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Welding Work Pants: 4 Reasons to Wear Welder Jeans

welder jeans

If you’re new to welding, you might wonder why welders wear jeans while working. Does it offer any protection to them, or is it merely for aesthetic purposes? Because denim is a tightly woven cotton fabric that does not burn easily, many welders wear welder jeans. It also lasts a very long time, offers better UV and IR radiation protection, and is less expensive than wearing fire-retardant clothes. Here are 4 reasons why welders wear jeans for welding work pants. 

4 Reasons to Wear Welder Jeans

Welders are aware of how crucial it is to dress in clothing that can withstand the demanding conditions of welding. It’s important that you understand how to protect yourself against all welding risks if you’ve never done it before.

1. Burn Through

Denim, a durable cotton fabric, is used to make jeans. Cotton is naturally resistant to burning. This is not to say that it won’t burn, but it takes more than a few sparks to set it on fire.

Sparks can come from your weld as you work. These sparks will melt through exposed skin or plastic-type fabrics like polyester and burn you. 

The slag, though, is the worst aspect of wearing the incorrect pair of pants. When you are welding, small metal fragments can occasionally fall and land on your pants.

Most of the time, this slag will likely burn directly through polyester clothing, but it will take much longer to burn through denim.

 

a person working in a factory wearing welder jeans

2. Protection from Radiation

Between 10,000 and 15,000 degrees, welders burn and melt metal. Jeans are excellent at preventing radiation burns on your legs from welding.

The welder emits ultraviolet and infrared light as a result, which can cause sunburn. This has happened to me several times, and it is not pleasant.

The unfortunate aspect is that most people’s legs, especially your upper legs, don’t receive much sunlight. Your legs will burn if any exposed area is present.

Jeans, on the other hand, do a fantastic job of shielding your legs from this powerful radiation. A recent employee of mine discovered this the hard way when his pants had a hole in them.

3. Welder Jeans Durability

Jeans are made of sturdy, long-lasting cloth. They will therefore be durable for a long time compared to other options, such as 100% cotton pants, which you might use when welding.

100% cotton pants are thin and do not offer the same level of protection as jeans. People who wear 100% cotton pants while welding typically have a 2 to 1 advantage over welders who wear jeans.

A drawback we can think of with jeans is that they can rip very easily if they catch on something. Before you begin welding, you should patch any holes in your jeans that may have occurred.

4. Cheaper 

You should consider how much your clothing costs. Be prepared to invest some money if you plan to wear fire-retardant clothing, as these outfits may get pretty pricey.

You should expect to pay between $50 and $200 for a good pair of fire-resistant pants. You can imagine how expensive this may get if you work five days a week and require at least five to six pairs of pants. So, if price is a factor for you, jeans are a great choice.

Cotton Shirts For Welding: What You Need to Know

a welder wearing cotton welding clothing

There are different types of fabric used when we talk about welding clothing. There are some made out of leather, wool, and denim while some are made out of cotton. Here we get to know more about cotton shirts for welding and if they really are good to use while at work. 

 

Why Cotton shirts for Welding are a Must-Have

To get maximum protection while at work, you need premium welding clothing that is made out of the best materials. It’s the only way you can minimize injuries. Apart from leather, cotton is also a recommended type of fabric for welding protection. Here’s why. 

 

Cotton is made entirely of natural fibers

First off, you should know that cotton is made entirely of natural fibers. This is what makes it a highly recommended type of fabric for welding clothing. Some would ask, “Is 98% cotton good for welding?” The answer is yes. If you find 100%, then that would be better. 

Cotton shirts for welding are less flammable making them easier to extinguish than synthetic fibers. If you wear a cotton shirt that catches fire, you are able to pat it out with your glove. 

 

welder working
Photo via unsplash.com

 

For Cotton to become Suitable for Welding, they need to be Flame Retardant

Now that we know cotton shirts are highly recommended, you should know that for them to be suitable for welding, they need to be flame-retardant. This means, that untreated cotton fabric won’t exactly do the job. 

 

Yes, cotton in itself is already resistant to flames. But when treated with specialist chemicals, it boosts its heat resistance and protective qualities making it a very suitable type of welding clothing to get maximum protection. Once these become treated, these cotton welding shirts now become FR cotton welding shirts. 

