Sizing & Care
Please click to view the sizing chart for the desired brand and product type.
The first rule of FR fabric maintenance is to carefully follow the manufacturer’s care label when laundering FR garments. Many FR fabrics require mild wash and dry conditions to maximize the life of the garment. Generally, however, all FR fabrics and garments require the same basic care:
Wash new FR garments prior to wearing.
Wash FR garments separately from standard clothing.
Do not use chlorine bleach.
Make sure FR garments are clean and in proper repair before each wearing.
Remove oils and flammable contaminants from FR garments. Flammable contaminants may act as a fuel source, increasing the potential severity of a burn injury.
Repair garments using “like materials.” Use FR fabric, thread and garment components. Return garments to the manufacturer for repair, or use an authorized FR repair facility.
Flame Resistant Garment Recommendations for home laundering and maintenance
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR HOME CARE
Flame Resistant garments can be washed and dried by any conventional home method, followed by hand ironing if necessary. No special technology is needed. However, home procedures may not remove the last traces of very heavy, widespread or ground-in soils, which may be flammable and could adversely affect the thermal protective performance of garments. If home laundering does not remove such build up, garments can be periodically dry cleaned or commercially laundered.
When garments are contaminated by hazardous materials, commercial laundering or dry-cleaning should be used, along with the appropriate wastewater treatment techniques. Use of the following procedures can help provide optimum cleaning:
Sorting– flame resistant garments should be sorted and washed separately from other garments to prevent contamination with lint orflammable fibers.
Pre-treating -- Stains, as well as deep soil lines on the collars and cuffs of garments, are more readily removed if pretreated. Stains should be pretreated at the earliest opportunity and sufficient time allowed for the pretreatment material to penetrate and loosen the soil. The heavily soiled or stained areas should be rubbed with a full-strength, heavy-duty liquid detergent or any off-the-shelf laundry pretreatment product.
Garment Preparation--Before laundering flame resistant garments, pockets should be emptied, pant cuffs cleaned out and zippers closed.
Load Size--When laundering flame resistant garments, it is important not to overload the machine. To ensure a cleaner wash and avoid setting wash wrinkles, the load size must permit clothes to move freely through the wash water and rinse cycle. Regardless of the machine's rated capacity in pounds, bulk --not weight- should be the limiting factor.
Wash Water Temperature--Moderate soil levels may be removed adequately at normal wash water temperature settings. Heavily soiled and stained garments require a higher wash temperature setting.
Detergents--Synthetic, heavy-duty liquid laundry detergents are recommended for washing. These products do a superior job of removing soils and are less likely than soap to form sticky deposits of lime soap curds, which are difficult to rinse out. Fatty-based soaps should not be used. Under-use of detergent results in poor soil removal and frequently causes suspended soils to redeposit on the clothes. Failure to use a sufficient amount of detergent is the single greatest cause of inadequate home cleaning.
Water--For best results, an adequate supply of "soft" water is required for home laundering flame resistant garments. "Hard" water contains minerals, such as calcium and magnesium salts, that combine with fatty based soaps to forminsoluble films. These insoluble contaminants are difficult to rinse from fabrics, may be flammable and could adversely affect the thermal protective performance of garments if not adequately removed. Soap is not recommended, but if it is used in hard wash water (more than approximately 7 grains per gallon or 120 parts per million), a non-precipitating type water conditioner should be added. Softening the water reduces soap consumptionand improves the quality of washing.
Bleaches--Chlorine bleach should not be used. Although chlorine bleach will not affect the inherent fiber flame resistance of the material, it may cause strength and color loss in garments over time. Chlorine bleach based products could deteriorate performance of chemically treated flame resistant products. In general, the use of bleach is NOT recommended for flame resistant garments as over-use can degrade the fabric.
Hydrogen Peroxide–Hydrogen peroxide and chlorine bleach will degrade flame resistant properties over time in chemically treated FR garments.
Fabric Softeners and Anti-Stats--Liquid fabric softeners and dryer softener sheets are NOT recommended for use with any Flame Resistant garments. Using a fabric softener will not alter the properties of the FR garment; however, it will coat the fiber and "mask" the FR performance of the garment. Additionally, many fabric softeners contain chemicals that are flammable.
Tumble Drying–Flame resistant garmentswill have a smoother appearance when tumble dried instead of being line or drip dried. To ensure maximum removal of wrinkles, tumble dryers should not be overloaded. Drying time varies with the nature and size of the load.
Ironing--If flame resistant garments need touch-up pressing, a steam or dry iron may be used at the medium setting.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR DRY CLEANING
There are times when dry-cleaning flame resistantgarments is desirable for economic reasons or because greases and oils cannot be adequately removed during home or commercial laundering.Flame resistant garments can be satisfactorily dry cleaned in any conventional commercial dry cleaning system. With heavily soiled garments, using a two-bath cycle may improve soil removal and minimize redeposition. Flame resistant garments should be cleanedseparately from articles of other materials to avoid contamination with lint of flammable fibers. The practice of maintaining a clean solvent supply must be observed.
Flame resistant garments should be assembled/sewn using 100% Nomex® thread. Should your garment become torn, ripped or in need of mending, do not attempt to mend at home or with a local alterations person unless 100% Nomex® repair materials and Nomex® thread are used.
For additional information: Visit astm.org– ASTM F 2757-09–Standard Guide for Home Laundering Care and Maintenance of Flame Resistant Garments
Author: David Osbon (Global Director–TECGEN)
Qualifications: 15 years–Milliken & Co.–Fabric development, 5 years–UniFirst Corp.–FR Division Manager, 10 years–ASTM (International Society of Testing Materials) , Committee’s F18 & F23