Fabrics and Fire Safety

Modern textiles tend to be a blend of natural and/or synthetic fibers, with each unique combination having its own susceptibility to resist or catch fire. But, even if a fabric is described as fire-resistant or fire retardant, it does not mean that it is fire-proof. Among natural fibers, 100% wool is considered the least flammable, especially when tightly woven. Synthetics are considered generally to be more resistant to catching fire – but even without ever bursting into flames, some acrylic fabrics may give off toxins or cause skin burns at high heat. That’s reason enough to be more mindful of material woven into pajamas than, for example, materials woven into outer jackets.

It’s important to be cautious when shopping for clothing, drapery and furnishing fabrics, especially online, where you may not be able to read labels. It’s even more critical when ordering garments from overseas, as the source country may not have stringent manufacturing requirements regarding fire safety. Look for brand labels you know and trust to have verified that the textiles have been pre-treated against fire. If you are unsure, you can buy your own spray applicant to treat fabrics, but you need to be just as cautions that it is verifiable as safe to use.

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