When it comes to choosing protective clothing to work in an electrical environment, it’s important that you consider the fabric that you are choosing as this can have an impact on how effective they are at keeping you safe.
Inherent and treated are two terms that are most frequently used to distinguish between fire resistant fabrics.
The main difference between these two fabrics is the process that is used at the final stage in order to make the product flame resistant, but which type of fabric should you opt for given your working environment?
What are Treated Fabrics
Treated FR fabrics undergo a process during manufacturing that adds flame resistance onto the fabric fibres. Cotton fabric is treated by being given a flame resistant chemical application after it is woven together.
This treatment will chemically change the fabric and give it a flame resistant finish for a limited number of washes.
What are Inherent Fabrics
Unlike treated fabrics, inherent fabrics do not have to undergo any type of process in order to make them flame resistant and are instead composed of fibres that are already innately flame resistant.
These properties cannot be diminished through use or laundering, meaning that the product will remain effective and wearable for as long as the user requires it.
Which fabric is more effective
Both of these fabrics offer protection against the dangers of working as an electrical engineer, but inherent fabrics will score higher in terms of the longevity of garments, which is ultimately what matters the most when you are choosing work apparel.
This gives peace of mind knowing that once the has been issued to the wearer that regardless of how many washes or how old the clothing is, it still gives the same level of protection as the first day it was worn.
This will reduce the need to replace items and will ensure that workers always remain safe. You should always be sure to following laundering instructions and avoid using bleach, fabric softener or starch to clean your protective garments, as this can mask the fire-resistant properties of the clothing.
See below for two examples of Lightweight Inherent Garments
This Hi-Viz jacket comes in an extremely comfortable design and has a zip neck and thumb loops on the cuff.
Lightweight and comfortable, these trousers benefit from having an elastic waistband as well as wing pockets at the hips, two large tool pockets with gear loops and a cargo pocket.