Clearly defining certain words is important to this discussion. Here are two definitions on can easily find by putting them into a search engine or opening up a dictionary.
adjective Existing in something as a permanent and inseparable element, quality, characteristic or attribute. The inherent dangers of mountain climbing.
verb, past tense of treat To subject an object to a process (especially chemical) to alter it, often temporary. Treat the cloth with bleach.
If one removed the flame-resistance from inherent fabric, the material no longer exists in usable form. This is not necessarily true with chemically treated fabrics.
a plastic-based fiber that’s also inherently flammable that could melt to the wearer’s skin if exposed to a flash fire. Often these blends are with 88 percent cotton and 12 percent nylon or polyester, which is from where the term “88/12” comes.
Once the cotton or cotton blend fabric is made, it’s treated with a chemical flame retardant to prevent the flammable fabric from going up in flames. That chemical additive may not be permanent.
In the Industrial, military and fire service markets, FR fabrics are an essential part of any personal protective equipment (PPE) ensemble. Any end user who has to go into harm’s way or face the risk of flash fires and electric arcs will definitely need to have FR fabrics. TenCate Protective Fabrics is the world’s leading manufacturer of FR fabrics and takes its leadership role very seriously. All the fabrics made by TenCate are inherently FR, meaning that the very fibers of which the fabric is woven are themselves FR. This ensures that the FR protection will last and never wash or wear out. Some other FR fabrics, such as chemically-treated FR cotton, use a chemical “finish” that is applied after the fabric is made to give it FR properties. This finish may wash off after repeated launderings or wear away over time. Each TenCate FR fabric is designed to fill a role in the marketplace and fit the needs of end users for a given application. TenCate Protective Fabrics performs every step of the production; from fiber to finished fabric.