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The Next Generation of FR Fabric Technologies
In 2010, the U.S. military challenged the industry to develop a new flame resistant
(FR) fabric that would offer excellent comfort, durability, and protection from heat
and flame. After years in the lab, Sigma™ is now worn by over 100,000 U.S.
soldiers across the globe to protect against the same dangers experienced by
wildland fire fighting and USAR teams — flash fire and fatigue.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Natick, working with
Cal Fire, the National Forestry Service, and dozens of top departments
along the West Coast, had a similar challenge: create a singlelayer wildland
garment with improved protection and breathability.

After a two-year wear trial involving 1,000+ wildland firefighters, the DHS wear
trial report concluded “The higher preference ratings for Sigma are most likely due
to the better heat transfer performance, as the Sigma fabric received the highest
ratings in both system heat dissipation and comfort by a noticeable margin.”

Innovation | Protection | Durability | Comfort | Appearance

Innovation is a word not typically associated with FR fabrics worn by those in the wildland
fire fighting and USAR world. First responders have been limited to traditional fabrics made
of basic aramid blends or FR cotton blends for the last 30 years. These traditional blends
usually have one or two positive areas of performance but lack in other areas of performance.
Sigma, made up of 45% meta-aramid, 32% Lenzing FR, 17% polyamide and 6% para-aramid
offers first responders the best combination of flash fire/thermal protection, durability,
comfort, and appearance in a single-layer garment.

No matter the garment application, protection and safety are the primary goals of any
first responder. When exposed to a four second flash fire (2 cal/cm2) on the DuPont™
Thermo-Man®, Sigma shows why the protection it provides is unsurpassed in comparison
to the traditional FR fabrics used for the last 30 years.

With budgets shrinking, agencies are looking for a good return on investment (ROI) in
every piece of PPE purchased. Fabric strength continues to be the number one indicator
of fabric durability (the longer it resists ripping and tearing, the longer the garment life).
Sigma ranks at the top in the category of strength and at the top for ROI.

First responders have traditionally sacrificed comfort for better protection and durability,
and vice versa. Sigma breaks the mold with exceptional performance in every area:
durability and protection experienced with DuPont™ Nomex®, the soft hand of cotton,
and moisture wicking properties from Lenzing FR.

Fire departments are always looking for better performance… but better appearance is
equally as important when it comes to extending the life of a garment. Sigma, utilizing
solution-dyed technology, maintains better colorfastness and appearance when compared
to other fabrics on the market… allowing first responders to maintain a professional
appearance to the public.