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Is Silk Flammable?

Is Silk Flammable?


Silk IS flammable

More Info: All fabrics, including silk, can burn.  However, some fabrics are more combustible than others are.  For example, untreated silk and cotton burn more readily than wool, which is difficult to ignite.  On the other hand, silk is much less flammable than rayon, which ignites easily but burns slowly.

History of Flammable Clothing

The definition for flammable clothing came about in the 1940s, due to the highly flammable Gene Autry cowboy suits, which were made of rayon. The definition was then reinforced when girls began being burned by highly flammable cotton sweaters, nicknamed “Torch Sweaters”.


Silk is a very versatile material used for a variety of items including clothing, parachutes, rugs, and prosthetic arteries.  So how do you protect yourself when wearing silk?  Start by reviewing the facts below.


The weave of your fabric will affect how quickly it will ignite and burn.  Tightly   woven silk will burn less rapidly than loosely woven silk.


Clothing that fits closer to your body is less likely to catch fire than loose fitting clothing.  Silk blouses with loose, flowing fabric will ignite more easily.

Dyes and Additives

The flammability of silk may be increased due to dyes and additives added to produce color.  Untreated silk is less flammable.

In conclusion, all fabrics are flammable, silk included.  However, the flammability of silk depends on many factors, including its intended use.



“Burn Prevention.” . N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Sept. 2012. .

“Flammable Fabrics.” Pasadena Fire Department. City of Pasadena California, n.d. Web. 4 Sept. 2012. .

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