize or logo my apparel?

Many companies favor the professional appearance and the brand identity of adding logos. Adding titles, training levels, safety award designations etc can improve morale. A decrease in theft/shrinkage has been associated with personalizing the apparel. A note of caution – the logo size must take into account the area of background material necessary for safety and compliance. Too large a logo on smaller items (i.e. a vest) may make the garment non-compliant to standards.

Who decides what ANSI class I need to buy?

Recommendations surrounding the speed of traffic, the complexity of the work environments and the worker’s ability to focus should all be taken into account. Each company must have a “competent person” (often the Safety Director or Manager) make this determination. A risk assessment should be performed to answer this question – or the company may select to default to Class III for all of their high visibility needs as a precaution.

Polyester is hotter than cotton, is there another option?

Everyone loves the feel of cotton tees, and many of us have experienced polyester of the past. Poor quality polyester is very heavy, with no wicking characteristics to pull moisture away from the body. The last few years have had an explosion of high quality performance fabrics for athletes. Companies such as Nike® and Under Armour® have revolutionized how we see polyester. These same improvements make polyester a great option for ANSI compliant tees and other work wear. For cotton garments, a sign of quality was a heavy feel (i.e. Beefy Tees®) – often 6.2 ounces. For polyester garments, the inverse is true, with leading manufacturers producing micromesh garments as light as 3.7 ounces.

Why is the lime-yellow color more prevalent in the US market?

Lime is by far the preferred color for ANSI wearers. This is due to multiple factors.

  • Easier to see- April 2000 issue of Utility Safety reports lime color provides better visibility in a cluttered work zone. Lime is seen more clearly and more brightly than the orange. Red/green colorblind individuals see orange as black in sodium light (roadway conditions).
  • Orange is in uses for barricades and other inanimate objects. At low visibility, is preferred to differentiate the worker from his backdrop.
  • Penal system has selected orange – road crews do not want to be confused with a prison work crew.

What colors of ANSI garments can I select?

ANSI has approved 3 specific florescent colors for use – lime-yellow, orange and red. In the United States, the lime-yellow and orange are available. The red is primarily a European offering.

Can I buy cotton ANSI and still be compliant?

No. The standards for ANSI 107-2020 require a compliant background material of florescent lime or orange. The requirements to dye to the florescent color are rigorous. The natural fibers of cotton will not hold the dye initially, and quickly wash right out. Mills do manufacture a 50/50 (cotton to polyester ratio) that is often named “safety green” or “safety orange”. These garments will not meet the ANSI requirements, even with the addition of the appropriate retroreflective materials.

How should I wash my ANSI garments?

The life of the ANSI apparel can be extended by handling the garments with care. Do not dry clean. You can machine wash the garment on gentle in cold or warm water with traditional laundry detergent. Fabric softeners and bleach will prevent wicking and breathability, and harm the apparel. Turning the garment inside out will lengthen the life of the reflective striping. Best drying method is to line dry.

What types of Retroreflective materials are available?

The reflective materials in use generally fall into 2 categories – open cell / glass bead, or closed cell / prismatic products. On garments, the open cell/ glass bead product is the most common. An example would be the 3M™ Scotchlite™ Materials. Glass bead is actually very small pieces of glass captured in an adhesive layer.

3M™ Reflective Materials

3M™ Reflective Materials are composed of wide angle, exposed retroreflective lenses bonded with a special polymer layer. In plain terms, microscopic glass spheres acting like mirrors are glued, with abrasion & wash resistant adhesive, to various materials that we can apply to apparel. The spherical shape of the lenses bounce light back towards the the viewer in a prism-like fashion. The effect is that the material “glows” when viewed from an angle close to a light source. The most common light source being your vehicles headlights. This means that more light is sent back towards the viewer, even if the person wearing the safety apparel is turned away.

Reflective Apparel manufactures with a variety of fabric’s that require different 3M™ Reflective Material solutions. Transfer films have adhesive backing that can be readily applied to a t-shirt. Unfortunately, the mesh fabric of a lightweight vest has holes and needs to have a reflective material already affixed to a solid fabric backing that is sewn onto the garment.

