Direct Fabrics Blog

  • What You Need to Know About Flame Resistant Fabrics

    Flame Resistant (FR) fabrics are incredibly important these days, especially in environments that contain highly-hazardous materials. Plenty of workers often wear FR clothing to protect themselves, and there are also plenty of homeowners and business owners who use FR curtains and other textiles to ensure the safety of their workers, loved ones, and property.

    However, despite the many benefits that they offer, not everyone understands the concept of FR fabrics. In fact, many believe that FR means that the fabric will not burn and will prevent the wearer from burn injuries. Yet, it is important to understand they don’t work like that.

    In this article, we will share three points about FR fabrics that you should know:

    1. They Resist the Spread of Flames

    Flame retardant fabrics resist igniting in extreme conditions. Should the material ignite, it can resist burning away and prevent spreading fire. That means that the FR fabric can actually still burn but at a more manageable level. Because of this, when you’re in the marketing for these materials, you need to make sure that you look into the company’s history and gather necessary documents that will support their performance.

    2. They Can’t Prevent Burn Injuries

    Keep in mind that you can’t use FR fabrics to prevent burn injuries, which is why you may still experience burning in the area where the fire ignited. The good thing about this type of fabric, as mentioned, is that it’s slow to spread the fire from the point of ignition and the material can extinguish itself as soon you move away from the trigger. Keep in mind that FR fabrics will not prevent injuries but merely limit the extent of the burn injury.

    3. They Don’t Provide 100% Safety

    Just because you have FR fabrics installed in your home or you’re wearing one doesn’t mean you’re completely safe from fire and injury. These materials do not offer 100% safety, which means that they can still ignite and burn at the point where the fire ignited.

    There are many standards for fabrics to be flame-retardant, and it also depends on where it is used, such as curtains, bedsheets, or clothing, to meet the standards. First, you can use other fireproof material, such as fibreglass, asbestos, or basalt. Second, a flame-retardant product can be used to the mass of the fibre, yet this will only work with artificial or synthetic fibres.


    Understanding how FR fabrics work is essential, especially if you plan to get one for yourself. Keep in mind that such materials don’t mean that it will not burn away. It will still burn, but on a more manageable level, and it can prevent the spread of fire, which makes it an essential tool for safety, especially in the workplace.

    Today, there are a growing number of homeowners who invest in FR curtains and fabrics for their homes to boost the level of safety and security. Of course, the materials used for curtains, sheets, and other home textiles are more expensive compared to standard ones.

    If you’re interested in getting flame retardant curtains in the UK, make sure that you get them from a reputable supplier. Direct Fabrics offer high-quality flame-resistant curtains that will help enhance the safety of your property and its inhabitants. Browse through our items today and purchase the best product for your needs!

  • Textile Materials: An Overview on Flame Retardant Fabric

    It doesn’t take an expert to know that fabrics and fire don’t go well together. With the threat of house fires growing in number in the past few years, primarily due to cigarette-related flame accidents, the death toll of 11,000 people became a concern for the UK to impose strict flame-retardant standards.

    In the UK and Europe, flame retardant standards apply to both domestic and contract fabrics. These materials can be found through domestic and contracted manufacturing products. Because of this, strict guidelines require the testing of these textile materials to ensure that it’s safe for residential and commercial use. If you’re running a company in the hospitality industry, you need to be familiar with what fabrics to use best for your business.

    Different flame-retardant ratings

    Commercial business is only allowed to use a specific flame retardant rating attached to its fabric’s purpose. Depending on the purpose and nature of the fabric, different tests ensure its safety with regards to its use and environmental setting.

    • British Standard 5852:2006: This rating applies to fabric used for upholstered furnishings, primarily for couches and chairs. This standard ensures that light flames, mainly from matches or lit cigarettes, won’t be enough to ignite the material.
    • British Standard 5867: This rating is done to confirm if the textile material is flammable on the edges and if the fabric can spread and cause a fire.
    • British Standard 5438: This is primarily for fabric used on curtains that are hung vertically. It requires a second testing of BS 5852:2006 and 5867.
    • M1 Standard: This rating indicates that a specific fabric is permanently non-flammable after rigorous testing. Except for the UK and Ireland, this standard is accepted to all European countries. Part of why it’s not accepted in the UK is because fire inspectors prefer the British Standards for testing.

