I have a potential customer asking about safety gear. What does this category of apparel include?

Safety gear encompasses more than most people might think. The most obvious category of safety gear is the type that you’d see on a road worker or someone on a construction crew. Often, this type of safety gear will be called high-visibility (high vis) or enhanced-visibility workwear. Reflective thread or ink used on these pieces may also continue the reflective element. The goal is to make sure whoever is wearing the vest can be seen in low-light conditions. All reflective materials must meet standards set by the government to be qualified as safety gear. There are also standards regarding how much of the garment can be taken up by decoration. Too much non-reflective embroidery or ink can lessen the reflective properties of the clothing and render it unusable for its purpose.

Additionally, firefighters, race car drivers, and electricians require heat- and flame-resistant workwear. There are specific standards for the types of materials, threads, inks, and fabrics that can be used to pass tests as fire-retardant or resistant. For those who are unsure of the difference, fire-retardant materials are generally chemically treated to burn slowly or extinguish a flame when exposed to one. Fire-resistant materials are those that are inherently non-flammable. These types of materials are designed to prevent the spread of fire and resist melting or dripping when exposed to a heat source. Nomex thread and fabric are useful for this type of gear, as they are designed to meet fire safety standards.



Kristine Shreve

Kristine is the founder and CEO of Kristine Shreve Consulting which offers writing, marketing and business development services. Kristine is also the creator and host of the Business + Women podcast, where the discussion centers around being a woman business owner. She blogs on her webiste, as well as and On Facebook, Kristine is the founder of the Women in Garment Decoration Facebook group. Kristine was the director of marketing for Ensign Emblem and EnMart from 2006 to April 2020.

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