3M™ manufactures their reflective material by series number. You may notice slighty different, but similar material numbers due to advances in material releases. For example: to combat low quality knock-off material being sold under their name, 3M™ has begun to laser mark their material with a “holographic” 3M watermark. 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material - 8710 Silver Transfer Film and 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material - 8712 Silver Transfer Film are virtually identical, except the latter is marked.

3M™ Reflective Materials

3M™ Reflective Materials are composed of wide angle, exposed retroreflective lenses bonded with a special polymer layer. In plain terms, microscopic glass spheres acting like mirrors are glued, with abrasion & wash resistant adhesive, to various materials that we can apply to apparel. The spherical shape of the lenses bounce light back towards the the viewer in a prism-like fashion. The effect is that the material “glows” when viewed from an angle close to a light source. The most common light source being your vehicles headlights. This means that more light is sent back towards the viewer, even if the person wearing the safety apparel is turned away.

Reflective Apparel manufactures with a variety of fabric’s that require different 3M™ Reflective Material solutions. Transfer films have adhesive backing that can be readily applied to a t-shirt. Unfortunately, the mesh fabric of a lightweight vest has holes and needs to have a reflective material already affixed to a solid fabric backing that is sewn onto the garment.

3M™ manufactures their reflective material by series number. You may notice slighty different, but similar material numbers due to advances in material releases. For example: to combat low quality knock-off material being sold under their name, 3M™ has begun to laser mark their material with a “holographic” 3M watermark. 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – 8710 Silver Transfer Film and 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – 8712 Silver Transfer Film are virtually identical, except the latter is marked.

Certificates for The 3M™ Reflective Material can be found here >>

 

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material - 8710 Silver Transfer Film

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – Transfer Films are designed for use on safety garments and in athletic and casual wear. When properly used, Scotchlite™ reflective material – transfer films help enhance the visibility of the wearer in nighttime or low-light conditions when illuminated by a light source such as headlights, by returning the light back toward the original source and reaching the automobile driver’s eye. Scotchlite™ reflective material – transfer films are composed of wide angle, exposed retroreflective lenses bonded to a heat activated adhesive.

Read more about 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – 8710 Series Silver Transfer Film here >>

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material - 8906 Silver Fabric Trim

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – Fabrics are designed for use on safety garments and in athletic and casual wear. When properly used, Scotchlite™ reflective material helps enhance the visibility of the wearer in nighttime or low-light conditions when illuminated by a light source, such as headlights, by returning the light back toward the original source and reaching the automobile driver’s eye. Scotchlite™ reflective material – 8906 Series Silver Fabric Trim is composed of wide angle, exposed retroreflective lenses bonded to a durable cloth backing and is safe for home wash. The fabric backing on some products is printed with 3M trademarks for easy product identification.

Read more about 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – 8906 Series Silver Fabric Trim here >>

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material - 8910 Silver Fabric

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – Fabrics are designed for use on safety garments and in athletic and casual wear. When properly used, Scotchlite™ reflective material helps enhance the visibility of the wearer in nighttime or low-light conditions when illuminated by a light source, such as headlights, by returning the light back toward the original source and reaching the automobile driver’s eye. Scotchlite™ reflective material – 8910 Series Silver Fabric is composed of wide angle, exposed retroreflective lenses bonded to a durable cloth backing and is safe for home wash. The fabric backing on some products is printed with 3M trademarks for easy product identification.

Read more about 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – 8910 Series Silver Fabric Trim here >>

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material - 8935 Silver Industrial Wash Flame Resistant Fabric

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – Fabrics are designed for use on safety garments and in athletic and casual wear. When properly used, Scotchlite™ reflective material helps enhance the visibility of the wearer in nighttime or low-light conditions when illuminated by a light source, such as headlights, by returning the light back toward the original source and reaching the automobile driver’s eye. Scotchlite™ reflective material – 8935 Series Silver Industrial Wash Flame Resistant Fabric is composed of wide angle, exposed retroreflective lenses bonded to a durable cloth backing and is safe for home wash. The fabric backing on some products is printed with 3M trademarks for easy product identification.

This flame resistant retroreflective fabric is made with 100% FR treated cotton.

