Fabric Weight, Weave and Structure

weight of fabric: this is commonly overlooked by fire spinners when discussing fire safe fabrics. The weight of any fabric directly correlates to how quickly it will ignite and spread. Just like starting a campfire (you use thin wood as kindling), the same goes for fabric – the lighter the fabric, the quicker it will ignite and spread. A nice thick material will give you plenty of reaction time from the moment you make contact with a flame. 6 seconds is a good rule of thumb. If you want to test how long it takes for fabric to ignite, I recommend testing the center of the fabric rather than the edge.

Weave and Structure:

  • Feathers, Fur, fringe, fray, velvet, whisker fabric and any dangly fabrics are way more likely to catch fire. This is because the strands are surrounded by oxygen, one of the key components in making a fire.
  • Gauze, mesh, tulle, tutus, sheer fabrics are lightweight and see through, this allows air to travel through and spread the fire rapidly.
  • Tight knit, thick weave, heavy fabrics like duvetyne don’t allow light or air through, making it harder to catch on fire and slows the spread of the flame.

The North American Fire Arts Association