​​Are Cotton Shirts Good for Welding? 

Picking out a shirt to wear doesn’t seem like a difficult task because we do it on a daily basis. However, you have to be precisely careful if you’re a welder, as welders are known to indulge in fire and hot temperature given their work. 

The finest welding shirts are designed to self-extinguish hot sparks, and they safeguard the workers from stray sparks that may sneak past welding helmets, jackets, and leathers.

Cotton is made entirely of natural fibres, that is why cotton shirts are highly recommended for welding since they are less flammable and simpler to extinguish than synthetic fibres.

However, your cotton shirt must be flame retardant for it to be suitable while welding. If you wear a cotton shirt that catches fire, you can extinguish it with your hand.

​​Are Cotton Shirts Good for Welding

What are the features a welding shirt must have?  

Welding shirts are made keeping a welder’s work in mind. They protect a welder from serious burns if sparks or splatter get beyond the primary protection of a jacket, leathers, or other safety gear. 

Here’s a checklist of important features to look for in a welding shirt: 

√ FR fabric with a treatment. 

√ A long collar with no opening to protect from stray sparks. 

√ Thread made of Nomex. 

√ Preferable fabrics like cotton, denim, and twill.

√ A roomy fit allows for movement while working, but your shirt shouldn’t be baggy either. 

√ Sleeves that are long. 

√ Cuff fasteners that are adjustable. 

√ Buttons or snaps that are sturdy. 

In addition to the unique criteria for welding shirts, there are other factors too that need to be taken into consideration.  

Let’s check them out- 

• Breathability to keep you cool and comfortable in a hot workplace. 

• To avoid the hems from fraying, double sew them. 

• Moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry. 

• Mildew, static, and stain resistance treatments for fabrics. 

Welding shirt fabrics

The fabric of the shirt is one of the most fundamental and significant factors to consider while looking for a welding shirt. 

Leather, wool, denim, and cotton are all suitable fabrics. To protect oneself against UV radiation, open flames, sparks, and hot metal, welders should wear clothing that is heavyweight, densely woven, or composed entirely of cotton or wool. 

Wear long-sleeved shirts with buttoned cuffs and, preferably, a collar for further neck protection. Close the shirt pockets to avoid accumulating hot metal or sparks. Flaps can also be used to cover pockets. In terms of color, wear dark clothes to avoid light reflection.

Also, to be on the safe side, avoid combining textiles. 

Why should you not wear shirts made of synthetic fabric while welding? 

The worst sort of material to use for welding clothes is synthetic. They’re a huge problem since they melt in hot temperatures and can burn your skin. Synthetic materials, such as polyester, mix easily and ignite and burn rapidly. 

These materials have a high risk of burning, melting, and emitting gases. And the burning residue adheres to the skin, exacerbating the severity of burns.

Cotton, on the other hand, burns cooler than synthetics. So if you wear a cotton shirt that catches fire, you can extinguish it with your hand. 

But wearing a synthetic shirt will cause it to melt to your skin and be very hard to remove. Yes, synthetics melt rather than burn, and this causes catastrophic harm.

Here we have curated a list of recommended cotton welding shirts for you

1.) Lincoln Electric Welding Shirt 

This welding shirt made of 100% cotton is ideal for welding during those hot summers. They are flame retardant and the collar button column and cuffs are double-layered for further safety in high-contact areas.

2.) Wrangler Riggs Flame Resistant Shirt

We bet you cannot find a more professional-looking welding shirt with a button-down collar and high-visibility compliance markings. Two practical chest pockets with button flaps are included.

3.) BOCOMAL FR Flame Resistant Shirt 

These cotton, fire retardant shirts are both durable and comfy. More durable fabrics, pockets in the right places, and a plethora of features to help you get the job done.

4.) TICOMELA Fire Retardant Shirts

These cotton, fire retardant shirts are an excellent choice for welders during summers. They not only keep you safe while welding, but you’ll also be comfortable throughout. 

Apart from cotton, we have listed a few fire retardant shirts made of denim and nomex fabric. 


This cost-effective denim shirt offers protection and comfort without the weight of a leather jacket. 

The thick yet breathable shirt is fire resistant which will keep you safe and protected while working with hot temperatures. 

2.) Wrangler Riggs FR Shirt

This Wrangler men’s welding shirt is known for its comfort and durability. The fabric is fire retardant that keeps the sparks away from your skin. 

Tips on how to care for your welding shirts

Always follow the cleaning directions provided by the manufacturer, however most are machine washable and can also be given for dry cleaning. 

For the greatest results, use liquid detergent: 

1.) The FR treatment should last 30-50 washes. Machine washing in modest loads reduces wear and hence the loss of FR treatment. 

2.) Check for holes, fraying, and lingering stains and aromas from combustible soils that might damage FR characteristics after washing. 

3.) When care label directions are followed, expect 3-5 percent shrinkage throughout the life of the garment. 

Things that need to be avoided.

There are some products that may jeopardise the quality of your fire retardant welding shirts. Here is a list of such items that should be avoided at all costs:  

      • Bleach solution containing chlorine. 
      • Peroxide. 
      • Natural soaps made from fat. 
      • Softener for fabrics. 
      • Detergent with fabric softener. 
      • DEET-based insect repellent. 
      • Starch.


Because we are continuously exposed to flying molten metal while welding, it only makes sense to wear a FR cotton welding shirt to protect your skin from those nasty burns. 

Cotton is a breathable fabric that keeps you cool and comfortable, and it can be worn even in the cold if you combine it with a leather jacket. This combo will keep you safe from sparks and flames when welding.

Steve Goodman
Experienced welder with 7+ years of expertise in all the latest welding techniques MIG, flux and stick welding, drill press, crane operation and metal fabrication. Welding certificate course graduate and 2018 Excellence in Welding award winner.

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