Protective Clothing - Definition of Clothing  Apparel Search

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Protective clothing is clothing designed to protect either the wearer's body or other items of clothing from hazards such as heat, chemicals and infection. Also, special clothes may protect the working environment from pollution and/or infection from the worker, for example in a microchip factory. The protection may also be important in both ways, as with the use of disposable gloves by surgeons and dentists.

Protective clothing is also worn for contact sports, such as ice hockey and American football. Baseball players wear sliding shorts and a cup under their pants. See baseball uniform, hockey mask, jockstrap.

Protective clothing and other protective equipment are often referred to as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), a term which includes forms of protective equipment which are not strictly items of clothing (for example, eye and ear protection).

Protective clothing extends to body armor such as bullet-proof vests, historical armor and futuristic powered armor. In UK legislation the term PPE does not cover such items as armour.

Common protective materials include Nomex, Kevlar.

Examples of protective clothing/personal protective equipment

Hand protection

  • gloves

    • Gloves to protect from contamination and infection (e.g. disposable latex/vinyl/nitrile gloves)

    • Gloves to protect from extremes of temperature (e.g. oven gloves, welder's gloves)

    • Gloves to protect from mechanical hazards (e.g. rigger gloves, chainmail gloves)

    Hearing protection

    ear defenders


    Eye protection

    Respiratory protection

    filter mask

    Particulate respirator (N95)

    gas mask

    PAPR Powered Air Purifying Respirator

    Self Contained Breathing Apparatus

Protective headgear

  • helmet

  • hard hat

  • mask - specifically ones made of hard material like those used by Goalies in ice hockey (a goalie mask)  and catchers in baseball as protection against being struck in the face by flying objects.

Protective footwear

Other PPE

  • fall arrest equipment

  • high-visibility clothing (to ensure visibility to prevent accidents)

  • apron protects the body and other clothing from dirt (also used as distinction by waiters)

  • diaper (nappy in British English)

  • spacesuit

  • Fire protection suit

  • lifejacket

  • chainsaw protection (especially a helmet with face guard, hearing protection, kevlar chaps, anti-vibration gloves, and safety boots)

  • bee keepers wear various levels of protection depending on the temperament of their bees and the reaction of the bees to nectar availability. At minimum most bee keepers wear a brimmed hat and a veil made of hardware cloth similar to window screen material. The next level of protection is offered by leather gloves with long gauntlets and by some way of keeping bees from crawling up one's trouser legs. In extreme cases, shirts and trousers are also fabricated to serve as barriers to the bees' stingers.

  • chaps are individual pant leggings made of leather and worn by farriers, cowboys, and rodeo contestants to protect the legs from contact with hooves, thorny undergrowth, and other such work hazards. May also be made of other materials for leg protection against other hazards, such as "rain chaps" of waterproof materials, or "saw chaps" of Kevlar for chainsaw workers.

Most forms of industrial clothing are protective clothing.

Flak Jacket


Clothing Definitions

The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (  6/12/05

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