Fire-retardant clothing is important to factory workers, car mechanics, electricians and any other worker in an environment that has a risk of flash fire or arc blasts from electricity. Most clothing is not fire proof, which means that should a ball of fire suddenly appear around you, your clothes could catch on fire. Wearing protective clothing might not mean you get away completely injury free, but it can be the difference between minor and serious burns, or even the difference between life and death. For a long time, clothing that was resistant to fire was bulky and uncomfortable to wear, but today, work uniforms are being adapted in a few ways to make workers more comfortable.
A big factor in the comfort of work clothing is weight, and fire resistant clothing is getting lighter. Jobs can require carrying all sorts of weights, and at the end of the day you’re exhausted, so the last thing you want is a pound of extra weight from your thick clothing. There are materials that are light and comfortable to wear that are still fire retardant.
The breathability of a garment is another major factor in its overall comfort. Breathability is the ability of an item of clothing to retain or disperse heat. On a hot day, you want a garment that will disperse your body heat and prevent you from getting uncomfortably warm. On a cold day, you want to keep some of that heat inside and prevent cold air from penetrating. A perfectly breathable garment will provide a good balance of cooling and warmth.
The ability to manage moisture is the final component of comfortable fire-resistant clothing. The jobs that require protective clothing also tend to require a lot of hard work, which means sweat is an inevitability. Cotton-based fabrics tend to get saturated in sweat, but they never really dry out. Fire-retardant garments can be made to remove moisture from the skin, spread it out along the surface of the garment, and then let the moisture evaporate. There’s no longer any reason you have to sacrifice comfort for protection.