Fire retardant fabrics are used in everything from high-end upholstery to soft furnishings to schoolroom curtains - but what exactly qualifies a fabric as "fire retardant"?
Fabric is classified as fire retardant fabric based on, unsurprisingly, the time it takes for the fabric to burn and at what temperatures it does so. Fabrics in the market all almost undergo rigorous testing in independent laboratories. The fabric is then assessed on a range of criteria to show the strength of the fire retardant properties, so that the end consumer can know exactly what they're investing in.
Fabric may be naturally fire retardant due to the fiber's innate properties. Polyester is also easy care and durable, whereas fabrics such as wool could shrink after washing - which isn’t something you want happening on your furniture!
Some fabrics can also be treated with a fire retardant chemical that resists heat and helps to extinguishes flames. There are some Fire Retardant fabrics begin by perfecting the fibers with Inherent Fire-Retardant characteristics (IFR), a quality that is embedded in the molecular structure of the fiber and will therefore never diminish.