Laboratory coats have become an impromptu laboratory “uniform.” – keeping the wearer clean and offering some protection from light liquid splash and other workplace hazards.
Lab coats are constructed from a variety of materials and come in two types: reusable and disposable. Reusable lab coats are usually made of launderable cotton or a cotton/polyester blend with sewn seams. Disposable lab coats are made from spunbound resins or other material formulations featuring sewn, bound, taped, or welded seams . They may be worn more than once but are usually discarded or recycled when they become damaged or soiled.
Styles of lab coats also vary.
- Most are front-closing using buttons, snaps, or other closures
- Necklines may be collarless or have notched lapel or mandarin collars
- Set-in or raglan-style sleeves can have straight-hemmed cuffs or knit or elastic wrists
- Typically full length, lab coats are available in other lengths
- Unisex styling is common, as are male and female styles; the former may have side slits or vents to access pants pockets, the latter may be darted or otherwise adapted for a female shape
- Lab coats often have three pockets: one breast and two near the lower front
- Lab coats are often white but are available in other colors
Lab coats may have other features for specific situations:
- Static charge dissipating
- Spark- or flame-resistance
- Low lint or lint-free for cleanroom use