What's the Future of Flame Resistant Fabrics?

Flame resistance has come a long way since the 1600s.

Mount Vernon Mills, Inc. shared its vision for flame resistance and comfort in the future.

According to Mike Woods, the vice president for flame resistant fabrics at Mount Vernon Mills, Inc., the first attempt to master flame resistant apparel was in the 1600s. But flame resistance had to come a long was before this apparel was finally a reality in the 20th century.

Flame resistant fabrics are now commonplace for workers such as electricians and those working in the oil and gas industry. However, there's more to this apparel than safety alone. Comfort plays an important role, too.

"If a garment is comfortable, looks good, fits correctly, there's a greater chance the worker is going to put that garment on and wear it," Woods said.

Craig Tutterow, the technical director of flame resistant fabrics, discussed innovation in fiber and what that means for comfort and strength. One such fiber he discussed is tencel, a fiber created from eucalyptus trees that is significantly stronger than any commonly used fiber. It's man-made but not synthetic, and Mount Vernon is now using a cotton/tencel blend to create strong, lightweight, comfortable garments.

These innovations will lead to garments that can translate from the workplace to everyday life.

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