If you’re in a line of work that has potential for a fire hazard, chances are you’re up to speed on flame-resistant (FR) workwear and the role it plays in keeping you safe. ASTM International develops and publishes standards for a wide range of materials, including FR apparel. A recent paper by ASTM says that the wrong choice in sewing thread in your FR gear can have undesirable consequences.
According to ASTM, meta-armid sewing threads are considered the best choice for FR clothing because of their wide color range, good wash performance and chemical resistance. The right sewing thread can lead to more durable, long-lasting FR clothing. Meta-armind sewing fibers do not support combustion when exposed to a flame and will self extinguish when the flame is removed.
To make clothes more comfortable, however, manufacturers use other FR fibers that show tensile break-strength characteristics that are more like the fabrics used in non-FR work clothing.
A third-party certifier of protective clothing conducted a study to learn how clothes are affected after multiple washing and drying cycles. The study found that after 25 and 50 washings a significant number of the sewn samples made with the multi-fiber blend fabrics showed construction failure along the stitch lines.
Sewing thread only represents about one percent of the price paid for a FR protective garment but the wrong choice can lead to less reliable apparel. Selecting the best performing threads can mean both long-term service and added value.
Find flame-resistant gear that will protect you from on-the-job hazards at Working Person’s Store and workingperson.com.