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Is IFR more flame retardant than FR

Occasionally, we have clients who request an FR Coated Fabric because they believe that it is more flame retardant than an FR fabric.For example, they will state that, because the drapery will be near pyrotechnics on a rock show stage, they prefer to use an IFR fabric.The reality, though, is that a brand new IFR fabric is neither more nor less flame retardant than a brand new FR fabric, and vice versa.


Both fabric have been tested and certified to meet specific flame retardancy standards. Now, there is a difference in longevity of flame retardancy between IFR and FR.Typically, an IFR fabric will remain flame retardant for the life of the fabric regardless of whether it is laundered, dry-cleaned.However, an FR fabric will eventually lose its flame retardancy usually due to laundering, repeated dry cleaning, or extended exposure to high humidity conditions.


Once it is retreated, though, it again is equal to the IFR fabric in terms of flame retardancy.And remember, there are instances in which a drape made from a flame retardant fabric will lose its flame retardant properties.One way is if dust is allowed to accummulate on the surface of the drape. Did you know that dust as it is composed primarily of organic matter is flammable?


In such a case, it doesn’t matter if the drape is made of IFR fabric or FR fabric if there is a layer of dust on the surface, the drape might not be flame retardant.So, when choosing the fabric for stage curtains, there are many factors that are important to consider budget, longevity, cleaning options, durability, and much more.But choosing IFR over FR because it seems more flame retardant should not be one of the factors.