    Examples of flame-retardant treatments

    Because textile products have different base materials, flame retardant treatment can vary depending on their use and purpose.

    • Mixed chemical flame retardants: This method uses brominated flame retardants that are mixed with nitrogen derivatives and phosphorate compounds. Manufacturers use this specific mixture as back-coating for materials, such as faux and genuine leather, leather, cotton, and polyester.
    • Fabric mixtures: Wool is applied to 15 to 20% of the material’s proportions to achieve this flame-resistant treatment, creating a coat that’s mixed to fabrics, such as polyacrylic, polyester, or polyamide.
    • Halogen compounds: This treatment involves acrylic resins, which is used for synthetic fabrics. It allows synthetics with chlorination from halogen monomers to have intrinsic fireproofing. However, fabrics that received chlorination treatment aren’t fit for this chemical modification.

    Manufacturers are only allowed to use fabrics that are coated with these three treatments to pass the flame retardant guidelines listed above.


    The UK’s strictness on flame retardant standards has made residents and business owners to be more cautious about their purchases. Because of this, textile manufacturers need to pay attention to the fireproofing levels in their fabrics, whether it’s used for curtains or furniture upholsteries. You can read through the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA)’s free booklet if you want to learn more about the domestic and contract standards for textile materials in the UK.

    If you’re looking for a reliable supplier of flame retardant fabrics in the UK, we at Direct Fabrics can help you. We offer beddings, fabrics, and curtains with different types of textures for your business’s needs. Get in touch with us today to find the right product for you!

  • Fire Curtains: How They Work and How They’re Made

    Whether to ensure the safety of office, school, or hospital inhabitants, purchasing flame retardant curtains can create a more secure working environment. By working with the right furnishing specialists, you provide your customers only with the very best. If investing in fire curtains, here’s everything you need to know about how they work and how they’re manufactured.

    Advanced Materials

    As you might’ve determined, the most important element of a fire curtain is its fire fabric. After being woven, the fire fabric is coated by chemical engineers who strive to achieve the highest level of safety. Each curtain is then given a rating according to its fire resistance and deployed for fitting.

    High-Functioning Features

    Similar in nature to the metal shutters used in storefronts when closing up for the day, fire curtains descend vertically and are unrolled from the top. Automatic versions of these curtains can be deployed mechanically and retract according to a building’s fire alarm system. In other cases, they can be deployed remotely.

    Unlike metal shutters, however, fire curtains are flexible and compact, allowing them to be more properly fitted into a certain space, thus providing it with better compartmentation and reducing the negative impact on aesthetics. Fail safes are also incorporated into their design, which allows gravity to pull the curtain in position should there be a power cut or if its motor fails.

    Fire Curtain Applications

    Ideal for both large and small spaces or open-plan areas, fire curtains can be fitted onto cubicle curtain tracks and even hospital curtain tracks. When factored into the design aesthetic of a building, they can be easily recessed into walls or ceilings, keeping them from becoming visible to guests and employees.

    Retrofitted curtains fit in perfectly with their surroundings and can even be designed to suit historic and heritage buildings.

    The Stunning History of Fire Curtain Design

    Traceable to the late 1800s, blinds and curtains were being designed to suit custom solutions and requests. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that fire curtains became a vague idea. In an attempt to discover a non-invasive method of controlling hot smoke, engineers then developed the first automatic smoke curtain. Known as a Gravity Fail-Safe System, this type of mechanism is now a benchmark that is used worldwide.

    Working closely with leading architects, curtain makers have been more dedicated than ever to create high-performance fire safety systems that are suitable for all types of spaces. Created to ensure the security of inhabitants, protect buildings, and reduce the impact of fires, fitting fire curtains into your building can prove an ultimate safeguard and be the safety solution you need.


    If you haven’t yet considered adorning your office walls with fire curtains, better late than never! They’re an excellent method of saving on insurance and preventing disasters from occurring in the first place.

