Important FAQ's on Flame Retardancy in Theatrical Fabrics and Drapes from Rent What? Inc.

Keeping clients informed on the many aspects of stage drapes, from ideas and applications to critical safety issues, is a continuous effort for theatrical drapery rental firm, Rent What? Inc. Knowing that fabric and drapery flame retardancy awareness is a must for its clients, Rent What? has issued a "Top Ten" List of Flame Retardant Facts.

Online PR News – 18-May-2011 – – Keeping clients informed on the many aspects of stage drapes, from ideas and applications to critical safety issues, is a continuous effort for theatrical drapery rental firm, Rent What? Inc. One of the most significant safety issues today affecting the theatrical fabrics industry - both on the supply side and for staging professionals - is fabric and drapery Flame Retardancy (FR).

Knowing that FR awareness is a must for its clients, Rent What? has issued a "Top Ten" List of FR Facts. According to Rent What? partner Megan Duckett, its intent is to help clients recognize that they share the responsibility and liability should they not take the proper precautions in the selection and use of theatrical fabrics. That can mean anything from a show or event being shut down by a fire marshal, to much more serious consequences.

"We feel passionate about safety and keeping our clients informed," said Ms Duckett. "It's a priority item. We help educate our drapery clients early on in the process, and we keep thorough records on every piece of fabric we rent that can be quickly accessed if required. Issuing our 'Top Ten List' is one more way we can help our clients, or anyone else for that matter, avoid difficulties on the other end."

The list of FR Facts, some of which are presented below, is part of the Rent What? mission to provide "extreme service" by being a source of important industry information and of creative ideas around stage draperies and fabric treatments for anyone interested.

Flame Retardant FAQ’s:

1) What does “FR” mean? – Fire Retardant (aka Flame Retardant)
Fabric that is certified as FR has been topically treated in an immersion process with a chemical fire retardant after the fabric has been woven. All cottons and other natural fibers certified as flame retardant are FR topically treated, and some synthetic fabrics are also topically treated. We happily provide a Certificate of Flame Retardancy to our customers with every order to ensure you have the same confidence in our rentals as we do.

We feel passionate about safety and keeping our clients informed

2) How do I know if my drape rentals are flame retardant?
All of our drapes are certified as flame retardant by the manufacturer, and have been treated with flame retardant chemicals (FR) or were woven of inherently flame retardant (IFR) fibers. A flame certification to NFPA 701 standards is enclosed with your rental shipment to ensure you are “up to speed” with your customer’s safety needs and your own peace of mind.

3) What is the NFPA 701 Test?
Fabrics used in most public assembly spaces (i.e. schools, churches, auditoriums, etc.) are required by law to adhere to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines. Our drapery rental company always takes the utmost care in flame testing to the highest national standards.

4) What advantage is there to topically treating the fabric with flame retardant to make it FR?
The good news is that the flammability of fabric can be drastically reduced through the use of fire retardants. Many natural fibers, including cotton, can be topically treated with a chemical that reduces the fabric’s flammability to the extent that it becomes nearly non-combustible, drastically slowing the fabric’s burning rate as well as your liability in the event of an unforeseen situation.

5) What’s the difference between “IFR” and “PFR”?
Inherently Fire Retardant (aka Inherently Flame Retardant) and Permanently Fire Retardant (aka Permanently Flame Retardant) fabric has been certified as “IFR or “PFR” because the fibers have been woven in such a way that makes them noncombustible for the life of the fabric…meaning they will last for life and not dissipate despite repeated cleaning. Our 15 oz. Encore Velour masking drapes are PFR and a substantial portion of our specialty drapery collections are IFR woven textiles.

Visit for more online resources, including the complete “Top Ten” List of Flame Retardant FAQ’s. The downloadable .pdf additionally answers these important questions:

- Does it matter if I rent fabric labeled “NFR” (Not Fire Retardant) or “CBFR” (Can Be Made Fire Retardant)?

- Do different fibers act differently when put to flame?

- What about polyester fabrics?

- I need to make our event seamless and safe… What are my options?

- I have enough to worry about orchestrating my event. If choose to rent, how do I keep make sure my rental is up to NFPA 705 standards?

About Rent What? Inc.

Committed to providing an ultimate experience in both drapery rental products and customer service, Rent What? Inc. is proud to be woman owned and operated. The firm, located in Rancho Dominguez, CA, has set the stage for artists including Beyonce, R Kelly, Nickelback, Janet Jackson and Alice In Chains. In addition to its large inventory of Inherently Flame Retardant stage drapes, traveler tracks and portable dressing rooms, the company is widely regarded for its basic pricing schedules, innovative damage waiver policy and fast and friendly service. For information, contact Rent What? Inc. at (310) 639-7000 or visit

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