How Flammable is Polyester

How Flammable is Polyester

Polyester is a popular synthetic fiber that is widely used in clothing, upholstery, home furnishings, and various other applications. It is known for its durability, wrinkle resistance, and affordability. However, one important aspect about polyester that concerns many people is its flammability.

How Flammable is Polyester


Flammability of Polyester

Polyester is considered to be a flammable material, meaning it can catch fire and sustain combustion. However, the flammability of polyester can vary depending on several factors, including its composition and thickness.

Polyester fabrics that are densely woven or have a higher weight per square meter tend to be less flammable compared to lightweight and loosely woven polyester fabrics. This is because denser fabrics have less air circulation, which makes it harder for flames to spread.

Additionally, some polyester fabrics are treated with flame retardant chemicals during the manufacturing process to reduce their flammability. These chemicals can help slow down or prevent the spread of fire.

Ignition Temperature

The ignition temperature is the minimum temperature at which a material can catch fire. For polyester, the ignition temperature is generally around 430-500°C (806-932°F). This means that polyester will start to burn at temperatures above this range.

It is important to note that the ignition temperature can vary depending on the specific type of polyester and any additional flame retardant treatments that have been applied. Some flame retardant additives can significantly increase the ignition temperature, making the polyester fabric less likely to catch fire.

How Flammable is Polyester


Behavior when Exposed to Flame

When polyester fabric comes into contact with a flame, it can melt and continue to burn. Polyester has a low melting point, typically between 250-290°C (482-554°F). This means that when exposed to high heat, the polyester fibers can melt and adhere to the skin, causing severe burns.

As polyester burns, it releases toxic gases and smoke. These gases and smoke can be harmful to inhale and can contribute to the spread of fire. It is important to note that flame-retardant polyester fabrics may release fewer toxic gases and smoke compared to untreated polyester.

Reducing the Flammability of Polyester

There are several ways to reduce the flammability of polyester fabrics:

  • Flame Retardant Treatments: Applying flame retardant chemicals during the manufacturing process can make the polyester fabric less flammable. The flame retardants work by interrupting the combustion process and reducing the spread of flames.
  • Blending with other Fibers: Mixing polyester with other fire-resistant fibers, such as wool or natural fibers like cotton, can improve the overall flammability resistance of the fabric.
  • Using Fire-Resistant Lining: Adding a fire-resistant lining to polyester garments, curtains, or upholstery can provide an additional layer of protection against flames.
  • Following Safety Guidelines: It is important to follow safety guidelines, such as keeping flammable materials away from open flames or heat sources, to minimize the risk of fire.

Frequently Asked Questions On How Flammable Is Polyester

Is Polyester Highly Flammable?

Polyester is highly flammable, with a melting point around 480°F. It can ignite easily and spread flames rapidly.

Does Polyester Catch Fire Easily?

Yes, polyester catches fire easily as it is a synthetic fabric that is made from petroleum-based materials.

How Fast Does Polyester Burn?

Polyester burns quickly, producing intense flames and releasing toxic gases and smoke in the process.

Is There A Way To Make Polyester Less Flammable?

Although inherently flammable, polyester can be treated with flame retardant chemicals to make it less prone to catching fire.


Polyester is a flammable material, but its flammability can be reduced through various measures such as flame retardant treatments, blending with other fibers, and using fire-resistant lining. However, it is still crucial to exercise caution and follow safety guidelines when dealing with polyester fabrics to prevent accidents and minimize the risk of fire.

Updated: January 13, 2024 — 2:51 am