UltraSoft®, UltraSoft AC® and TrueComfort™ Technical

Indura LogoIn the Westex engineering process, a high quality phosphonium salt precondensate flame retardant chemical is applied and polymerized with gaseous ammonia forming a long-chain flame retardant polymer impregnated into the core of each cotton fibre. This flame retardant polymer acts as a catalyst promoting the charring of the fabric. This accelerated charring prohibits the support of combustion by reducing the fuel source.

Recognising the need for improved workplace safety, industrial employers and regulatory agencies are elevating the importance for workers to remain protected on the job. Westex has created an unprecedented ability to provide the most innovative fabrics for the millions of global industrial workers who need protection from arc flash, flash fire and other thermal hazards.

Indura FibreWestex guarantees the flame resistance of Westex UltraSoft® fabrics for the useful life of the garment when proper care procedures are employed. This guarantee has been demonstrated in laboratory testing through the auditing of samples from the millions of garments in the protective clothing marketplace for over two decades. There are many “unseen” details that go into the production of durable flame resistant cotton and cotton blend fabrics. This starts with the production of the base material, dyeing, preparation, FR engineering process, internal laboratory testing, external laboratory testing and technical support all the way to the proven performance of the FR fabric in the market.

Westex has spent decades perfecting the highly technical, proprietary flame resistant fabric technology to produce trusted fabrics which are market proven, world-leading brands. This high level of performance is achieved by the Westex proprietary production process which combines advanced custom engineered machinery with sophisticated computer equipment to conduct the ammonia cure system.



Learn about the Westex Difference


This Segment 1 video (1:43) highlights the three qualities that matter most in FR fabric - guaranteed flame resistance for the life
of the garment, shrinkage control and unparalleled comfort.


This Segment 2 video (1:59) explores the complexity of FR fabric manufacturing and how difficult it is to strike a balance
between superior flame resistance, shrinkage control and comfort.


This Segment 3 video (4:22) compares standard industry FR manufacturing processes with Westex's proprietary approach.


The final Segment 4 video (4:15) showcases the results of a test that compared the performance of various FR fabrics
after harsh industrial washings. Many fabrics were tested, but only Westex UltraSoft® consistently
delivered on all the qualities that matter - guaranteed flame resistance for the life of the garment,
shrinkage control and unparalleled comfort.

UltraSoft® and UltraSoft AC®

  • Flame resistant features guaranteed for the useful life of the garment when proper care procedures are employed.

  • Soft wearing and breathable.

  • Multi-purpose protection.

  • Easy to dye to bright shades including Hi Vis.

  • Abrasion resistant.

  • Quick drying.

  • Excellent secondary protection against electric arc flash and flash fire with application to molten ferrous metal and welding.

  • Excellent size and shape retention with double-shrunk technology.

UltraSoft® and UltraSoft AC® Features

  • Protection - round-the-clock protection, not just against heat and flame, electric arc flash and flash fire but also against molten ferrous metals. UltraSoft® will not melt or form molten droplets.

  • Non-Flammable - UltraSoft® is non-flammable and does not combust.

  • Thermostable - UltraSoft® FR garments remain physically intact upon flame exposure with no hole or break-open.

  • Anti-static - because UltraSoft® absorbs moisture, it gives the fabric good anti-static properties.

  • Durability - UltraSoft® FR garments are hard wearing and stand up well to abrasion.

  • Non-fade - because the fibre itself is dyed, colours will stand up well to sunlight and repeated laundering.

  • Easy-care - UltraSoft® FR garments are able to be washed under normal commercial/home conditions and can be dry-cleaned.

  • Cotton comfort - UltraSoft® provides outstanding comfort and softness.

  • Breathability – UltraSoft® provides a unique wicking (moisture transfer) effect that absorbs moisture immediately in order to aid the evaporative cooling process.

UltraSoft® and UltraSoft AC® - The Unique Points of Difference

  • Guaranteed Flame Resistance – guaranteed for the useful life of the garment.

  • Proven Protection - on a weight-for-weight basis the UltraSoft® blend of 88% cotton, 12% high tenacity nylon provides a 15-20% better Arc Thermal Protection Value (ATPV) rating than the equivalent weight 100% cotton. The 12% nylon also enhances the protective performance in cases of electric arc and flash fire exposures, minimising the likelihood of severe body burns.

  • Durability - fabrics have consistently shown between 75 -100% extended wear life over pure cotton FR garments.

  • Comfort - the UltraSoft® finish technology guarantees that each garment is comfortable to wear, straight out of the bag, with no need for pre-washing.

  • Wash stability - double sanforised to remove as much shrinkage as possible, allowing the garments to hold their size and shape for life.

  • Oeko - Tex 100 class II certified - certified by the stringent criteria applied by the European Oeko-Tex organisation as perfectly safe to wear against the skin, straight out of the bag. 

