Westex by Milliken
Flame resistant (FR) garments owe much of their protective capabilities to the FR fabric from which they are made—and many times, end users do not realize they can drive this selection.
The sheer scope of fabric options available to the FR apparel industry means it is critically important to specify the fabric for your garment and educate yourself on the selection process.
After completing a full risk assessment of your unique job site hazards, explore how FR fabrics can help meet your safety needs while delivering key performance benefits for your employees. Keep these five key criteria in mind during your buying process:
1. Does the fabric meet my hazard requirements?
Terms like “ISO 11611 and ISO 11612” and “Electric Arc class 1 or 2”— while helpful in narrowing the FR fabric selection based on standard needs—is not the only factor you should consider. Performance metrics like body burn percentages provide a clearer picture of how the fabric performs beyond the standard’s baseline.
2. How does the fabric perform in laboratory evaluation?
Proven fabric brands, like Westex®, are known for consistency in the market and regularly evaluate the performance of each lot of fabric they produce. Fabrics can meet standards and still vary widely in their performance within that standard, so review testing data and specify a fabric by brand name.
3. How does the fabric perform in the real world over time?
Real-world performance of FR fabrics can be analyzed in several ways – from actual incidents where FR fabrics protected a wearer to how the fabric holds up over time.
4. Does the fabric provide performance and longevity characteristics important to me?
Consider characteristics like shrinkage, fading or tearing over time to better understand the lifespan of a garment.
5. Will my employees want to wear it?
Investing in FR clothing is critical to protecting your employees; however, it is only beneficial if worn, and worn properly. Prioritize characteristics, like breathability, moisture-wicking and mobility,
that will help create a want-to-wear experience for your workers.
Westex by Milliken is one of the only global manufacturers who offers the full spectrum of electric arc and thermal hazard protective fabrics, including aramid, cotton-rich and blend FR fabrics. Our portfolio combines more than 60 years of FR fabric expertise with the forward-leading legacy of Milliken textiles to provide innovative protective fabrics to the industrial, military and fire service markets.
For more information, visit www.westex.com.