    At Direct Fabrics, we stock flame retardant curtains for schools, offices, hospitals, and every type of building. Need something that suits your aesthetic? We carry a massive supply of curtains in every style and pattern and even specialise in roller blinds, blackouts, and sheer materials!

  • 3 Window Furnishing Considerations for Student Accommodation

    Unlike hotels or furnished flats and homes, student accommodation projects pose a number of unique challenges and obstacles not inherent to other types of residential housing. The demands of student life, after all, are many and never-ending, which means that their housing should reflect that type of lifestyle.

    This requirement applies to their window treatments as well. The blinds or curtains in a dormitory, for example, need to be durable, easy to use, and low maintenance. They must also be adequate for privacy and sun-shielding.

    Some of the most important considerations for window furnishings for student accommodations include:

    1. Safety

    Safety should come first above all, especially when it comes to housing students. As such, the blinds or curtains should comply with BS 5867 fire safety standards. While most suppliers and manufacturers have options that are fire retardant, it is important to remember that retail stores that serve the residential market have plenty of products that do not comply with the aforementioned fire safety standards.

    Additional considerations have to be made if children under the age of 3 years and 6 months will be regularly in contact or residing in your student accommodation projects. Your window furnishings should be compliant with BS EN13120 child safety regulations on top of the fire safety conditions.

    2. Durability

    Your residents are unlikely to be careful or gentle with your furnishings. They are also likely to regularly change as terms and entire educations come to a finish. That means your window furnishings have to be stable and durable.

    In general, anything with fewer moving parts is considerably more durable. Curtains and curtain tracks, therefore, have fewer breaking parts in the event of mismanagement. Make sure to use an aluminium track or rod as opposed to plastic, as the latter grows brittle over time, while the former is highly resistant to corrosion.

    If blinds are preferred, roller and panel blinds are better for durability. They are simple and easy to use, and as such, are more suitable for intense handling.

    Be sure to also consider warranties, as many suppliers and business-to-business wholesalers have such offers for their clients.

    3. Aesthetics

    In addition to durability and safety, students need the right aesthetic qualities so that their accommodations will be more suitable for work and continually stressful situations. Choosing curtains that are too clinical or generic-looking, for example, can make a student feel uncomfortable in their own rooms.

    Various colours also have different effects on the subconscious. Blue, for instance, has a calming effect on the mind and can be quite useful in student accommodations, which are generally considered to be places of high stress.


    Whatever you might choose, it is important to remember that it is better to invest in quality rather than regularly replace malfunctioning curtains and blinds. It is important that your window furnishings are safe, durable, and pleasing to the eye so that the residents of your student accommodations remain happy and healthy.

    If you need great options on window furnishings for your student accommodations, send us at Direct Fabrics a message. We cater to businesses and bulk orders. We also supply, install, and maintain according to your needs.

  • 3 Window Coverings With Fire-Resistant Materials - What to Choose

    Windows are a basic part of any building, but they vary quite a bit in terms of construction and design. As a homeowner or property manager, you can customize the look of your property quite a bit by choosing the right coverings or treatments.

    Whether shades, shutters, or blinds, you have to factor in the materials to be used. As much as possible, you have to select flame retardant curtains, blinds, and/or materials to protect your property. Should there be a fire outbreak, these fire-resistant materials can reduce the damage and even save people's lives.

    In this article, we'll share the three types of window treatments with fire-resistant materials you may want to consider for the windows of your home or commercial property. Keep on reading to learn more.

    1. Solar shades: Utilize polyester materials.

    Solar window shades are good at protecting you from the harmful UV rays without prohibiting your view of the outdoors. When it comes to this type of window treatment, it's best to go for high-quality polyester materials with a mix of cellulose and polypropylene. Why? They are proven to be durable, which may last for as long as possible.

    When investing in polyester materials for your solar shades, make sure to conduct research. Ask your prospective sellers if they deliver high-quality solar shades with fire retardant materials. From there, you have to decide and buy only from a highly-reputable manufacturer.

    2. Shutters: Opt for fire-retardant materials.

    Window shutters are known for enhancing the aesthetic beauty of your windows. They are usually solid and stable window coverings consisting of frames with vertical stiles and horizontal rails. Not only do they augment the beauty of your windows, but they also serve functional purposes.