UltraSoft AC® and Pima Cotton

UltraSoft® protective work wear fabric has a market-proven track record of over 13 years in Australia. The addition of UltraSoft AC® (Advanced Comfort) to the range, which uses Pima extra-long staple cotton (ELS) has a created a remarkable fabric, with enhanced comfort, improved tensile strength and greater durability.

Pima cotton is a type of cotton grown primarily in Peru, the south-western United States and Australia. It is considered to be one of the superior blends of cotton and is extremely durable and absorbent. This type of cotton is named after the Pima, a group of American Indians who first cultivated the plant in the US, but the cotton's origins are its cultivation in Peru. Unlike the common upland cotton, Pima cotton bears some similarity to many forms of Egyptian cotton, which is frequently used in towels and sheets. Egyptian cotton has a much more extensive weave than other types of cotton. Towels made from Egyptian cotton are particularly desirable because they are very soft and help absorb water quickly. Pima cotton is a little shorter than Egyptian cotton but still yields a thread that can be woven multiple times into a piece of fabric to create a dense, soft fabric.

Normal upland cotton has a staple length of 11/8 inches (36/32nds) however Pima cotton has a staple length of 11/2 inches (48/32), some 33% longer. This difference alone leads to a number of increases in performance, namely;

  • The longer staple (average fibre length) allows a finer yarn to be spun.

  • The yarn has less fibre ends in its cross section which makes the yarn stronger.

  • The stronger yarn leads to a fabric with improved tensile and tear strength and even greater durability to abrasion and wear.

  • The Pima ELS cotton yarns have better uniformity, brighter luster, as well as higher strength.

  • The less fibre ends means the yarns are less 'hairy' and when the fabric is processed through Westex's finishing routine, the fabric remains smoother, less 'hairy' and does not 'bloom' as much, which results in cleaner handle, softer finish and a thinner fabric. All this leads to a fabric that feels lighter and more comfortable than normal UltraSoft®.

  • When comparing Style 901 UltraSoft AC® with regular Style 301 UltraSoft®, they might be of the same nominal minimum weight (237gsm/7.1oz), but Style 901 feels like a lightweight yet performs like a heavyweight fabric with an ATPV of 8.3 cal/cm2. Style 951 UltraSoft AC® in the heavier weight of 305gsm/9.0oz provides an ATPV of 11.7 cal/cm2.

UltraSoft AC® maintains protection levels for PPE CAT 2 (minimum 8 cal/cm2) whilst maximising comfort and minimising heat stress.

Use this link to download the Westex UltraSoft AC® Pima Cotton brochure. 

UltraSoft® Knits - TrueComfort™, Interlock and Rib Knits and Fleece

The brands of Westex's UltraSoft® knits are lightweight, soft and breathable and are guaranteed flame resistant for the life of the garment. The brands offer excellent protection from electric arc flash and flash fire exposures. UltraSoft® knits are used to manufacture comfortable lightweight Henley's, long-sleeve T-shirts, polo style shirts and other styles of garments. The fabrics are designed for maintenance, electrical workers for NFPA 70E compliance, electric and gas utilities personnel, electrical contractors, oil and petrochemical workers, wildland firefighters, military personnel and many others.

UltraSoft® knits are an excellent choice when a lightweight and comfortable NFPA 70E and/or NFPA 2112 solution is required. The range offers:

  • Protection

    • Guaranteed flame resistance.

    • Excellent electric arc flash protection

    • Superior flash fire protection (UL certified to NFPA 2112).

  • Comfort

    • UltraSoft® feel.

    • Soft and breathable.

    • Lightweight knit is cool in the summer months.

    • Heavyweight fleece is warm in the winter months.

  • Value

    • Extended garment wear life.

    • Excellent value equation.

Flame Resistance

UltraSoft® provides excellent flame resistance which cannot be removed with laundering. UltraSoft® will retain its FR properties for the life of the garment. UltraSoft® will not melt or stick to the skin and will not ignite when exposed to electric arc. UltraSoft® provides significantly higher protection from first and second-degree burns than any other product currently in service of equal weight and will maintain this performance over its useful life span.


Heat stress is a problem often suffered by wearers of flame resistant apparel. This problem is minimised with UltraSoft®, which provides a unique wicking (moisture transfer) effect that absorbs moisture immediately in order to aid the evaporative cooling process.

Care, Maintenance and Dry Cleaning

Unlike treated cotton, UltraSoft® can be dry-cleaned, providing significant advantages for applications where heavy soiling from grease and oil is likely to occur. UltraSoft® fabric has been designed to withstand the most rigorous industrial laundering conditions anticipated for proper cleaning of work clothing. Westex guarantees the flame resistance of the UltraSoft® range for the useful life of such garments when proper care procedures are employed. It is important to recognise that the thermal protective properties of any flame resistant fabric can be compromised by the presence of contaminants in the fabric from which the garment is made.

Use this link to download the Westex Care, Use and Maintenance Guide