London Tower Fire..Are your fabrics safe?


On 14th June 2016 London witnessed one of the most disturbing residential fires for this generation. A tower block containing 120 homes erupted in a huge fire within a matter of moments shocking the country. Whilst there is an on going investigation to the cause of this fire, which is said to be most likely due to the cladding used on the exterior of the building, it is now important more than ever to ensure fire preventative procedures are in place within all UK manufacturing sectors. 

This is now a time for us to reflect on industry standards in the furnishing industry. 

Do you make curtains, cushions, beanbafs, sofa covers, headboards, or anything that is used in the house?  Weather you manfuacture for on a small scale for your local shops, or on ebay, or weather you make items for your friends and family, everyone should take responsilibity to ensure that we have taken all the preventative measures to ensure the materials used in our products are hazour free and fire retardant. 

Here are a few steps on how you can follow due dilligance for your sewing or upholstery business: 

  1. Buy your fabrics from a reputable company who can have tracablility procedure in place. You could make a quick phone call to their buyers, or sale advisors and ask them about their procedures about fire testing their products.

  2. Check which fire tests your fabrics need to comply with. Different uses require different tests. For example, curtains in a domestic house do not need to be fire proof, on the other hand a bean bag would need to comply with certain Standard . However, you may think, is not safer to use fire proofed fabrics on everything?

  3. Always ask for a certificate. Responsible textile firms will test every batch of fabric they buy or produce from a reputable testing house. We recommend always purchasing fabrics from a testing house that is UKAS Certified. (Link to UCAS Website).

  4. Test it your self. Finally for self satisfaction, you could always order a couple of inches of fabric, or ask for a small off cut and do test your self. Although this will by no means be accurate, putting a light to a fabric, you will know if the fabric errupts into flames. We would always recommend doing this out door, in safe environment away from any buildings or hazards.

Many resources can be found at




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  • Usman Mir