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Characteristics Of Cotton Fabrics
The cool comfort of knitted cotton
Unlike synthetic materials, cotton has excellent air permeability and
moisture transmission. It is not subject to static build-up and there
is no uncomfortable clinging to the wearers skin. This is advantageous
in high temparature conditions and when garments are worn for extended
periods of time. Superior comfort is achieved by allowing the body to breath
naturally. Knitted PROBAN®
fabrics are available in lighter weights and in a number of flexible constructions.
Entrapped within the fibre
Since it was first developed in the 1950's, the PROBAN® process has been
subject to continuous improvement by Albright & Wilson. During treatment,
the PROBAN® chemical is
implanted deep inside the cotton fibres. It is then processed to form an
inert cross-linked polymer which is physically entrapped within the cotton itself.
It is this PROBAN®
polymer that gives the fabric its flame retardant performance; and as
PROBAN® does not react
chemically with the cotton fibres, the natural and physical
properties of the fabric remain unaffected.
The PROBAN® polymer
trapped inside the cotton fibres cannot be removed by washing or dry
cleaning, but flame retardant performance may be masked by excessive
soiling or soap deposits. Recommended care instructions should be followed
to ensure the flame retardant performance lasts for the life of the garment.
Chlorine bleaches should never be used during the cleaning process.
The self-extinguishing solution
When flame comes into contact with
treated cotton, an insulating char is formed and there is no melting,
smouldering or after glow. Unlike synthetics, cotton does not melt away
from a flame to form a hole, nor does it form a hot sticky residue which
can adhere to the skin of the wearer causing burn injury. In foundry and
furnace operations, appropriately constructed
PROBAN® garments, help to protect the wearer against
burn injuries arising from splash by most molten metals (except aluminium
and magnesium). PROBAN®
cotton eliminates the risk of ignition from sparks or flame in welding or
cutting operations. The flame retardant properties of PROBAN® knitted cotton make it
the most appropriate fabric in industries where there is a risk of spillage
and ignition of flammable liquids.
Albright & Wilson world best practise
The PROBAN® quality control
function is ISO 9002 and EN 45001 accredited. The Albright & Wilson testing
laboratory is one of the most sophisticated in the industry. As the liscensed
PROBAN® finisher, we are
required to submit samples of all
PROBAN® production batches
to the designated laboratory of Albright & Wilson Limited.
Here they are assessed for flame retardant performance against the appropriate
standard. Only when a batch meets the standard, is a test certificate issued
together with a supply of the appropriate number of sew-in
PROBAN® labels which state
the flammability performance standard of the fabric.
PROBAN® workwear fabrics
are manufactured to meet all internationally recognised standards for
protection against flame spread and the
PROBAN® label is the
wearer's assurance of PROBAN®
Total care for the long life of
To maintain quality and performance levels of your flame retardant garments,
it is imperative the manufacturer's care instructions are adhered to. This will
ensure PROBAN® protection
for the life of the garment.
- Durable flame retardant finish
- Washable and dry cleanable
- Do not use soap
- Do not use chlorine bleach
- Wash in synthetic detergents
Recommended synthetic detergents:
Castle, Surf, Cold Power, Dynamo, Gows, Radiant, Drive, Fab and Omo
Ongoing testing ensures your comfort and
Since the introduction of the
PROBAN® process, Albright
& Wilson have commissioned extensive testing of
PROBAN® finished fabrics
to make sure they meet the ever increasing health and safety demands of
society. Following is a detailed look at the program of testing to which
PROBAN® fabrics have
been subjected, by both independant testing organisations and
Albright & Wilson Limited.
Leeds University conducted the Human Repeat Insult Patch Test on 256
volunteers wearing PROBAN®
finished fabrics. This test subjects human volunteers to direct contact with
fabrics for various lengths of time. No single case of skin irritation
Doctor Martin Scott used
PROBAN® finished fabric
to perform the Human Repeat Insult Patch Test on 100 children. He also
tested children having a typical infantile eczema, where an external
contact was suspected as the cause. Both studies gave a result of no
adverse skin reaction.
Huntington Research Centre conducted a Dermal Irritation Study on
fabrics. All tests indicated the fabrics were non-irritant to the skin.
Albright & Wilson subjected 38 volunteers to the Human Repeat
Insult Patch Test for fabrics both before and after laundering. No
case of skin irritation was recorded.
PROBAN® finished fabrics
were also evaluated using the Kawai S.U.M.P. test on human volunteers. This
test was devised as a more searching examination of dermal effects from
materials that are shown to be non-irritant in conventional tests. An
independant test by the Japanese Society of Cutaneous Health reported
fabrics are non-irritant to the skin.
Continuous testing helps to ensure that up-to-date information is always
available. The most recent studies concerning delayed type skin
hypersensitivity were conducted in 1993 by Safepharm Laboratories in
Derby. PROBAN® finished
fabrics produced a 0% sensitisation rate. This allows the fabrics to be
classified as non-sensitiser, according to EEC regulations. To date,
there have been no published reports of
to either skin cirritaiton or sensitisation.
As harmless as common table salt
Although PROBAN® finished
fabric is unlikely to be taken internally, Albright & Wilson have taken
the precaution of testing for the toxicological and environmental impact of
PROBAN® polymer. The
results of tests carried out by the Huntington Research Centre on
PROBAN® polymer extracted
from finished fabric are displayed in the following table.
SUMMARY OF TOXICITY TESTING|
LD 50mg / kg Body-weight
3200 - 5000
The toxicity levels in the table demonstrate that if a 70kg person ingested
1.5 metres of PROBAN® treated
fabric, it would prove as harmless as an equivalent dose of common table salt.
The PROBAN® polymer present
in the fabric is insoluble in all common solvents and does not present any
hazard to the eyes or by ingestion.
Chemical analysis undertaken by the Medical Research Centre in Britain
discovered that the fumes from charring PROBAN® fabrics were of no
greater toxicity than fumes produced by burning untreated cotton fabric.
A further independant study by the Lambeg Industrial Research Association
concluded that the combustion products produced by PROBAN® fabrics were not
significantly different from those produced by untreated fabrics.
PROBAN® fabrics produced
fewer combustion by-products than untreated fabrics purely by
Knitted Cotton Comfort
Peace of Mind
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