 

FR welding shirt

Cotton Gives More Flexibility

While leather is a go-to for most welders when it comes to protection, FR cotton shirts for welding become the best option for those who need flexibility while at work. They are also more breathable and are better to use in hot weather conditions. 

 

When it comes to choosing whether or not you to use leather or cotton welding clothing, it really depends on the type of welding you do on a daily basis. If you weld in hot conditions, you can go for an FR cotton welding shirt. If you weld during the winter, it’s best to use an FR leather welding shirt. No matter what you choose, the important thing is you choose welding clothing that is made of high-quality materials. That way you know you get maximum protection for your safety!

 

5 Signs to Know When It’s Time To Get New FR Clothing

FR clothing

It’s important to know when your FR clothing or arc-rated and flame-resistant (AR / FR) gear need to be replaced. Don’t wait until you see obvious damage before you do because this leaves you prone to more accidents while at work and is a risk for your safety. But how can you tell when your welding FR clothing has to be replaced? Here are 5 signs to know for sure.

5 Signs to Know when it’s time to get new FR Clothing

There are usually two (2) reasons why you should get rid of old FR clothing. It’s either the garment can no longer be repaired or it is too soiled with flammable contaminants that are impossible to remove by laundering. 

 

Remember that If an AR/FR clothing is five years old and does not have any unrepaired damage or show any of the wear signs listed below, it is just as protective as a comparable brand-new product. With that said, here are the 5 signs to know when it’s time to get new FR clothing. 

 

1 Multiple holes

If your FR clothing has too many holes to count, it’s high time for you to buy a new one. Small holes can lead to bigger holes and these can be entry points for sparks which is not what you want. Sure, you can sew them up and it can give you a few more weeks of usability but wearing a garment that has a lot of patches isn’t really safe and is uncomfortable to use. Plus, it isn’t appealing to see while at work. 

 

2 Too stained 

While you could call this a minor thing, aesthetics and cleanliness play a very big role in representing the company you work for and you as a welder as well. Everyone has their own definition of clean or dirty in the welding business. So this really is up to the wearer when it needs to be replaced. Just remember and make sure that the stains on the FR clothing aren’t flammable contaminants. If there are, change it right now!

 

FR clothing

3 Frayed Cuffs or collars 

Frayed Cuffs can collect sparks and that is very dangerous. Damaged cuffs and collars are difficult to repair so if you see this, save up for a new garment immediately. Never risk wearing FR clothing with frayed cuffs. 

 

4 Obvious “high-wear” points

High-wear points are areas that take the bulk of wear and tear. These are usually seen in the knee and elbow areas. If you see there’s discoloration or fading, it means it’s a “thread bare” and can no longer hold a thread or patch. 

 

5 It has a tear or rip that can no longer be repaired. 

An obvious tear or rip that is irreparable is the biggest sign for you to know you need your FR clothing changed. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t stained or not. A rip can expose you to sparks and other hazards while at work and these types of damage cannot be accepted and do not meet the safety standards required.

 

All these are signs telling you that you need to replace the FR clothing you have. If you wait another day, it just may be the reason why you get into accidents. Never think twice when it comes to safety. 

Flame Resistant Fabric & Fibers: What You Need to Know

a welder using a flame resistant fabric

If you’re familiar with flame-resistant (FR) welding apparel then you’ve definitely heard of treated fabrics and fibers or intrinsic textiles and fibers. When discussing fabrics and fibers that are flame resistant, there are several significant variances. Safety failures could occur if those variations are not understood. Understanding what they are and how these work in particular settings is important. Here, we define these terms and discuss some of the applications in which they are used and how they should be cleaned and processed.

What Is Treated Fabric in Flame Resistant Fabric?

Treated fabric is a fiber blend that, when combined with other pieces of fabric, forms a garment. This fabric can be thought of as the stage of production between fiber and garment. Treated fabrics have had a flame retardant chemical applied to them to make them flame resistant. The fibers used in these fabrics are not typically regarded as protective. Because of the chemical treatment, they become flame resistant.

 

The fibers used in these fabrics are typically 100% cotton or a blend of cotton and nylon. In terms of durability, the fabric made of cotton fibers has little abrasion resistance. Fabrics containing nylon fiber perform significantly better in terms of abrasion resistance. Utility, oil and gas, chemical, and petrochemical applications benefit from treated fabrics.

