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Designing Garments with Reflective

Design for safety and style

Enhanced Garment Designs To Improve Visibility

Whether you are a workwear, footwear or recreational apparel designer, 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material offers important benefits to enhancing your garments.


Designing Consumer Apparel

Designs that incorporate versatile ScotchliteTM reflective materials are sure to get your clothing noticed. Our products bring unlimited creative possibilities to the style and function of your designs.

Think of the selling benefits you could offer to consumers who put a premium on their visibility.

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material products can also provide bright, fashion-oriented accents. Looking for a way to make your logo pop? Try a reflective patch. Want to customize your garment design? Add a colorful reflective emblem.

All it takes to add value to your products is a little imagination and 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material products.

Active Performance – Fitness, Sports Enthusiasts, Joggers, Pedestrian Safety

Active Performance – Fitness, Sports Enthusiasts, Joggers, Pedestrian Safety

Whether you are a footwear or apparel designer, an avid runner, a weekend walker, or an outdoor specialty retailer. 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material offers important benefits to you.


We all need to be seen: walkers, runners, kids, bicyclists…. all of us! Increase your visibility to nearby motorists by wearing footwear and apparel with 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material.


Athletes - take your athletic performance to new heights. Parents - gain a little piece of mind knowing that you and your children are more visible to motorists.

School Clothes & Accessories– Kids & Child Safety at Night

Unintentional injury is the number one killer of children. Pedestrian injuries are the second leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 5 to 14. The Minnesota Safety Council, the Minnesota SAFE KIDS Coalition and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety offer safety tips to help parents and children that include wearing bright colors so that motorists can easily see them. Designers for kids clothing, backpacks and other accessories can incorporate 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material in their designs to help enhance visibility and safety at night.

School Bus Safety

An estimated 25 million students ride school buses daily. The majority of children who have lost their lives involving a school bus were not killed riding the bus but rather while they were outside the bus. Many injuries occur when children are boarding or exiting because a blind spot extends approximately 10 feet in front of the bus obstructing the view of the driver. Children may believe that if they can see the bus the bus driver can see them. By incorporating incorporating reflective materials in the right places in designs, popular brand manufacturers can have an effect on improving child safety at night.

Acknowledgements for the above information to:

Minnesota Department of Public Safety Minnesota Safety Council National SAFE Kids Campaign

Workwear – Floatation Devices PFDs & Marine Applications

Accidents on the water or at sea are a fact of life, but chances for survival are greatly enhanced with 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material - SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Grade products. These products are specifically designed for reflectorizing SOLAS life equipment such as life vests, PFDs, jackets, inflatables and rafts. 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material - SOLAS Grade 6750-I and 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material - SOLAS Grade 3150-A conform to the International Maritime Organization regulations and meet U.S. Coast Guard specifications for reflectivity.


It is difficult to identify survivors in the endless span of open water. And they become even more difficult to spot after dark. The high reflectivity of SOLAS Grade products allows for enhanced visibility 24 hours a day, in all kinds of weather. The durable construction enables Scotchlite reflective material - SOLAS grade products to hold its reflective performance in conditions that range from salt water to ultraviolet exposure. The top film, instead of resting on the glass beads, is supported by walls constructed in a hexagonal pattern unique to 3M which allows air to come between the beads and the top film. This construction accounts for the dramatically higher brightness and wide viewing angles.

Designing Occupational Apparel

Workwear - Road Construction & Road Safety

Roadway workers face more risks and hazards on the job than those in nearly any other occupation. From passing motorists to work site traffic, our workers are continually expected to put their lives in the hands of others. This dangerous working environment is compounded in the early morning hours, at dusk, at night, and during inclement weather conditions when workers become even less visible to others.


The trend toward nighttime road construction only heightens the risks. Between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., 25% of all fatal vehicle/worker accidents occur, even though less than 9% of the full-time workforce is actually on duty (1995 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, Bureau of Labor Statistics). This means that crews working during these low-light hours are three times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle than their daytime counterparts.


