Researchers aim to develop non-flammable cotton fabricsMarie Donlon | January 23, 2023
Working to develop new types of non-flammable fabrics, researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have been interbreeding different varieties of cotton.
In the lab, the researchers discovered 11 strains of cotton that demonstrated flame-retardant characteristics by burning samples in their native form. From there, the team identified five strains that performed the best during testing — four of which extinguished fire entirely when flames were applied to it.
Currently, to prevent the flammability of cotton fabrics, chemical agents are applied to fabrics, which tend to be harmful to the environment and that become ineffective after repeated washing. As such, the U.S. Department of Agriculture team was prompted to develop flame retardant cotton varieties.
The efforts to develop such cotton varieties are detailed in the article, Flame resistant cotton lines generated by synergistic epistasis in a MAGIC population, which appears in the journal PLOS One.
Watch the accompanying video, which appears courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for more information on the development of flame retardant cottons.