    One primary function of window shutters is to protect your property from fire. However, you have to ensure you select fire-retardant materials. They also serve to protect the property against intruders, provide the occupants with some privacy, and insulate your room space.

    3. Aluminum blinds: Go for materials with fire-resistant properties.

    Also known as mini blinds, aluminum blinds are made of long, narrow slats held together by string. On top of their feature is their aesthetic design with no openings to boast of. However, they have a variety of designs and colour shades that can make your space visually pleasing.

    One notable factor to consider in aluminum blinds is that they employ firm and sturdy materials, which are also known to be fire-resistant. Not only do they make you comfortable in your space, but they also keep you safe at all times.


    We cannot deny the fact that a fire outbreak has increasingly become common in homes and commercial buildings. Most of these fire outbreaks are a result of the negligence of homeowners or occupants. As accidents are quite inevitable, utilizing window treatments can be your best protection.

    As outlined above, you can use choose polyester materials for solar shades, fire-retardant materials for shutters, or aluminum materials for blinds. Whatever materials for window treatments you select, know that it's better to be safe than sorry.

    We are a leading supplier of flame-retardant curtains for schools, homes, hotels, and other business establishments across the UK and Europe. If you need fire-resistant curtains, blinds, and fabrics for your windows, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

  • 9 Reason to Choose Room Divider Curtains

    Gaining popularity at the moment are room divider curtains and curtain tracks. Television shows like BBC 2 Your House made beautiful. The architects are using room divider curtains as quick and cost effective ways to adapt a room and make it a segmented space.

    Direct Fabrics are made to measure curtain specialists that provide quality made to measure room divider curtains and curtain tracks.


    In the episode, Robert decided to put a raised platform at one of a space with a large curtain wrapping around the space to partition it to allow for the owner of the house to have a temporary bedroom or an office studio space. The couple loves the flexibility that is present and meant that they had a dynamic space that could be adjusted at different times.

    A full review of the episode can be found here


    List of Why Choose Room Divider Curtains


    1. Incredibly practical / Flexible.

    Using the track instead of a permanent wall means that you can open and close when you like and get a feeling of separation quickly and easily. This means you can have segmented relaxing spaces or full open function space.


    1. Decorative

    A wall is hard a dull and means you have a rigid structure in your space. A curtain offers a soft and decorative textile. This means you get a flowing soft drape to look at and beak up surfaces. The curtains provide a soft finish to a dull room


    1. Sound Absorbing – Acoustics

    Depending on the fabric used in most cases these will be sound absorbing and reduces reverberation in a space and this will give you a cosier environment and also improve the room acoustics.


    1. Sound Blocking – Acoustics

    When using purpose chosen room divider curtains they can be sound reducing and sound blocking. A thicker and heavier curtain will offer sound blocking and the heavier you go the more sound they will block. Direct Fabrics has a range of acoustic curtains that will block 11-12 decibels, this is approximately 50% less volume than if the curtain wasn’t there.


    1. Opacity

    Depending on the fabric used a room divider can be anything from a voile to a blackout. If you want to partially divide the space then you can use a voile that will soften the light and defuse the spaces. Or if you are after a blackout finish then using a heavier blackout fabric then you reduce


    1. Thermal Benefits

    As the curtains can be thick with blackout linings or with multiple layers they are great at blocking heat escaping and also heat entering depending what your trying to do. Either keep a space warm or keep a space cool. This means you can adjust temperatures in spaces just like having walls.


    1. Privacy

    When using curtains you can gain the privacy that you want between spaces and have a quick moment of seclusion. When working with walls and fixed objects you are totally away with a curtain you can open the space up again and have the flexibility for a larger space.


    1. Low Cost – Cheaper than a wall

    Building a wall in timber or blocks is complex and a skilled tradesman is required and the materials and the time is expensive. A curtain track can start at under £100 and will cover a large space.


    1. Do it Yourself

    As the curtain tracks can be installed directly into the ceiling through plasterboard or in to the studs or masonry then anyone can do this with some basic DIY. This means there are no expensive professional fees.


