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Thread: Do you worry about fireproof fabrics

  1. #1
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    Do you worry about fireproof fabrics

    I am starting some charity quilts and wondered if there was a need to worry about the fire retardent qualities of the fabric used. Can you buy something to wash or spray the fabric to make it fire retarding?
    Lynda

  2. #2
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    I think you should ask the charity. Project Linus says: It is Project Linus’ policy to accept blankets of all sizes, depending on local chapter needs. All blanket styles are welcome, including quilts, tied comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans, and receiving blankets in child-friendly colors. Always remember that blankets must be homemade, washable, free of pins, and come from smoke-free environments due to allergy reasons.
    Jenel Looney
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  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Again, check with the charity as to their requirements. Particularly, if you're thinking about treating with a fire retardant. The concept is good, though that would mean chemicals being used, which may not be welcomed by the charity.
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    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    You know, I always figure if someone reaches the point where the blanket he's cuddled under is on fire, he's in so much trouble that fire retardant fabric isn't going to make much of a difference. I don't mean to make light of the situation, I just think it's just not something you can worry about. My two cents!

  5. #5
    Super Member donnalynett's Avatar
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    The state doesn't require us to use flame retardant fabric in our charity quilts.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sewgray's Avatar
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    I don't know for sure if this is true but I've heard that the first time you
    wash a garment/quilt the fire protection is gone.
    Lord, please keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    the fire retardant stuff you buy and spray on-washes back out-so simply a waste of money---since most charities want you to wash the quilts before you send them.
    also buying the flannels that are made for childrens sleepware (fire resistant) those (wash away) after a few washes too---so don't worry about it- make the quilts sturdy- washable and cute---they will be much appreciated...you know their clothing is not fire resistant---other than store bought sleepware and that washes away ---
    the only thing to worry about with donation quilts is that they will hold up to (abuse) many washings/drying---and they are not going to get (special care) often they are tossed into big industrial washers- and hot dryers- make them to survive.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  8. #8
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willferg View Post
    You know, I always figure if someone reaches the point where the blanket he's cuddled under is on fire, he's in so much trouble that fire retardant fabric isn't going to make much of a difference. I don't mean to make light of the situation, I just think it's just not something you can worry about. My two cents!
    So true, most deaths in fires are due to smoke not the fire. All fabric will burn the fire retardent you add at home will wash out when it gets wet, Most charities do not want you to add anything because of allergies. 100% cotton is better than cotton blends, cotton burns, but some blends will melt before they burn, which is a whole diffrent type of burn.More painful, and harder to heal.

  9. #9
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    There is nothing you can do to quilts to make them fireproof. I wouldn't add anything due to potential for allergies.

    Soapbox ahead: The concerns for having fire retardant for children's sleepwear was based on iffy sampling (can I say junk science?) back in the 70s. Most fire injuries occur to children when they have regular clothes on, not nightwear. While required to prove that children's sleepwear retains the retardant properties for 50 washing, in actual tests at some universities, additives such as softener sheets and various whiteners can eliminate the retardant in as little as 5 washings. The part of the law requiring CLOSE FITTING garments makes sense, given that a large increase in fire injuries resulted from the popularity of wearing oversized T-shirts, but then parents should know about this for clothing for any time of the day, not just nightware.

    Some other info.
    http://green.yourway.net/3-ways-to-g...fuzzy-pajamas/
    Last edited by IAmCatOwned; 12-24-2011 at 12:29 PM.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Actually, the 1970s law resulted in a significant decline in deaths of children from fire, based on statistics collected by the federal government. Clothing fires are probably more common now because there are so many fewer sleepwear fires. Here is a website that gives some reasonable information:
    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/4/4/313.full

    The law has never required close-fitting sleepwear to be flame retardant. The danger from fire comes from loose-fitting cotton garments (such as nightgowns) because air can fuel fire from both sides of the fabric. A flame touching the hem of a non-treated cotton nightgown will result in the child being engulfed in fire, including face and hair, in about 3 seconds -- much faster than allows an adult to move. The garment basically explodes in flames.

    Quilts are not a problem because a burn will progress much more slowly (due to thickness), giving someone time to act.

    Children these days are exposed to such a wide variety of chemicals in the environment, I don't think it's wise to expose them unnecessarily to even more chemicals (especially while they are sleeping). My preference is to use close-fitting sleepwear that is not treated with flame-retardant chemicals. For the same reason I would not use a flame-retardant batting in a child's quilt; it's really an unnecessary addition of chemicals in the environment.

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    when giving a quilt to anyone, family or charity, i use poly batting, and NO chemicals of any kind...allergies are prevalent among the young when subjected to things they can handle easily when older. remember, they will be sleeping under these, breathing in anything you added. The poly is because of dust/pollen allergies, which cotton holds much easier and longer...lint is just as bad as dust for my family. In addition, I do want them to wash and dry quickly, which is easier with poly... my sons would actually stand and stare at the dryer till their blankets were done....

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    AS for the decline of children dying in fires ... there is another significant factor that occured inthe same timeline. SMOKE Detectors... and the laws requireing rental units and new construction. Most people added smake alarms once they became common place in the market and could be easily installed.
    Any way .. more people die from the smoke ... not the fire!
    As for being concerned enough to pretreat.... I would not add any chemicals.... any benifits ( as mentioned in earlier posts) would be washed away after a few washings.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ChaiQuilter's Avatar
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    Soap, such as Ivory Snow (advertised for babies!) destroys the flame retardents. Detergents shouldn't be a problem.

  14. #14
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    All good comments. Interesting conversation.
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

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    Wow! Al this is good to know!!

  16. #16
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    Wow! Al this is good to know!!

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    My feeling is that the fire retardants are a long term health risk. When I was young, many PJs etc were made from rayon, which is not merely flamable, but explosively so. My father refused to buy us any clothing made from rayon for that reason. I think the current laws and regulations are an overreaction. We do need to protect children from fire. But carcinogens are a problem too.

    When I was a teen, my brand new that day heating pad caught fire when I slept. I used my great grandmother's quilt to put out the fire.

  18. #18
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    When they first came out with the flame retardant flannels I bought a bunch for my kids. When I got it home it smelled so bad of chemicals I put it away and even later it smelled so bad. So I put it away never to ever use it. Then threw it away, not too long ago I heard that it was proven that the chemicals in that flannel caused cancer. That was on a news report, so I was very glad I had never used it. Don't know if it was true or not, knowing how the news is sometimes, but I was still glad I threw it out.
    Sewbeadit
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  19. #19
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    Thank all of you for your responses. I ususally give to my local food bank as they give gifts to needy families and I remember getting a quilt when I was struggling to raise my kids alone and it was blessing as we didn't have good blankets and the landlord didn't have a good heating system in the apartment. So I want to pay back. My youngest son had a small quilt I made for him. He sleep walked and fell asleep in front of a small electric heater and melted a small hole in the outside layer of the quilt. So that made me think I should check it out.
    I feel we bring on a lot of our health problems with the things we do to our invironment and fire retardent could be one of those. I know the stuff the fire department sprayed on the fire next door didn't help my plants.
    Thanks again
    Lynda

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