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – Fabrics are flame resistant and certified to NFPA and CAN/CGSB standards as components for fire fighting and technical rescue clothing and equipment, including: NFPA 1971 Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, 2007 edition; NFPA 1977 Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting, 2005 Edition; NFPA 1951 Standard on Protective Ensembles for Technical Rescue Incidents, 2007 Edition, or CAN/CGSB 155.1 Firefighters’ Protective Clothing for Protection Against Heat and Flame, 2001 Edition.

Read more about 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – 8935 Series Silver Industrial Wash Flame Resistant Fabric here >>

How Does Our Systems Gear Work?

Our High Visibility Systems Gear is designed to have interchangeable parkas, jackets, and sweatshirts. Choose a breathable, waterproof parka, then zip in your choice of jacket or sweatshirt to create a complete modular system that meets your high visibility and safety needs.

STEP 1 >

CHOOSE YOUR PARKA

The parka will act as the outer jacket, creating a waterproof and breathable shell. The Parka has special zippers and snaps to connect to your choice of an inner coat. See the diagram below. The inner coat can be chosen depending on the need of the wearer. You can chose a warm fleece sweatshirt or a 3-season jacket:

VEA-431-ST-LM in lime
VEA-431-ST-OR in orange
VEA-431-ST-LB in 2-tone lime/black

VEA-431-ST-OB in 2-tone Orange/black
VEA-431-CS-LB in 2-tone lime/black with contrasting orange tape

STEP 2 >

CHOOSE YOUR INNER COAT

The combined 2 jackets will be waterproof and breathable. Anytime your need changes, just unzip and unsnap the inner coat and each jacket can be worn separately or the whole system can be reconfigured.

VEA-421-ST-LM High Visibility 3 Season Jacket in lime
VEA-421-ST-OR High Visibility 3 Season Jacket in orange
VEA-602-ST-LM High Visibility Sweatshirt in lime

VEA-602-ST-OR High Visibility Sweatshirt in orange
VEA-602-ST-LB High Visibility Sweatshirt in 2-tone lime/black
VEA-603-ST-LB High Visibility Thermal Lined Full Zip Hoodie in 2-tone lime/black

STEP 3 >

CREATE YOUR TOTAL CHOICE MODULAR SYSTEM

Care Instructions for Your VEA Apparel

Machine wash with like colors in cold water on a delicate cycle.
You may use a mild detergent.

No Bleach or Fabric Softener!

Tumble Dry on low heat. Remove immediately.

  • Do not Iron.
  • Do not Dry Clean.

Good options: OxiClean, Shout, Zout, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, Fels Naptha Soap
All good for spot cleaning and helpful with grease

We Do Have some Suggestions for Extending the Life of Your Garments!

When you machine launder your garments, try to avoid adding garments with a rough finish to the wash. The microscopic glass beads on the retroreflective tape can be worn off by the rough treatment. Avoid throwing your garments in the wash with your work jeans!

Where it is easily possible, you should wash the garment inside out.

Similarly, to protect the reflective tape, avoid Fabric softener. One wash with a fabric softener may significantly damage the reflective ability of the tape.

If you line dry your garments you will extend the life of the reflective tape. If you choose to machine dry, try to remove the garment immediately. The added heat of the garment against the drum, with other hot clothes piled on can damage the reflective tape.

Our polyester garments do not bleed, but other dark garments may. This may cause a slight reduction in the intensity of fluorescent color. Try to wash the garments with other light color fabrics.

Do not forget to wash your vests! We know you love to throw them in the truck and forget about them. The dirt from workwear can diminish the intensity of the fluorescent color. You want the color to be as visible as possible so the vest can be effective.

What Do Those Washing Instruction Icons Mean?

Hand Wash icon
Hand Wash icon

Do not bleach icon
Do not bleach icon

Tumble dry icon
Machine Wash icon

Do not dry icon.
Do not dry icon

Do not tumble dry icon
Do not tumble dry icon

drip_dry
Drip dry icon

Dry in the shade icon
Dry in the shade icon

Dry laying flat icon
Dry laying flat icon

Line dry icon
Line dry icon

Do not dry clean icon
Do not dry clean icon

Do not iron icon
Do not iron icon

Iron icon
Iron icon

Machine Wash icon
Machine Wash icon

Usually inside is a temperature. Sometimes the temperature is represented by dots to represent (1) low, (2) medium, (3) high heat.

Tumble dry icon
Tumble dry icon

Usually with dots inside to represent low, medium, high heat.