Fire Retardant Fabric General Information and Guide Lines
The following information is given to assist customers and is based upon our understanding of standards and our experience working with FR Treatment centres in treating a variety of fabrics. It is for guidance only.
Note Fire-retardant fabric should not be confused with fire-resistant materials. A fire resistant material is one that is designed to resist burning and withstand heat, however, fire-retardant fabrics are designed to burn slowly.
If seeking professional advice we would advise speaking with a specialist fabric treatment centre.
There are essentially two treatments for making either fire retardant curtain fabric or fire retardant upholstery fabric and these methods are Impregnation and Back Coating.
Impregnation Fire Retardant Curtain Fabric
The normal method used for fire retardant curtain fabric, and includes bedspreads, walling and soil/stain is where the compounds are water based. The fabric passes through the liquid and is then mangled between two rubber rollers under pressure before passing through a Stentor for drying and curing. Some pile fabric may be affected by this method, but pre-testing will determine if this will happen. The treatment leaves no visible signs on cloth.
Back-Coating Fire Retardant Upholstery Fabric
The normal method used to ensure fire retardant upholstery fabric is where the FR chemicals are bound in a polymer, to which a regulated amount of air is added before being applied to the reverse of the fabric. The coating will vary according to the type of fabric and/or standard required. Crib 5 will require a heavier coating than for domestic upholstery fabric. The fabric is dried through Stentor on a reel to reel operation. This gives a white opaque look to the back of the fabric.
Natural fibres including those derived from natural materials for example viscose, model, cupro are generally the most suited to flame retardant processing requiring a lower chemical add-on resulting in a better handle and feel. Even if mixed with a low percentage of man-made fibres a good finished product can be obtained. The higher the percentage of man-made fibres the poorer the end result and some should generally be avoided like polyethylene, polypropylene, acrylic, acetate and olefin, unless they are a very small percentage of the overall composition.
Polyester is usually treatable for both domestic and contract upholstery if mixed with a high percentage of natural fibres. Some 100% polyester is suitable for curtain flame retardent treatment but it can darken in colour and mark when handled.
Fabrics to avoid:
- Pocket Fabrics: - These are very difficult to treat for upholstery and may pucker if treated for curtains.
- Moires And Chintz Glazes: Can diminish or be totally lost during processing for curtains. They are usually suitable for upholstery. Some curtains can be backcoated to retain the moire.
- Gaufrage Velvets: Can lose the effect of the pressed patterns.
- Wide Fabrics: like over 17pcm cannot generally be processed.
- Voile & Sheers: Can cloud and crease in processing. Therefore, select an inherent fabric such as Trevira if available.
IF YOU NEED ANY ADVICE ON FABRIC SUITABILITY, FLAMMABILITY STANDARDS BOTH IN THE U.K. AND ABROAD OR HAVE ANY TECHNICAL QUERIES THEN WE WOULD RECOMMEND YOU SPEAK WITH A SPECIALISED FLAME PROOF TREATMENT CENTRE.
The following information is given to assist customers and is based upon our understanding of standards and our experience in treating a variety of fabrics. It is for guidance only.
Interliners For Domestic Furniture
Fabrics which contain a minimum of 75% by weight of the following natural fibres - cotton, modal, flax, silk, viscose or wool - can be upholstered over a schedule 3 interliner without the need for any FR treatment. The fabric must also pass the cigarette test. lnterliners cannot be used under any other circumstances. Fabric can be FR treated to comply with the cigarette and match test and under these circumstances an interliner would not be required.
Interliners For Contract Furniture
If virtually any non treated fabric is put over a schedule 3 (crib 5) interliner the composite will not pass BS5852 crib 5. It is a total misconception that it will. This includes fabrics that pass the match test. Trevira will generally pass Crib 5 as a composite if used over a schedule 3 interliner. Trevira generally will not pass Crib 5 without an interliner present. There are some exceptions to thisbut you should insist on a certificate from the supplier confirming the specific foam over which the test was carried out. You should then upholster your item over the same specification foam unless the pass is over BS7176 predicative foam. If the latter applies any CMHR foam can be used.
The tables below show the types of treatment, impregnation or back coating available from FR Treatment centres, the fabric suitability and what part of legislation the treatment ensures the fire retardant fabric conforms to.
Impregnation is the normal method used for fire retardant curtain fabric, and includes bedspreads, wallcoverings and soil/stain treatments.
|IMPREGNATION||FABRIC SUITABILITY||CONFORMS TO|
|Contract Curtains Standard||Natural and Mixed Fibres||BS 5867 Part 2 Type B. Dryclean Only|
|Contract Curtains Healthcare - ANTI-BAC||Natural and Mixed Fibres||BS 5867 Part 2 Type B. Dryclean Only - Anti-Microbial, Anti-Bacterial, Odour fresh|
|Contract Bedcovers Standard||Natural and Mixed Fibres||BS 7175. 1989 Section 3. Ignition Source 0,1 & 5 -Dryclean Only|
|Contract Bedcovers Healthcare - ANTI-BAC||Natural and Mixed Fibres||BS 7175. 1989 Section 3. Ignition Source 0,1 & 5 -Dryclean Only -Anti- Microbial|
|Natural and Mixed Fibres||BS 476 Part 7 classes|
|Most Fibres||Inhouse test AATCC 118/EN 14419|
|Most Fibres||AATCC test method 147-1998|
AATCC test method 30-1998
|Nano Multi||Natural and Mixed Fibres||FR Plus Soil & Stain Finish upto BS 5867 and BS 5852 Crib 5|
Back-coating is the normal treatment method used to ensure fire retardant upholstery fabric.
|BACKCOATING||FABRIC SUITABILITY||CONFORMS TO|
|Domestic Upholstery Standard||Natural & Mixed Fibres||BS 5852: 1979 Part 1 Ignition Source 0,1 (inc.BS 5651 30 minute watersoak test)EN 1021-1, EN 1021-2-1994 Ignition Source 0,1(inc.BS 5651 30 minute watersoak test)|
|Contract Upholstery Standard||Natural & Mixed Fibres||IMO FTPC Part 8-IMO Resolution A 652(16)Recommendation on Fire Test Procedures For Upholstered Furniture. (inc Pre-TreatmentBS.EN.ISO 6330 6A)|
|IMO Upholstered Furniture||Natural & Mixed Fibres||IMO FTPC Part 8-IMO Resolution A 652(16)Recommendation on Fire Test Procedures For Upholstered Furniture. (inc Pre-TreatmentBS.EN.ISO 6330 6A)|
|Contract Upholstery Vinyl PVC, Double Treatment||PVC,|
Vinyls,Manmade Leathers (2 Pass coat)
|BS 5852: 2006 Section 11. Ignition|
Source 5 (Inc.BS 5651 30 minute watersoak test) DOUBLE BACKCOAT
|Leather & Suede||Natural Real Hide||BS 5852: 2006 Section 11. Ignition|
Source 5 (Inc.BS 5651 30 minute watersoak test) DOUBLE BACKCOAT -