Fabric that is certified as FR has been topically treated in an immersion process with a chemical fire retardant after the fabric has been woven. All cottons and other natural fibers certified as flame retardant are FR topically treated. Some synthetic fabrics are also topically treated. Because the treatment is topical, it will wear out in time, and repeated cleanings will cause the flame retardancy to dissolve sooner. Most flame proofing chemicals are water soluble and will also dissipate through dry cleaning. Draperies made from FR fabrics should be re-tested periodically for flame retardancy, as retreatment may be required. For this reason, FR flame retardancy is certified for only one year.
Fabric flammability is an important issue to consider, especially for drapery that will be used in a public space such as a school, theatre or special event venue, since federal regulations require that drapery fabrics used in such spaces be certified as fire retardant. Although all fabric will burn, some are naturally more resistant to fire than others. Those that are more flammable can have their fire resistance drastically improved by treatment with flame retardant chemicals.
Certain synthetic fibers are extremely flame resistant, including glass fibers and modacrylic. Other synthetics, including certain polyesters, are slow to ignite and may even self-extinguish. Natural fibers typically do not melt. Wool and silk burn slowly, are difficult to ignite, and may self-extinguish. With other untreated natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen, the fabric can ignite quickly, resulting in a fast moving flame spread. Fabrics that include a combination of natural and synthetic fibers, such as polyester-cotton blends, can be particularly troublesome, as they combine the fast ignition and flame spread of the natural fiber with the melting aspect of the synthetic fiber.
The ignition and burn factors of fabric are also affected by the weight and weave of the fabric. Lightweight, loose weave fabrics will burn more quickly than heavier fabrics with a tight weave.In addition, fabric flammability can also be affected by the fabrics surface texture, with napped fabrics (such as velvets and velours) igniting more easily than fabrics with a smooth surface.
About the Author:
Authors are students of Govt.Poly.Solapur
This paper was also presented at event under national level grand fiesta PRAGYAA-2010 Department of Textile Technology of S G G S I E &T., Nanded.