All garments and fabrics used in general wearing apparel or children‘s sleepwear must meet the requirements of the Flammable Fabrics Act.


Monetary fines, civil penalties and criminal penalties may be issued for product, fabric or related materials that are manufacture for sale, sold, or the offered for sale and fail to comply with an applicable standard or regulation issued under the FFA.

Clothing Flammability Rule Updates - 16 CFR 1610

Effective Date: The revised Standard was effective September 22, 2008. The Standard for the Flammability of Clothing Textiles, US Regulation, 16 CFR Part 1610, has been revised. While the principal requirements of the standard remain the same, the revised version includes modern testing apparatus, as well as updated refurbishing procedures which reflect current consumer practices.

In addition, the new standard has been reorganized and re-written to be more understandable and user-friendly. It also should be noted that the actual test procedure and classification for acceptance has not changed.

Significant changes to the wearing apparel flammability standard, include:

Modern testing apparatus: Permits the use of flammability test chambers that incorporate electromechanical components to apply the ignition flame and measure burn time

Definitions and Explanation: Definitions have been added which include plain surface textile fabric,raised surface fabric, refurbishing, long dimension, specimen, sample, base burn, flocked fabrics, burn-out patterns, narrow fabrics, metallic thread fabrics and narrow fabrics, including leis, fringe, etc

Test Requirements: Information is clarified with regard to the need for testing of additional specimens. It is now clear when more than five specimens are needed for testing

Reorganizing and rewriting the test procedure: Directions for selecting the surface or direction of the fabric to be tested, determining when testing five additional specimens is necessary, and conducting the flammability test have been clarified. The instructions for calculating burn times and establishing the occurrence of a "base burn," the point at which the flame burns the base fabric of a raised surface textile fabric and provides a self sustaining flame have also been clarified

Refurbishing Procedure

Laundering: This method of laundering has been changed from hand wash to machine wash, following sections 8.2.2, 8.2.3 and 8.3.1(A) of AATCC 124-2006 Classes of Flammability

The standard establishes requirements for clothing textiles, and prohibits the manufacture, distribution, and sale of dangerously flammable textiles for use in clothing. The rule sets three classes of flammability for clothing and textiles, based on measurement of burn time, as well as visual observations of flammability:

  • Class 1 or normal flammability
  • Class 2 or intermediate flammability
  • Class 3 or rapid and intense burning.

Textiles and clothing categorized as Class 3 are considered dangerously flammable.

Excluded product categories

The Standard, however, does not apply to certainly types of clothing, and which includes:

  • Hats, provided that they do not constitute or form part of a covering for the neck, face, or shoulders
  • Gloves, provided that they are not more than 14 inches in length and are not affixed to or do not form an integral part of another garment
  • Footwear, provided it does not consist of hosiery (for example: socks and stockings) in whole or part and is not affixed to or does not form an integral part of another garment Interlining fabrics (intended for that purpose.)

Specific exemptions

Certain fabric consistently yield acceptable result over years of testing; therefore, the following types of fabrics, or of products made entirely from one or more of there fabrics, are exempt from testing:

  • Plain surface fabrics, regardless of fiber content weighing 2.6 ounces per square yard or more
  • All fabrics, both plain surface and raised-fiber surface textiles, regardless of weight, made entirely from any of the following fibers or entirely from combination of the following fibers: Acrylic Modacrylic Nylon Polyester Olefin Wool Narrow fabrics and loose fibrous materials manufactured less than 50 mm (2 inches) in width in either direction shall not be tested.

SGS can provide wide range of Flammability tests, please feel free to contact us for more information.

Please download the PDF file for more information about the update of the clothing flammability rule (PDF 162 KB)

Ruth Hon

t: +852 2774 7148

About SGS

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity.With more than 56,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.