 

Water with a hardness of 1.5 grains (25ppm) or less should be used to clean treated fabrics. Hard water contains mineral salts that can leave deposits on the fabric, so less hardness is preferable. These deposits may compromise the garment’s flame resistance. If the garment is exposed to an ignition source, the deposits could even serve as fuel.

 

What are Treated Fibers in Flame Resistant Fibers?

Treated fibers have a flame retardant chemical applied during the fiber formation process. As a result, the fibers become flame resistant. For the life of the garment, fabrics made from treated fibers are flame resistant. Normal wear and laundering will not remove the flame retardant chemical. Only if the garment becomes torn or soiled to the point where the soil cannot be washed out will it no longer be flame resistant.

 

One type of fiber is treated with 100% rayon. These fibers are treated during the fiber formation process and are flame resistant indefinitely.

 

A fiber blend of cotton and Modacrylic fibers is another option. Fabrics made from these fiber blends have a soft and comfortable cotton-like hand. Modacrylic fiber contains both soft and strong components. It is also chemical and solvent resistant. As a result, these fiber types are ideal for use in flame-resistant environments.

 

These fiber types have a broader range of applications. Industrial protective clothing, utility work uniforms, and firefighter uniforms are all good matches. It is recommended that treated fibers be washed in the same manner as treated fabrics. If exposed to an ignition source, hard water may leave deposits that could ignite.

 

The only major distinction between the two types of care is that Modacrylic/cotton blends should be treated in soft water with non-chlorine bleach because chlorine bleach weakens the fabric.

flame resistant fabric

What exactly are innate fabrics and fibers?

Chemical treatment is not required for naturally occurring fabrics and fibers. The FR properties are an important aspect of fiber chemistry. Once again, these fibers are FR fibers, but this time from the manufacturing process. Normal wear and laundering will not cause inherent fabrics or fibers to lose their flame resistance properties. Throughout its life, the garment will retain its flame-resistant properties.

 

The most common inherent fibers are modacrylic fibers. They are most commonly used in blends with other naturally flame-resistant fibers. Modacrylic fibers are frequently blended with varying percentages of lyocell, para-aramid, and polyamide-imide fibers. These combinations result in a long-lasting fabric that meets the NFPA 70E CAT2 and NFPA 2112 standards. NOMEX is used in clothing as a stand-alone fiber or as a blend with KEVLAR.

 

Petrochemical, electrical, and utility industries all use inherent fabrics and fibers. Firefighter station wear and turnout gear are another popular application. Most natural fabrics and fibers should not be used in welding operations or around molten substances. Caring for natural fabrics and fibers is the same as caring for treated fabrics and fibers. Because hard water contains mineral salts that can leave insoluble deposits on the fabric, soft water is recommended. These deposits may compromise the garment’s flame resistance. Chlorine bleach is also not advised because it weakens the fabric.

 

With FR clothing, proper garment care is essential. The right maintenance makes sure that FR properties are not jeopardized. Your safety at work will be improved by educating yourself on what Flame Resistant fabrics and fibers are. 

Winter Welding Apparel Must-Haves

welder working in the winter

Winter in the United States starts in December and lasts through March between fall and spring. This season, it can be challenging to weld because it really gets cold as temperatures can reach as low as 3 °F. This means, aside from your welding PPE or leather welding clothing in place, you need some other welding apparel to give you that extra warmth to protect you from the harsh weather. Here we give you the winter welding apparel you need during this season. 

 

Winter Welding Apparel: What You Need

1 Beanie 

The first thing you need is a high-quality beanie. This is a must-have to keep your head warm. Get one that covers even your ears and one that does not come off easily. If you aren’t that comfortable with a beanie, you can always go for a welding cap. If you want, you can also wear them both. A beanie over that welding cap. Another option for you to get heat and protection is a leather welding hood. 

 

2 Hoodie

Get yourself a comfortable hoodie. The idea is for you to stay as warm as possible. If you wear a pancake for work, wearing a hoodie over that pancake will give you that coverage you need for your head and neck against the cold temperatures. On top of that, you can wear your leather welding jacket. If temperatures get really low and it gets really cold, you can get a heavyweight hoodie instead or wear a vest over that hoodie for more warmth. 

