Fabric is a combination of fibers that, when put with other pieces of fabric, make a garment. Fabric can be thought of as the manufacturing stage between fiber and garment. Treated fabrics are those that have a flame retardant chemical applied to make them flame resistant. Fibers used in these fabrics aren’t usually thought of as protective. They become flame resistant because of the chemical treatment.
The fibers used in these fabrics are usually 100% cotton fibers or are some combination of cotton and nylon. With regard to durability, the fabric made up of cotton fibers provides little resistance to abrasion. The fabrics with the nylon fiber added to them perform much better with resistance to abrasion. Treated fabrics work well in utility, oil and gas, chemical, and petrochemical applications.
Care for treated fabrics should take place in water with a hardness of 1.5 grains (25ppm) or less. Less hardness is ideal as hard water contains mineral salts that can leave deposits on the fabric. These deposits could negate the flame resistant properties of the garment. Deposits could even serve as fuel if the garment is exposed to an ignition source.