Is cotton flame resistant?

Q: I’m a workwear designer and I need to know each type of fabric feature for my work, I’d like to know is cotton flame resistant

– Vassia Roditou

Cotton in its natural state is not flame-resistant. It can catch fire and continue to burn if exposed to an ignition source. However, cotton fabrics can be chemically treated to acquire flame-resistant properties.

Flame-resistant cotton, often referred to as FR cotton, is treated with a flame-retardant chemical to slow down the burning process and self-extinguish once the ignition source is removed. This treatment can make cotton a safe choice for workwear in industries where exposure to fire or heat is a risk.

It’s important to note that the flame-resistant properties in treated cotton can wear off over time, especially with continuous washing and wear. Therefore, these garments usually have a specific lifespan and need to be replaced after a certain period or number of washes.

For garments that need to maintain their flame-resistant properties over a long period or through many wash cycles, inherently flame-resistant materials (like Nomex or Kevlar) are often a better choice, even though they might be more expensive.

Always ensure that your flame-resistant clothing meets the safety standards required for your specific industry or job role.

Have a question about personal safety equipment, work clothes, PPE industry? Anbu Safety writer Arlen Wang will find answers to the queries. to submit a question send an email to: info@anbusafety.com

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