are independently tested to conform to EN71 part 2, but they go a stage further and comply with the company’s own stringent internal standard. This specifies that no residual flame should be present after the fabric is exposed to a gas flame for a specified time. This meets and exceeds the much tougher flammability requirements of the nightwear standard BS5722.
In a powerful demonstration of the products’ fire retardant properties a video has been released comparing the burn time of a child’s tutu purchased in the UK with a similar tutu in Flare-Free dress net. The video starkly shows that a typical child’s costume offers no protection to flame and will fully combust in a matter of seconds, while the Flare-Free equivalent will not burn.
Philip Wignall, Business Manager for Heathcoat Fabrics, believes the current European EN71 regulations for safety requirements in toys which covers flammability are not adequate to protect people’s safety, especially children. He said: “The video demonstrates that there is a definite need for more stringent controls over flame spread. Other than our Flare-Free fabrics, all alternative dress nets available for children’s costumes will simply combust in seconds, offering no protection.
“The Federation of British Retailers has proposed recommendations to modify EN71, but it would be good to see more stringent legislation specifically relating to apparel, similar to BS5722.”
Flare-Free with no detectable formaldehyde.
Heathcoat 1808 has gone a step further with ‘Flare-Free’ and is also making a range of these fabrics available under their Zero4 brand. This technology has been eight years in development to create fabrics with less than 20 parts per million of formaldehyde, which is a non-detectable level.
Philip Wignall explains: “While formaldehyde has been used for decades in washing powders and clothing, it is flammable, emits carbon monoxide when heated, and has been found to be toxic and corrosive. In 2014 it was classified as a Carcinogen Category 1B in the European REACH framework. While the risks from apparel are low we have invested in developing our Zero4 brand, giving consumers more choice in what they wear.”
Heathcoat 1808 is typically purchased by wholesalers and made available to fabric retailers or haberdashers. Consumers are advised to ask for fabric that carries the ‘Flare-Free’ logo for peace of mind that their dress net is truly flame retardant. This will also be of interest to fashion designers following its debut at the Paris Première Vision Fabrics show.
The Heathcoat 1808® range of dress net and tulle fabrics is developed and manufactured in Tiverton, Devon, UK by Heathcoat Fabrics Ltd.
Heathcoat Fabrics is showcasing its trend colours for Spring/Summer 17 at the Première Vision Fabrics show, alongside existing colour inspirations for Autumn/Winter. Included in the new product offering, all of which are designed and manufactured within their own UK plant, are the totally new zero formaldehyde soft dress net for children's clothes; stiffer Flare-Free tulles for bridal gown, prom dresses and tutu; dance and fashion dress nets; locknits, textures and technical fabrics, including their own-brand 3D spacetec® fabrics in a range of new colour and surface combinations.
The company provides a wide range of own-branded, patented high performance product solutions. It operates a total end-to-end high competency service with in-house research & development, design, testing and on-site manufacturing facilities that include quality-controlled yarn texturising, warping weaving and knitting plant and the latest advanced specialist dyeing, textile enhancement treatments and finishing.
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