    If you are looking for room dividers for a home studio or lounge space then look no further than Direct Fabrics. We offer a large range or room divider curtains and tracks. See the range here





  • Keep Your School Safe from Fire All-Year Round: What to Do

    Emergencies, like fire, happen unexpectedly, and such incidents do not exempt the school. It is important to keep a learning institution a fire-safe property all year-round, whether during a school year full of children or during vacation time when it is empty. Once your building catches fire, things will never be the same again. Lives are at risk. You will lose your files and all your investment in an instant. Moreover, the school children and teachers will be robbed of a good education and income source, respectively.

    If you are a school owner, here are some ways to avoid encountering this serious problem.

    1. Check your plug sockets

    No one should leave the plug sockets nor extensions unattended. As much as possible, ensure that there are no plugged appliances or equipment, especially those not in use. Above all, make sure they are not overloaded during day time. If a socket or extension is loaded with appliances more than the recommended voltage, it can overheat and later on cause a huge fire.

    • Before the school is emptied, make sure someone checks all sockets, especially during long vacations.
    • Separating the outlets for lights and other appliances can help manage and reduce overheating possibility.
    • Turning the main switch off would also help.
    • Proper placement of these sockets and extension cords is also important. Do not place them under the carpet or near window curtains to avoid igniting more fire when emergencies happen.

    2. Keep flammable items away

    Papers and some elements in a science laboratory room are common items found in schools that can strongly ignite and spread a fire. Since they cannot be completely removed from any learning institutions, these flammable items should be properly kept in safe areas away from any fire starter.

    Heat, oxygen, and fuel are the three elements needed to create a fire. Be wary of these items and keep them at safe storage at all times.

    3. Be mindful of the lights

    A light turned on for so long can also overheat and cause a fire. After school hours or during a school break, it is important to have some lights on within the property. Make sure to have someone to look over your school during these off-hours or use alternate lights each time. If this is not an option, make sure all lights are turned off before leaving the school.

    4. Clean your hallways

    A cluttered space is always a fire favourite. When the school hallway is full of dust from wood, plastic, or other chemicals, these too can magnify a fire. Make sure there are no other elements or items scattered around the hallways after school, and keep all exits clear from any types of blockage. This step will help prevent any fire from spreading and will ensure that all emergency exits are ready for use.

    5. Use fire curtains

    Most fires spread around the property through the curtains. Using fire curtains around the school can help control any movement of smoke, heat, and fire. They have properties that help protect the students or the building from toxic smoke and deadly heat.

    These are highly resistant curtains in great designs that can help transform how a room looks. They can also be used as compartmentation and boundary solution and protection to large rooms, such as theatres, sports halls, and more.


    Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to fire. Preventing a school fire from happening should not only be limited to the installation of fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. Following the steps mentioned above could also save lives and your property investment.

    If you are looking for flame retardant curtains for schools, we are your supplier! We have fire-resistant curtains for all types of business. Contact us today and get a personalised service.

  • 4 Security Advantages of Commercial Blinds in Office

    You probably know that installing commercial blinds in your office has many benefits. Aside from the fact that they add aesthetic value to your space, they have several advantages that include blocking UV rays and keeping a comfortable environment in your office.

    More importantly, installing commercial blinds help provide much-needed privacy to your employees and security to your property and assets. Unfortunately, not many business owners realize this. They tend to overlook commercial blinds that can potentially put their business at risk.

    To avoid the same problems, here are the benefits of commercial blinds that you should know about:

    1. It helps secure your assets

    For companies with high-dollar assets, security is crucial. For instance, a trucking company owns trailers, tractors, bulldozers, and other heavy equipment that they keep in open storage that’s visible to the public. In most cases, the company would keep an employee posted to look out for these assets day and night, roaming around the place or positioned near the gates to keep thieves away.

    Commercial blinds help make these premises’ security measures more effective. Installing blinds in the office makes vandals and thieves think twice about breaking in because they will never know if someone is watching over them.

    Now that there are more high-tech security monitoring systems, thanks to CCTVs, employees can now keep the assets secured remotely. It is more helpful knowing that your security personnel can have an overview of the whole place while staying in place.

