Flame Resistant Fabric and Specifications

AmeriPride has partnered with Bulwark® Protective Apparel and Westex Inc. to deliver a superior line of flame resistant work apparel. AmeriPride selected Bulwark as the exclusive supplier of flame resistant work apparel due to the exceptional quality of Bulwark's offerings, as well as the company's advanced technical expertise, extensive sales support, broad scope of market knowledge and very good product training support. The decades-long relationship between AmeriPride and Bulwark has culminated into this partnership as part of AmeriPride's management commitment and resolve to intensify their flame resistant growth efforts. 

Bulwark's flame resistant protective work apparel is secondary protective clothing, which is designed for continuous wear in designated areas where intermittent exposure to flame or heat is possible. It is to be used in conjunction with primary protective clothing for activities where significant exposure to flame or heat is likely, such as molten substance splash. Bulwark's flame resistant protective work apparel also includes EXCEL FR®, COOL TOUCH® 2 and DuPont Nomex® IIIA fabrics and garments, as well as apparel made from INDURA® Ultra Soft® treated fabric by Westex Inc. 

Westex Inc., established in 1919, has been finishing flame resistant fabrics for over a half a century. After introducing the company's advanced INDURA® fabric in 1987, Westex has established itself as the world's largest manufacturer of flame resistant cotton and cotton blend fabrics. Today, the company's INDURA® Ultra Soft®-a flame-retardant treated fabric comprised of 12% high tenacity nylon and 88% cotton-offers a much longer wear life, softer feel and superior protection in addition to guaranteed flame resistance for the life of the garment.

Understanding the basic differences between "inherent" and "treated" flame resistant technologies is very important for those responsible for evaluating, selecting, and wearing flame resistant garments. Blended fabrics, which contain blends of treated and inherently flame resistant fibers, attempt to balance the strength and weaknesses of each fiber type. 

In inherently flame-resistant fabrics, flame resistance is an essential characteristic of the fiber from the textile is made. Because the actual structure of the fiber itself is not flammable, the protection it affords is permanent-it can never be worn away or washed out. When exposed to flame, inherently flame resistant fiber swells and becomes thicker, forming protective barrier between the heat source and the skin. This protective barrier stays supple until it cools, giving the wearer vital extra seconds of protection to escape. 

Treated fabrics are treated with a flame retardant chemical to make them flame-resistant. The fibers used in these fabrics, such as cotton, are not normally considered protective and become flame-resistant because of the treatment. The durability of the treatment can vary from very limited life to the life of the garment. Unlike fabrics made with inherently flame resistant fibers, chemically treated flame resistant fabrics may have their flame resistant properties diminished or removed completely depending on how these fabrics are laundered and/or which chemicals they are exposed to in the work environment. However, fabrics made from treated synthetic fibers-which are extruded with a flame retardant chemical in the fiber-forming process-become flame-resistant for the life of the garment because the flame retardant cannot be removed by wear of laundering. 

Through our partnership with Bulwark® Protective Apparel and Westex, Inc., AmeriPride offers work apparel in each of these categories. 

Nomex® IIIA
INDURA® Ultra Soft®

Nomex® IIIA 

Nomex® IIIA by DuPont is an inherently flame-resistant fabric and provides excellent protection from fire and arc flash hazards. A blend of 93% Nomex®, 5% Kevlar® and 2% static dissipative fiber is woven into fabric to create flame-resistant protection for industrial workers in Flash Fire (NFPA 2112) and HRC 1 Arc Flash applications. 

Nomex® IIIA minimizes break open and maintains a stable, inert barrier between the fire and skin, protecting the wearer from direct exposure. Forming a tough, protective char when exposed to flame, the fabric stays supple until it cools, allowing wearers the valuable seconds they need to escape fires. The lightweight, durable fabric resists abrasion, tears and chemicals, lasting three to five times longer than other standard and protective fibers.

INDURA® Ultra Soft® 

INDURA® Ultra Soft®, a chemically treated fabric comprised of 88% cotton and 12% high tenacity nylon blend, is guaranteed flame-resistant for the life of the garment. The high tenacity nylon is focused on the face of the fabric, substantially improving abrasion resistance, as well as extending garment wear life by over 50 percent. 

Featuring multi-purpose protection, INDURA® Ultra Soft® provides superior protection in Electrical Arc Exposure, NFPA 2112 Flash Fire Testing and in welding and ferrous metal applications. The soft, yet breathable, fabric stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter, providing worker comfort in any condition. 


Combining comfort and protection, EXCEL FR® treated fabric is 100% flame-resistant and 100% cotton. EXCEL FR® cotton apparel offers unbeatable protection for foundries, flame cutting and welding, as well as electrical utilities and the chemical, oil, gas and petrochemical industries. 

EXCEL FR® fabric is treated with a flame retardant chemical in the fiber-forming process. This procedure ensures the fabric's flame-resistant properties are not compromised by laundering or by chemical exposure in the work environment. With this treatment process, all EXCEL FR® cotton apparel is guaranteed flame resistant for the life of the garment. 

EXCEL FR delivers good resistance to dry heat and acts as a natural insulator. Additionally, moisture regain of durable flame resistant cotton is excellent, resulting in low static propensity. 


COOL TOUCH® 2 is an inherently flame-resistant fiber blend of 48% Modacrylic, 37% Lyocell, and 15% para aramid fiber. Providing flame-resistant protection, high durability and comfort, COOL TOUCH® 2 offers the ultimate protection in a lightweight, wearable fabric. The fabric is designed to provide protection in NFPA 70E/Arc Flash HRC 2 applications and Flash Fire (NFPA 2112) applications. 

COOL TOUCH® 2 fabric resists abrasion and delivers high strength with low thermal shrinkage. Because COOL TOUCH® 2 apparel is made from a blend of inherently flame resistant fibers, the fabric's flame-resistant property cannot be removed by wear or laundering.

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