 

3 Facemask 

Some beanies have a built-in facemask. If yours doesn’t, then get a facemask that is most comfortable for you. It helps keep your face warm most especially when it’s windy. 

 

4 Bandana

Wear a bandana on your neck so you are sure to feel warmer while at work. Use a slipknot when you tie it that way you can easily take it off in case it catches on fire. 

 

welder welding in the winter

5 White Cotton Gloves

Bear in mind that you must have welding gloves while welding. These white cotton gloves are just there to use if you are not welding and maybe while on a break. This will constantly give you that warmth you need so your hands aren’t stiff when you start working. If it’s comfortable for you, you can even wear them under your welding gloves as well. Hand warmers are also great to have in your pocket just in case. 

 

6 Thermal underwear

A great piece of apparel you can have is thermal underwear – top and bottom. This can trap the heat in your body so you feel warmer. 

 

7 Coveralls

If in case it gets extremely cold, get yourself a high-quality coverall. You can wear this over your hoodie and welding jacket. This blocks the wind all the more. 

 

8 Feet Warmers

Get some feet warmers and put them on top of your toes to stay warm for at least half a day.

Best Welding Pants: Complete Buying Guide

a welder working

As a welder, you want maximum protection while at work. If you’re just starting out, you might be on the lookout for the right welding PPE to add your list of must-haves. But if you’ve been a welder for quite some time now, you might be adding just a few to your list of favorites or maybe trying to find better options to the ones you have now. Here is a complete buying guide for the best welding pants. 

 

What are the best pants for welding?

In buying the best welding pants, you need to take into consideration their construction details like the fabric and materials they are made of, as well as comfort and sizing. Let’s break down these points so you could confidently decide on which one you should buy. 

 

Construction Details – Welding Pants Fabric, materials, durability

The fabric of a pair of welding pants determines the degree of safety. Aside from making sure you get flame retardant pants or FR Welding Pants, get one that is spark-resistant and has self-extinguishing mechanisms. Also, consider getting one that has a minimum of 9-ounce cotton blend fabric. Canvas, twill, or cotton duck are all materials that are used frequently at the 12-ounce weight and higher. This provides longer wear and a delay of transmission of heat from welding spatter and sparks. 

a man wearing welding pants
Waylander Welding FR Welding Cotton Pants

Another option is to get a pair of leather welding pants. The best thing about these kinds of pants is that they can also withstand harsh conditions. Leather has resistance and flexibility features. They can be less comfortable than cotton, but they are warmer, making them perfect for working in cold climates.  

 

When it comes to its zippers, look for one that has brass zippers. Brass is a self-lubricating metal and they are longer lasting than nylon or steel ones.

 

As to the waist fasteners, get one with either wood, leather, or plastic fasteners so it won’t get hot easily or so that electricity won’t easily transmit. 

 

Make sure seams lie flat and are double and triple stitched to ensure security for a long time. This will disallow embers to reach the leg of the pants.

 

Get one with gussets. These add extra strength to the pants’ high-stress parts. Other reinforcements to consider would be rivets, extra lock stitching, and linings. 

 

You can also check if these welding pants have the proper certification. The National Fire Protection or NFPA and other organizations give certifications to specific pants that meet industry standards. A certified welding pant means it has gone through a vigorous test which makes them more recommendable. 

 

Comfort 

Remember, comfort matters. If it’s difficult for you to wear your welding pants, it will be hard for you to feel secure in them. Choose materials that breathe. Breathability gets you through the heat and ultimately allows for more swift movements which welders do a lot of. This means that when you get yourself a pair of welding pants, you need to also make sure that you get one that is light enough to facilitate these movements. 

 

welder working

Sizing

Choosing the right size brings you comfort. And if you’re comfortable, you move better and you perform better. Welding pants need to fit your waist comfortably in such a way that it’s secure and it doesn’t move around. This will disallow sparks and embers inside the waits. 

 

The length of your welding pants need to be long enough to cover any exposed laces on your welding boots. But, they should also be short enough that you’re not walking on the heels. 

 

As to the diameter, these need to be big enough to cover your boots but not loose enough to catch objects or tools while working.