    2. It helps protect sensitive data

    Data breaches can happen both outside and inside your company. Many data breach cases occur within the organization either via malicious outsiders or employees who may accidentally or unconsciously tap sensitive data.

    With commercial blinds, you can limit access to sensitive data to authorized personnel only. Since the place only allows certain people to enter, investigating and inspecting employees may become more convenient and easy should a data breach occur.

    3. It helps deter break-ins

    Burglars won’t risk breaking-in if they think there is someone in the property. They wouldn’t believe that engaging with these people would be worth it, so they would most likely just leave the premises.

    Commercial blinds, coupled with visible lighting, sound, and other security systems such as CCTV, can help keep potential burglars away from your property. Businesses that operate 24/7 have times where there are no employees actively minding the store or area. Installing a commercial blind, in such cases, can help add a layer of security.

    4. It helps keep potential threats away

    Office or workplace violence happens around the world. Businesses that deal with money and high-value assets are more prone to these instances. Thieves or attackers plan their actions following the movement that they see from the outside.

    Installing commercial blinds in your office help secure your place and protect employees by significantly lowering the visibility from the outside. Doing so limits attackers from knowing what is happening or who is in the office, therefore, restricting their movements.

    Additionally, employees can get a closer look at the outside should a potential attacker be roaming around, meaning they would have enough time to call for police assistance.


    Commercial blinds are not there solely for aesthetic and blocking UV rays and glare. It’s most special feature that is mostly overlooked is its ability to help protect your office space, as well as your employees. Aside from keeping away burglars and potential attackers, blinds can also help secure sensitive data which are vital to your business operations.

    If you are a business owner planning to install commercial blinds to your office space and looking for blackout material for blinds in the UK, get in touch with us today. We manufacture and supply made-to-measure blinds and fabrics to our various clients!

  • Why Are Cubicle Curtains Essential in Healthcare Facilities?

    Customised curtains and the appropriate corresponding track systems offer a wealth of benefits in all fields related to healthcare. Generally, these provide a division for a variety of reasons between patients, healthcare providers, and employees in different healthcare settings.

    It is in your healthcare organisation’s best interest to invest in quality custom-made medical curtains and hospital tracks. Here are some examples of facilities and situations that demonstrate their necessity and the benefits they provide.

    Hospitals and Clinics

    Hospitals have large rooms divided into several areas that are separated by medical curtains, and smaller ones that require the same for privacy and minimising external noises. School and physicians’ clinics similarly can take advantage of these curtains to divide common areas to offer privacy for their patients.

    In addition, cubicle curtains can help limit the spread of bacteria and other infection vectors. Hospital-acquired infections are greatly reduced in areas that use frequently sanitised and laundered curtains and partitions.

    Research Facilities

    Cubicle curtains help partition out work zones inside research facilities and are particularly important in preventing cross-contamination between setups or research and development areas. These also address the issue of privacy for sensitive setups and sterility for the entire facility in general.

    Universities that have medical centres or programmes enjoy the same benefits that hospitals and clinics do from using medical curtains, with the added advantage of providing further privacy for students so that they can concentrate on their work better.

    Specialised Medical Facilities

    Facilities that offer specialised services, such as dialysis clinics or blood drawing locations, are often separate from general hospitals. They require and benefit from medical curtains in all of the same ways other facilities do.

    Patient-related distress regarding procedures is a serious problem for many people undergoing long-term maintenance like dialysis. That can contribute to the exacerbation of their symptoms, which makes medical management more difficult. It is best to provide cubicle curtains as partitions to ease their mind and give them privacy.

    Mother and Baby and Birthing Centers

    Privacy during bonding and sterility for ensured safety and health are of particular interest for both the mother and the infant in maternal care. These types of curtains help address these concerns. Using partitions specifically for medical use is a globally recognised standard for birthing centres and maternity facilities.

    Benefits of Customised Curtains

    With all of these potential advantages, it becomes doubly important to ensure that your cubicle curtains and the corresponding hospital tracks are tailor-made to your organisation’s needs. Custom-order curtains and tracks allow you to specify what you need.

