Flame Retardant Guide

Click HERE to view our full range of Flame Retardant / Resistant Clothing

When working in potentially high risk environments, such as welding, the correct layering of Flame Retardant and/or Flame Resistant (FR) garments can significantly reduce the risk of burn injury in hazardous situations.

We at HT Hughes supply an extensive range of Flame Retardant and Flame Resistant workwear from FR Overalls, Trousers, Jackets, t-shirts and undergarments through to FR Welders Gloves, Sleeves, Balaclavas, Helmets, Socks and much more.

Flame Retardant-Flame Resistant Finish

Flame Retardant and flame resistant fabrics are designed to slow down the spread of fire and to protect the wearer against risk of injury by a naked flame, sparks, or molten metal splash.  The majority of garments and fabrics in this class consist of a cotton based fabric which is treated with a chemical that prevents the cotton from catching fire and prevents the spread of any flame through the garment.

When exposed to a flame or heat source, these chemicals react and release a gas which smothers the spread of fire by removing the oxygen needed by the fire to spread.

FR fabrics which fall into this category include Proban, Pyrovatex, Bizflame and Bizweld.

Garments and fabrics in this class will eventually, after repeated washing, provide a slightly lower level of protection as the chemical in the fabric can get gradually washed out. However, all flame retardant or flame resistant chemical finishes are designed to last for the practical life of the garment.

Inherently Flame Retardant-Flame Resistant

A further class of flame resistant and flame retardant fabrics are described as inherent. That is to say that the FR properties are inherent to the actual fibre the fabric is woven from. Such fabrics and garments will maintain 100% of their FR property for their entire life. When exposed to flame, these fibres do not burn or melt.

Fabrics in this class include Nomex, Araflame and other aramid fibres, plus modified acrylic fabrics such as Modaflame and Protex.

Which Brand?

The most popular and extensive brand of Flame Retardant and Flame Resistant workwear we supply is Portwest.  Established well over 100 years, Portwest are experts in creating clothing for high risk environments and provide a range of FR clothing that is second to none.

We also supply Flame Retardant workwear from Black Knight and Dickies.  Click on the brand logos below to view each range.

Portwest Flame RetardantBlack Knight Flame RetardantDickies Flame Retardant

Laundering of FR Fabrics

Flame Retardant/Resistant Fabrics need to be regularly washed and dried in order to remove any dirt and contamination.  The quality of the laundry service is of high importance.  Garments must be laundered according to the manufacturers instructions provided in the care label sewn into the garment, as incorrect laundering of FR garments can seriously effect their performance and fit.  The garments Flame Retardant / Resistant properties will last much longer if correctly laundered and washed.

Washing / Drying Procedure:

Pre-treatment:
If stains are difficult to remove, they can be treated before putting into the washing machine with a liquid soap applied directly to stains and and lightly rubbed.
Heavier and stubborn stains should be pretreated with a commercial stain removal product at the earliest opportunity and sufficient time allowed for the pre-treatment to penetrate and loosen the stain.

Never use chlorine bleach or washing detergents containing bleach as these may discolour and will reduce the flame resistance properties of the fabric.

Fabric softeners, starches and other laundry additives are not recommended as they can mask the flame resistance performance and may also act as a fuel in case of combustion.

Washing:

Always wash contaminated workwear seperately, do not mix with non workwear.  Flame Retardant / Resistant fabric can usually be washed at high temperatures however it is the components (ie. the reflective tape, badging, etc.) on a finished garment that dictates the maximum washing temperature that the garment can be washed at.  Always follow the washing temperature on the garment label.  Always wash and dry garments inside out to minimise surface abrasion and help maintain the surface appearance of the fabric.  Zips should be closed during washing.

Drying:

Tumble drying is not usually recommended as the temperature used is often too high and can cause garment shrinkage.  It is vital that cotton or cotton mix garments are not over dried.  Over drying is the main cause of excessive garment shrinkage.  Do not hang in direct sunlight, as this can cause fading.

Our Best Selling Flame Retardant Products

Below, you can see a few examples of our most popular Flame Retardant and Flame Resistant products.  Some are well established with many of our larger customers, and feature discounts for quantity, so, the more you buy, the more you save.