Draping is one of the most widely used and versatile materials for event spaces because it’s functional, decorative and cost effective. It’s the perfect solution for providing backdrops, partitions, creating new spaces, cordoning off large spaces, and more. And with the virtually unlimited choices for color, textures and patterns, decorating with draping has taken on new proportions. For instance, consider draping to:
Dress up a plain or unlikely space, transforming it to match your vision for the event
Enhance a stage with a backdrop or “frame” your stage to become a focal point
Make a statement with a dramatic entryway
Mask an entire room with fabric flowing on every wall
Choose drape colors that complement your theme or your organization’s branding
Create theatrical drama by shining lights onto the drape
Add swags for a formal touch to the drape panels
A critical aspect of the draping material is ensuring it complies with fire codes regarding flame retardant regulations. Interestingly, there are no uniform regulations across the country regarding the use of flame retardant drapes in public areas. However, there are nationally recognized standards for flame retardancy in relation to drapery, such as the The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 701 standard. To be absolutely sure you meet fire code requirements, ask for a flame retardant certificate from your event planner or event production company and keep it on hand.
There are several different levels of fire retardants as it relates to draping, depending on the level of durability to sustain laundering and flame retardancy.
Non-Flame Retardant (NFR or Non-FR)
These drapes do not have any flame retardant qualities at all and should not be used when flame retardant fabric is required.
Flame Retardant (FR)
Fabric that has chemicals applied that render it flame retardant and needs reapplication after 5 launderings.
Durably Flame Retardant (DFR)
Durably Flame Retardant fabric uses non-water soluble chemical compounds that bind into the fibers, meaning the flame retardant withstands at least 25 washes (when laundered properly).
Inherently Flame Retardant (IFR)
IFR fabrics are assumed to continue to meet these fire codes for the duration of its useful life when laundered according to guidelines, even after repeated laundering.
Not sure about if your fabric is flame retardant? First consult your local fire department about the proper way to match test your fabric. When a flame is applied to flame retardant fabric it should not hold the flame. Rather, the fabric should melt or shrink into itself but no fire should spread. Taking the flame away should leave the fabric extinguished. Of course, ask Event Resources for the Flame Retardant Certificate and we’ll take care of making sure the fabric meets code. This is where it’s important to have an event production company that understands the fire codes and certificates necessary to produce an event.