The work site contributes to an individual’s lack of visibility.


Many pieces of equipment and safety accessories such as cones, barricades, and signs are bright orange, the same color as most safety vests. So, during daylight hours, rather than standing out against their environment, workers wearing orange vests can actually blend into it.


To be seen at night, a six-foot tall worker often relies on a safety vest that contains less than one square foot of reflective material (3M Traffic Control Material Statistics). Compare that to the equipment surrounding him or her such as a three-foot-tall cone, which incorporates a two-square-foot reflective surface.


Another consideration is whether or not the worker is recognizable as a human form to passing motorists. It may be difficult for a motorist to recognize an object as a person if that person is standing sideways, bending over, or not moving at all. A final thing to consider is the older the motorist, the more illumination that is needed for an object to be recognized.


High visibility safety apparel made with 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material is the answer. When incorporated into safety vests and other protective garments, workers’ visibility in low-light conditions and at night is enhanced. When Scotchlite reflective material is combined with a bright background color-such as fluorescent lime-yellow the workers are also more visible during the day against the sea of work-site orange. And the more reflective material that you specify on your workers’ garments to help outline a human form, the better.

Workwear – Uniforms & Worker Safety

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material provides obvious solutions by helping fire fighters be seen while fighting fires, and EMS technicians be seen and identified by motorists as well as accident victims. 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – Fire Coat Trim offers a fluorescent colored component for daytime visibility, and an integrated silver stripe for visibility in low-light conditions and at night. Fire coat trim meets NFPA 1971, 2000 Edition requirements for flame resistance and convective heat performance.


Fire coat trim also meets the laundering recommendations described in the new NFPA 1851: Selection, Care, and Maintenance Guide. 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – Fabric is lightweight, flexible and easily sewn onto garments, such as coats and pants. It is suitable for use as die-cut letters and numbers to identify firefighters and fire stations. And Scotchlite reflective material from 3M keeps on providing these benefits, wearing after wearing, washing after washing.

Workwear – Law Enforcement Safety

Few work environments are as dangerous as those who enforce our laws on our roads. During routine traffic stops, officers are often at risk of being hit from passing and oncoming traffic. Directing traffic, talking with drivers and treating accident victims on the road can be extremely dangerous, especially at night. Visibility is crucial for all people in the vicinity… the officers, stopped motorists, accident victims and oncoming motorists.


3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material provides obvious solutions by helping law enforcement officers be seen while working as well as be seen and identified by passing motorists. 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material – Fabric is lightweight, flexible and easily sewn onto garments, such as coats and pants. It is suitable for use as die-cut letters and numbers. And Scotchlite reflective material from 3M provides these benefits, wear after wear, wash after wash.

Workwear - Utility Workers Safety

Two important elements in utility worker’s clothing are:

  1. Flame resistance (FR), and
  2. High-visibility.

Most safety and risk managers in the industry recognize and are educated in regards to the FR requirements which are now laws mandated by OSHA. High-visibility requirements, currently standing as guidelines as opposed to legislation, are less adopted and understood. The ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 standard recognizes utility workers as candidates for high-visibility clothing. Are there high-visibility product options available that also meet the necessary FR requirements for utility workers? YES.

Also note: that there are a number of Scotchlite reflective material products that pass ASTM, NFPA, and OSHA requirements for conductivity, electric arc, and flash fire.

Infinite Innovation

At 3M, science inspires new design. And design inspires new science. At the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, 3M partnered with global design firm Gensler to create high-end fashions using 3M materials. See Design Stories.

Green, Gray Strip
Why 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material

Consumers are aware of the Scotchlite reflective material brand and look for it in the products they purchase. We have tools that draw attention to your use of Scotchlite reflective material, and show your customers the benefits reflective material brings to them. Market your products with 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material Brand Assets & Collateral.


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