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Retroglo® Data Sheet
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RetroGlo nighttime safety yarn          3M Scotchlite Reflective Material

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Product Data Sheet | Special Retroglo® Made to Order Products | How To View Retroglo®

Product Data Sheet


RetrogloŽ yarn contains thousands of minute glass beads which reflect light back to a light source, such as a car's headlights. The driver sitting behind the headlights immediately sees the reflected light and is alerted to the wearer ahead.

RetrogloŽ in clothing reflects light making the wearer more visible at nighttime. Joggers, walkers, bicycle riders, highway workers, etc. are a few examples. RetrogloŽ can be woven, braided or knit into fabrics or into trim to be applied to fabric. In either use, RetrogloŽ provides enhanced nighttime visibility without affecting the aesthetic appearance of the fabric.




To add strength, 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Film is laminated in wide rolls on either one or both sides of a polyester film. The wide rolls are micro-slit to narrow widths to make RetrogloŽ yarns which have a rectangular cross section. The width, which has the retro reflective surface, is always wider than the thickness.

When wound on spools, the width lays flat, but Metlon is unable to control which side is up. During the process of slitting, RetrogloŽ may turn over and the opposite side will be up. This is particularly important to users of RetrogloŽ Style 2P1 yarns, which only have the retro reflective surface on one side, as they must find some way to keep the retro reflective surface up in their finished product. Many of our customers are able to control this and those who cannot, use two-sided RetrogloŽ.

During slitting, Metlon occasionally encounters end breaks. The only way which Metlon can fix end breaks is by putting knots into the material. As a result, customer may encounter knots in the slit spools of RetrogloŽ.

The slit edges of RetrogloŽ will tend to stick to one another under pressure. For this reason, spools of RetrogloŽ are wound softly. If it is necessary to rewind the RetrogloŽ onto braider bobbins, cones, beams, etc., it should be wound softly to avoid sticking and possible delamination during unwinding.


Standard products and widths are 2P2 1/69", 1/50”, 1/32", 1/23”, and 2P1 1/32”. Other sizes slit to order. Put up is on plastic spools.

Style 2P1 - 3M™ 8712 laminated to one side of 2 mil clear polyester
Style 2P2 - 3M™ 8712 laminated to both sides of 2 mil clear polyester


Elongation: 35 - 40%
Breaking Strength: 250 grams
Yield Point: 15 - 20 grams
Note: Even though beads are in an elastic bond, excess stretching may loosen the bond.


Style 2P1

Style 2P2


27. 5%

16. 0%

Glass Beads

50. 5%

59. 0%

Phenolic Resin

11. 0%

12. 5%

Urethane Adhesive

11. 0%

12. 5%


The components used to make Retroglo®, polyester film and 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material No. 8712, have an indefinite life under ideal conditions. However, excessive exposure to a number of conditions such as wear, high heat, salt water, etc., will shorten the life of Retroglo®.


Machine wash in cold water at temperatures less than 125 degrees F. Very hot water will weaken the urethane adhesive bead bond. Do not use bleach and avoid soaps containing bleach.


Treat like all synthetics and use lowest setting on iron.


Preferably dyed yarn construction should be used. Dyeing is not recommended because of high processing temperature.
Bleaching will reduce yarn life.


Acetone and solvent type chemicals.
High heats over 300 degrees F. can cause accelerated deterioration of bead bond.


Only limited tests have been run at this time and users should conduct tests to determine the suitability of RetrogloŽ in their product.

Retroglo® is the registered trademark for Metlon's retro reflective yarn.
3M™ and Scotchlite™ are trademarks of 3M.



All statements, technical information and recommendations contained herein are based on test we believe to be reliable, but the accuracy or completeness thereof is not guaranteed, and the following is made in lieu of all warranties, express or implied.
Sellers and manufacturers only obligation shall be to replace such quantity of the product proved to be defective. Neither seller nor manufacturer shall be liable for any injury, loss or damage, direct or consequential, arising out of the use of or the inability to use the product. Before using, user shall determine the suitability of the product for his / her intended use, and user assumes all risk and liability whatsoever in connection therewith.
Statements or recommendations not contained herein shall have no force or effect unless in an agreement signed by officers of seller and manufacturer.



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