BRONZE Member since Jun 2009

Location: USA

Total posts: 1
Posted:Helloooo there! So I'm about to join up with a fire troupe as a performer and a costume designer, I was just wondering what kind of fabrics ya'll would suggest that would be safe to use. Preferably fabrics that can stand doing 2 or 3 arm wraps within a time span of 3 to 5 seconds. I've heard leather is good but I'm also wondering how much flame fabrics like silk and denim can stand. Any suggestions?

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BRONZE Member since Sep 2001


Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:Denim and cotton are fine for "occasional" contact with fire (wraps etc).

Silk I have a feeling isn't great, but not 100% sure on that. Alot of "silk" is nylon based which is a definite no-no.

Anything synthetic has to be avoided - it burns very quickly and melts into the burn. Not good.

Avoid tassles and frayed edges too wink

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude


BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:one of the best things i did to get clear on fabric choices was to buy small pieces, and do tests on them. How close can a flame be, for how long, before they ignite? Does the fule sit on the surface, soak in, what happens to spatters, and if sparks land? what happens when they do? Obviously dont expirement while wearing them! wink But watching made a strong impression for me.

I found in general the heaviness of the weave made a big difference-- light cotton went up pretty fast! heavy,, cotton, hemp and denim did not. I would hate getting kero and soot on silk, so i did not even try that. I avoided all synthetics, but did experiment with how much lycra in a cotton blend before it melts instead of burns...

try and find out! Knowledge is best gained through experience. Just not experienced while your dress /costume melts off or onto your body...

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."


GOLD Member since Mar 2009

Location: Australia

Total posts: 64
Posted:I have looked into this myself for my own poi item development ideas and I have come up with the following:

You can buy specialized flame retardant fabrics like Kevlar or others but they are very expensive and usually have to be shipped from USA.

The first thing to know is always use 100% natural fibers. This is an absolute must! Some are better than others but all will provide decent protection (i believe)

I believe the best fabric to be thick weave 100% wool but then it is very hot to perform in.

I am planning on using 100% cotton fabric for my poi inventions. I use 100% cotton fingerless gloves while spinning and they hold up very well.

for more info see:


SILVER Member since Apr 2007


Location: Guanajuato, Mxico

Total posts: 79
Posted:Here in Leon, i've seen people makeing firewicks with towels wraped with cotton: lona, i think it's just called canvas, and it lasts even more than kevlar wicks. I've tried it, and it's a great fire retardant.


BRONZE Member since Sep 2003


member - tee hee "member"
Location: Bethnal Green, London, England...

Total posts: 279
Posted:Just to add more confusion....

You can also treat fabrics to make the fire retardant, although I wouldn't bother trying this with synthetics.

"Whats wrong with the cat?" - Mrs Schrdinger



Location: earth

Total posts: 9

usually thick cotton is the choice, the thin one burns pretty well too.
But as Fearpig mentioned there are other ways...
We had to perform for a fashion show in 100% synthetic costumes... treasted them with this stuff and it works...
you could see afterwards were the fabric had to fight with the heat, but they don't ignite...


foggy sox
GOLD Member since Jun 2008

foggy sox

Location: las vegas usa

Total posts: 14
Posted:just get some rosco it will make anything fire retardant.You just paint it on and let it dry. rosco fire retardant

ravers dont trip they drop and roll


BRONZE Member since Apr 2005


Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8738
Posted:Wear lots of sexy leather grin

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.