Flammable Fabrics

Flammable Fabrics – Why are Certain Fabrics More Flammable?

When looking at the list of the most flammable fabrics, there is a clear reason why these fabrics are responsible for so many fires. The common denominator is a basic compound used to produce the fabric called cellulose.

flames image Fire Retardant Fabrics

Even though these fabrics may vary in look and feel, they are all manufactured using cellulose fibre so on a base level, their structure and formation are very similar. Find out more about which popular fabrics have the highest level of flammability and what you can do to drastically reduce the danger.


What is a cellulosic fabric?

Nobody wants to have a fire hazard in their home or business, yet many are simply not aware of how flammable their fabric is. The most flammable of popular household and clothing fabrics are easily available, from long linen curtains to cotton bedding to smooth viscose for events and decor.

fire retardant calico fabric
fire retardant calico fabric

Cellulose fabric is a fabric largely made from cellulose fibres. These fibres are harvested from plants, using the tougher parts like the bark, leaves, wood branches and stalks and through a complex process these fibres are regenerated and made into the popular and well known fabrics we are familiar with.


flax flowers
flax flowers

A beautiful lightweight and breathable fabric, unfortunately its these qualities that increase the flammability to the highest on the list.



Linen is made from the flax or linseed plant which flowers in a pretty pale blue. The stalks are harvested and formed into fine fibres that hold a natural lustre.

harvested flax
Harvested Flax Crop
flax fibres
Flax Fibres

These fine fibres are made into a smooth and lightweight cloth that is well known for its breathable nature and cool surface. The weave of the linen also encourages breathability, fine holes in the weave circulate the air through and around the fabric.

This may be wonderful for hot days but a real nightmare for flammability. One linen is ignited,flames will shoot through the fabric at shocking speed, due to the extra circulation of air through the fabric.


cotton plant harvest
Cotton Plant Harvest

Made from the fluffy fibres that puff out of the cotton plant. The balls of fibres are spun into yarn which creates cotton fabric. This has a similar structure to linen, but slightly denser. This structure sill creates air flow around the fabric, causing high flammability but not quite at the rate of linen.


Viscose fabric is manufactured using cellulose, a plant based material heavily processed to create a fine pulp which is made into smooth fabric. This cellulose based material is then used to create other popular fabrics such as Rayon and Lyocell.

viscose cellulose making
Viscose Cellulose Making
rayon fibres
Rayon Fibres







As mentioned, the natural molecular formation of cellulose causes a highly flammable fabric.

How to Protect Your Home

Nobody wants to have a fire hazzard in their home or business, yet many are simply not aware of how flamable their fabric is.

If you have an interior design which incorporates flowing linen drapes, or cotton bedding the first thing to think about is using a suitable fire retardant version of the fabric you have in mind.

fire retardant fabric UK
Fire Retardant Fabric UK

We hold a huge range of fire retardant fabric in stock in a array of colours and to suit your design.

Another option is to use fire retardant spray  if you cant find an existing fire safe version of your fabric.


The fire retardant spray can be used on a wide verity of fabrics as long as they are absorbent. The process is fuss free and easy to apply. This simple step will help ensure the safety of you, your loved ones, your home or your business.

For more information on our fire retardant fabrics and Fire Retardant Sprays feel free to call us on 0121 359 2349 and we will find the right solution for you.


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