    There are commercial-grade materials and equipment that assure a long-lasting, durable product, anti-microbial materials to cut down on infection transmissions, mesh fabrics to allow for better ventilation, and even fire safety standards compliance. The choice of tracks can also reflect your needs, as hooks, grommets, and break-away curtains can all be specified as well.

    You can request physical alterations to better suit your current infrastructure—from cutaways to account for existing walls and dividers, specific widths and heights for every area and purpose, right down to the presence or absence of any seams in the curtains. Furthermore, colours and patterns can assist both patients and staff in locating and identifying different areas and departments.


    Customised cubicle curtains are a worthwhile investment for healthcare businesses of all sizes and purposes. The benefits they provide are essential to smooth operation, meaning that the initial cost for quality-made products can be offset by many years of dependable use.

    Get your cubicle curtains from a trusted source, like us at Direct Fabrics. Since 2011, we have provided superior products and exceptional service to our customers in the UK. Get in touch now!

  • Hotels and B&Bs: A Quick Guide to Flame Retardant Fabrics

    As a business owner, especially in the hospitality industry, you are duty-bound to ensure that your guests remain safe. This responsibility encompasses reducing the risk of fire, along with fire safety for both guests and staff.

    Hotels and bed & breakfasts (B&B) are regulated by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Here, the order ensures that the building owners take full responsibility for fire safety compliance, which includes efforts like purchasing fabrics and furnishings that meet British Standards.

    If you’re a business owner looking for more ways to fire-proof your hotel or B&B, here is a simple guide for you. Here are all your questions about flame retardant fabrics, answered!

    1 - How do I choose the right fabric for my hotel or bed & breakfast?

    The right fabric falls under specific guidelines, as imposed by the British Standard for Flame Retardancy. Hotels and B&Bs must meet the following requirements:

    • BS5867 Part 2 B & 2 C: These pertain to the standard details, which are the requirements for flame retardant curtains and blinds fabrics. Part 2 B means that an item still passes the retardancy test after it was washed at least 12 times. Part 2 C, on the other hand, pertains to inherently flame retardant fabrics. These can be washed up to 50 times and remain fire resistant.
    • BS7175: This standard mostly pertains to bedding. The fabrics used need to come in polyester, as these are durable even with continued washing.
    • BS5852: This requirement pertains to upholstery fabrics, such as flame retardant curtains. These fabrics are then tested using cigarettes and matches—anything that catches fire will fail the fire safety standards.

    To ensure that you’re purchasing quality flame retardant fabrics, transact with a reputable company. The company should meet the requirements listed above, especially the standards imposed by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

    2 - What happens if I don’t use flame retardant fabric?

    If you remain unaware or blatantly disregard the need for flame retardant furnishing regulations, you place lives in jeopardy. Such consequences remain apparent in the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire, where 72 lives had been lost.

    Due to the inadequate materials used in the building, the hazardous fire quickly spread and engulfed the entire building of 24 floors. It took over 60 hours for the flames to be fully extinguished. Unfortunately, the speed at which the fire travelled left people with little chance of escape. With such a tragedy in mind, it is a stark reminder always to choose flame-retardant fabrics.

    3 - Should I use flame retardant sprays or inherently flame-retardant fabrics?

    There are two available options for flame retardant fabrics:

    • The use of flame-retardant chemical: This essentially means the application of chemicals to an untreated fabric, which then improves its fire resistance capabilities. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary solution and re-application may be needed after washing.
    • The use of inherently flame-retardant fabrics: These are fabrics already made with fire resistance in the yarn, and they are the more sensible choice for business owners. They’re more durable and provide total protection against the fire. They’re also waterproof and have antimicrobial properties, making them the perfect investment for your hotel or B&B.


    Running a hotel or bed & breakfast means you’re responsible for many lives, which include not just your guests but your staff too. You must exhaust all means to ensure that every single corner of your establishment is safe, especially when tragedy strikes.

    One of the best ways to begin is by purchasing flame retardant fabrics. Although quite simple as compared to ensuring that fire exits remain accessible, fire-resistant fabrics can save lives.

    For the best selection of flame retardant fabrics in the UK, Direct Fabrics is the place to go. We offer you a wide range of patterns and textures to choose from!

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