receive a number of questions about the characteristics of materials
used in race suits. We think there are certain things you
know about these materials.
1. PROBAN:(or banox or FR material which stands for Fire Rated).
material is generally used for industrial coveralls or suits in which
sparks or flash flames may be possible. Somewhere along the
line, someone got the idea to use this for race suits. These
suits offer the very bare essentials when it comes to actual fire
protection. These suits in our view should only be used for
very basic novice racer and even then we continue to question the safety
factors presented. Since this is a chemical process
there is no guarantee this chemical cannot be reduced by wear or
washing. A thought may also be that after a number of washing or cleaning with possible difference solutions of soap, cleaning
solvents, etc., no or very little protection may continue to exist.
Also, since this material is cotton, the possibilities of oil
stain or gas spillage on this material may present a dangerous factor.
These race suits are rated SFI-1.
This is a fiber which was developed by Dupont
which offers the
most inherent fire protection and the most commonly used material in
quality brand name race suits. Nomex seems to be and has been
the most widely used material in racing for race suits.
Permanently fire retardant, this product is miles ahead of all other material used. Most all major brands offer double,
triple and multi-layer race suits for the best safety factor available
in racing suits. These are rated SFI-5 as well as SFI15 and
SFI-20. Is there any comparison to nomex suits verses proban
suits? Absolutely none and not even close when it comes to
added protection. Nomex race suits are generally thought and
in most types of racing and can include novice or beginning areas of motor
sports, but generally, the novice feels a minimum safety factor with a
Proban race suit and thinks it's sufficient, but we always question
when someone says, "good enough"? Our view is, when is "good
enough" actually good enough when a person faces a bad situation.
Notice - DON'T BE FOOLED:
are many race suit marketing companies which offer these SFI-5 suits
which are called double layer and are part proban and part nomex.
And yes, they do pass the SFI-5 rating, but again, this in
our view is a dangerous game to play. These suits may look
and offer a cheaper price, but why not when you are buying a half
treated cotton suit and only half of a nomex race suit. Don't
fooled by many of these retailers or marketing companies which
offer these half and half race suits. MAKE SURE YOU BUY A
COMPLETE AND WHOLE 100% NOMEX, double or triple layer race suit when you
are looking for safety. We will NEVER offer any of these half
half race suits. Our reputation has always stood for quality
we want you to stand and be counted alive and safe. Buy quality because it is an actual life-saver and it maybe your life that
a quality race suit saves.
RACE SUIT - CARE:
today's world, there seems to be products for about anything and
everything. The same is true for taking care of race suits.
Here are our thoughts on this and recommendations for taking care of your racing suit:
We do not put much faith in any product which is marketed
says it is the correct or perhaps the true and only way to take care of
or treat a race suit for safety, cleaning or for any other reason.
Is there merit in any of these products? Perhaps,
view is that we question these products and this is what we tell our customers and have been for many years.
We are not fans of dry cleaning race suits. Why?
There are a few reasons, so here we go. Dry
solution may not always be clean in the system so it could fade,
discolor or even hurt the integrity of a race suit. Some and
perhaps all of this cleaning solution is flammable and can leave
residue in the race suit and naturally, this is what we are trying
to avoid. Why would you want a flammable residue left in a
suit? Makes no sense to us, but many people do this all the time and time again. Not a good
Here is what we feel is the best way to take care of nomex
suit. When a race suit becomes dirty or sweaty, we simply
recommend washing your suit in your washing machine. Look
your race suit over very carefully. If you find oily or
spots, you can use a small amount of liquid detergent with grease
remover and rub or work carefully in this area of the suit.
sure the product you use is not a "bleaching" product, but simply
offers grease removing properties, but to make sure, read the
instructions very carefully. Do not use a brush or anything
harsh where it may damage to loosen the weave in the material, but
work it in well even with your hands. Once you are satisfied
have these areas addressed move on the next step. NEVER TURN
YOUR RACE SUIT INSIDE OUT. However, you do need to make sure
zipper is closed and ALL VELCRO is attached to the "matte side" so it islocked together and not
MACHINE:take shampoo and use about 6 or even 7
caps full of the
shampoo and dump into the cold water. Start the washer up
the shampoo is well mixed. Once all water/shampoo is mixed,
then and only then place your race suit in the machine. The
washer should be set on gentle cycle only. Let the washer do
its job. Once the cycle has been completed, you can remove
race suit and yes, you can put it in the dryer. HOWEVER:
on fluff only, NO HEAT. Since your race suit is a fairly
piece of clothing (one or two piece), you may have to re-start your
dryer over for another "fluff" cycle. When the suit is about 90% dry, take
it out and hang it until completely dry.
IMPORTANT: It is advised that you store your race suit in the darkest
possible. Indoor and natural lighting is proven to fade
more rapidly than when stored in dark areas; obviously hanging on
an outdoors clothes line would be inadvisable. All nomex is a
Dupont product and subject to fading of colors and light will take
the color out as quick as anything. It is ok to store your
suit in a garment bag, closet, trailer; anywhere kept out of light. As
a side note, if you would choose not to use shampoo, you can also use
Cold Water Woolite (a good product) as well. Same process
this product. By taking good care of your race suit, you will find
it will take good care of you. Now, we are not telling you
product is wrong to use, but in our view of being around racing for
more years than you would guess (guess very high), we have had great
luck using this practice of taking care of nomex race suits of all brands.