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How to Make Fabrics Fire Resistant and Flame Proof

By Edited Oct 8, 2015 0 0

Many fabrics used for items such as children’s Halloween costumes and pajamas are treated by the manufacturer to make the material fire resistant or flame proof as a measure of safety. For your own safety know that fire resistant or flame proof materials coatings make fabrics less likely to burn. The chemical reduce the fabrics ability to hold a flame. The fabric can still singe when exposed to an open flame, but will not become engulfed in flames.

Handmade Clothing and Costumes

Make fabric fire resistant

Many crafty types make clothing for themselves or their family, which can be truly beautiful or spectacular.  Making a child’s or adult’s Halloween costume from a store bought pattern or an idea in your mind’s eye can produce a costume that cannot be matched by commercial manufacturers.  This also goes for clothing. Many crafters save a lot of money by making their own clothing as well as clothes for their children and other family members. Unfortunately, the trade off in saving money by making clothing and costumes can come with a high price when the clothing lacks fire resistance and flame proofing.

Curtains, Drapes and Textiles

Making fabric fire resistant or flame proof is not only limited to clothing and costumes. Homeowners can make curtains, drapery, tablecloths, napkins, table runners, sheets, pillowcases and other linens flame proof. This is a good idea in areas of the home where contact with a flame or ember is likely such as curtains covering a window that are located near a stove. A small accidental kitchen fire can quickly lead to a more serious situation if the curtains catch on fire. Any type of fabric located near a fireplace should also be treated and made fire resistant or flame proof. A common occurrence near a fireplace is embers popping and jumping out of the fireplace and then landing on combustible materials such as carpets, rugs or upholstered furniture as well as dog or cat beds.


For those who like to camp outdoors – part of the camping experience is making a fire to keep warm or to toast marshmallows in. Embers flying about can easily land on clothing or sleeping bags. Standing or sitting too close to the fire or reaching near the fire to cook can also create a highly dangerous situation. Many camping equipment manufacturers treat their fabric with a fire resistant coating to keep campers safe, but typically after washing the protection is considerably less than prior to washing.

Thankfully, for crafters, campers, parents and the safety conscious – you can make your own fire resistant or flame proof coating for any type of absorbent fabric or purchase flame retardant treatments to keep yourself, your family and friend safe.

Coleman Brazos Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag
Amazon Price: $38.99 $25.19 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 8, 2015)
No-Burn Fabric Fire Gard Spray, 32-Ounce
Amazon Price: $20.29 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 8, 2015)

Fire Resistant and Flame Proof Work Clothing

There are many professions that require work in an environment that has a great number of combustibles. Keeping yourself or a loved one a little safer by treating the work clothes with a fire resistant coating makes sense. There are many professions that many people don’t think of as a dangerous job, but consider an auto mechanic who works around highly combustible items on a daily basis. Making his or her work clothing flame proof and fire resistant may save a life or reduce the injury significantly.

Dickies Mens Loose Fit Double Knee Work Pant, Dark Navy, 32x32
Amazon Price: $48.00 $24.95 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 8, 2015)

Making a Fire Resistant or Flame Proof Coating

In a plastic basin, tub, bucket or the bathtub – add 1 ½ gallons of warm water, 16 ounces of 20 Mule Team Borax and 12 ounces of boric acid. 20 Mule Team Borax can be found in most grocery stores and boric acid is usually found in the pharmacy.

Stir the ingredients with a wood stir stick until the borax and boric acid are completely dissolved.

Submerge the fabric in the water – make sure the entire costume, clothing curtain or other type of textile is under water and absorbing the mixture.

Let the fabric soak in the fire resistant coating for 10 to 15 minutes.

Take the fabric out of the container and wring out as much excess water as you can.

Hang the item to dry indoors or out. Do not put the fabric in a clothes dryer – this process requires air drying. Make sure the fabric is hung in an area that has adequate ventilation to promote drying.

After Making Fabric Fire Resistant or Flame Proof

After washing the clothing, curtains, sleeping bags or other textiles – repeat the process.

If you are treating a large item such as a sleeping bag, increase the amount of water as well as the ingredients proportionately. If you are treating a small item – reduce the amount of water, boric acid and borax proportionately.

If you are making a Halloween costume or do not know the care involved in a secondhand costume, always err on the side of caution and treat the fabric to make it fire resistant and flame proof.

If you have made children’s pajamas – treat the material with the coating to keep them safe.


Do not think because you added this fire resistant coating to clothing that you can play with fire. This adds a measure of safety which is not proven to combat stupidity.

Never allow curtains or drapery to hang within 30 inches of a stove. A small grease fire can turn into a major fire in a matter of seconds.

Use a fireplace screen or install glass fireplace doors to keep errant embers from popping out and landing on flammable materials in the house.

Never lay sleeping bags close to a camp fire.

Never leave children unsupervised near a fire – indoors or out.

Making Halloween costumes flame resistant is a must because scary Jack-O-Lanterns with a real burning candle can get a whole lot more scary if the material on a costume catches fire. Make sure your children know stop, drop and roll.

Consider treating outdoor furniture cushions that are located near the fire pit or barbecue grill with a flame resistant coating to keep your family and guests safe.

Treat upholstered furniture located near a fireplace with this safety coating to keep your family, friends and guests safe.


Kidde FA110 Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC
Amazon Price: $42.99 $19.98 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 8, 2015)


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