Welding Cloth: Materials, Types, Advantages and Disadvantages

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Welding cloth is one type of personal protective equipment (PPE) used to protect welders from metal splatter and high heat by the use of fire resistant and thermally insulating materials. In May of 2008, The American Welding Society made several recommendations in regards to welding and cutting protective clothing. According to Safety and Health Fact Sheet No. 33, welding apparel should allow freedom of movement, yet cover all areas of exposed skin. Long sleeve shirts and pants that overlap the tops of your boots are recommended. Fabric should be heavy cotton or wool and be free of holes, tears, and frayed edges. Welding dress should change immediately if water, grease, oil, or solvent is spilled on clothing.

Materials for Welding Cloth:
The best materials for welding clothing include the following:

Denim:
While not optimal for welding operations, denim is a thick, rugged material that will protect welders in operations that are low in volume and intensity.

Cotton:
Cotton welding clothing provides economical protection from flame, sparks and molten splash. FR cotton has been chemically treated to withstand heat. Cotton fabric dresses are breathable, lightweight alternative to leather. Material remains flame resistant for up to 50 washings.

Leather:
Welding leather clothing is made from premium heavy side split cow leather. Chrome tanned to assure softness and durability while resisting heat, sparks, slag and cuts. All seams are double lock stitched and sewn with Kevlar thread.

Rubber:
Rubber is not a material typical for welding jackets or caps, but does find use in welding chaps, boots, and boot covers.

Synthetic Materials:
Synthetic materials are a problem because they will melt and cause severe burns on your skin. Cotton clothing will be damaged by sparks and slag, but cotton will just smoulder.

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