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Why the FR Fabric Brand Matters

When it comes to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the fabric brand makes the difference between worker safety and serious injury. In fact, in order for garments to meet NFPA 70E or NFPA 2112 the fabric has to meet certain performance test criteria. ASTM F1959 (Standard Test Method for Determining the Arc Thermal Performance Value of Materials for Clothing) and ASTM F1930 (Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Flame Resistant Clothing for Protection Against Fire Simulations Using an Instrumented Manikin) are both fabric based test methods that are critical for arc flash or flash fire protection. However, the importance of the fabric goes beyond the standards. The FR Fabric is also essential to the comfort, shrinkage control, and durability of the FR garment. Only a trusted, proven FR fabric manufacturer can deliver the safety and comfort workers want in their fabric- so always specify the FR fabric brand.

There is a difference between Westex UltraSoft® and other cotton nylon FR fabrics

Understanding the difference between flame resistant (FR) fabric types, manufacturing methods and brands can be confusing — especially with so many poor-performing generics flooding the market. For blended cotton/nylon fabric blends, terms like “88/12 FR” do not equate to fabric performance — it is simply a type of fabric. This can be misleading when searching for an FR program, especially if a trusted garment brand uses lower-quality, generic FR fabric. Westex UltraSoft®, the first fabric brand made with a cotton/ nylon blend, offers the guaranteed flame resistance, softness and shrinkage control that only a trusted FR fabric brand can provide. Your workers’ safety should be a top priority — so when you’re searching for an FR program, specify the FR fabric brand to be sure your employees are properly protected.


Guaranteed Flame Resistant for the life of the garment

Fabric brand of choice by end users for decades

Millions of garments in service worldwide

Consistent market proven performance

Superior soft feel only possible with proprietary softening process

Made in the USA


FR Durability: Westex UltraSoft® and Generic Cotton/ Nylon FR Fabric

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Imported Generic FR Fabric A

Imported Generic FR Fabric Failures

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UltraSoft® 7 oz. Shirt and 9 oz. Pants, 100 IL

100 Industrial Launderings: See how Westex UltraSoft® performs

Testing videos: Arc Flash | Flash Fire


Shrinkage Results: Test results after 20 industrial launderings

Westex UltraSoft® vs. generic flame resistant fabric and shrinkage results


Numerous fabric styles for a wide range of AR/ FR garments


Westex UltraSoft® flame resistant fabric styles



Westex UltraSoft® fabric styles

Westex UltraSoft® Fabrics – Click to Enlarge


Real World Save

Standing Up for Worker Safety: A case study on Generic vs. Branded FR Fabric

When Dan joined an American company as Environmental Health and Safety Manager, his team leader and Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Robin, immediately informed him that the eld employees, …

Why the company behind your FR matters

Knowing the fabric manufacturer behind your FR is key to maintaining an effective clothing program with a consistent product. We pride ourselves on our deep scientific knowledge that has established our FR engineering expertise to help ensure workers stay safe.

Learn more about how Westex by Milliken is all in when it comes to FR safety and how we are committed to consistently delivering FR fabrics with the highest level of protection, comfort, and value.



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Create an FR Program

Before you choose FR garments or a clothing supplier, review the critical steps for correctly implementing a protective clothing program.

Check out our Resource Center

Want to learn more about our fabric and ensuring worker safety? The videos, white papers, brochures and other materials in our Resource Center can help.