Welding is a valuable skill utilized in many industries and hobbies, but it isn’t without risks. Welders face several hazards on the job, including sparks, flames, extreme heat, fumes, and gasses. Any time you work with an open flame, you put yourself in danger of suffering burns. What stands between you and severe, debilitating injuries?
A welder wearing MCR Safety welding protection. Sparks can quickly ignite a non-FR welding shirt.
Unlike other work hazards like abrasions or frigid temperatures, wearing thicker materials or multiple layers is not enough when you work in close quarters with flames. To protect welders from burns, they need something that won’t burn itself. They need flame-resistant personal protective equipment (PPE) that will not ignite…
Welders who don’t properly prepare for welding with the right PPE can suffer unimaginable life-long injuries or worse, fatal injuries. We highlight in this blog what you need to know about MCR Safety’s welding gear.
Best Welding Shirts
Welders must wear proper PPE to prevent severe injuries, which means flame-resistant (FR) clothingis a must. FR clothing is made of a durable fabric designed to protect workers from flames and other thermal hazards. Standard materials will quickly ignite when hit with sparks or with hot spatter when welding at high current. FR fabrics, however, are treated so that they will not ignite or melt when exposed to high temperatures or flames and will self-extinguish once the flame hazard has been removed.
Ripstop material is double-stitched for premium material quality.
What about the hot temperatures welders encounter? In addition to protecting themselves from heat hazards, breathability and comfort are important factors to consider when shopping for FR clothing. For welders, the right FR shirt is essential for protecting your arms and body while you work.
When looking for a welding shirt, consider these elements:
Your welder’s shirt always should be FR. Beyond that, pick a material that is comfortable to you, such as 100% cotton, a cotton twill, or denim. Many welders like breathable fabrics because welding work is hot. MCR Safety offers triple-vented options, which we discuss more below. Our 5.5 oz. FR shirt features ripstop double-stitched material for added wear and tear.
Get a comfortable fit that allows for natural movement but won’t billow around you and get in the way. MCR Safety’s sizing instructions can be found here.
Some employers have strict rules about PPE specifications, so check with yours and pick a shirt that complies with their standards.
Your welding shirt is going to get dirty, so choose one that is machine washable for easy cleanup. You also want one that is durable and stands up to the work you do without falling apart.
It is important to note that there is no such thing as a fireproof welding shirt. FR clothing protects you from the initial contact with a fire hazard and gives you a chance to get away. You simply can’t expect just any long-sleeved shirt to protect you from the dangers of welding. You either must wear an FR welding shirt or potentially suffer injuries.
FR Welding Work Shirts: Cotton Safety
One common question we get at MCR Safety is, “Can you weld in just a cotton shirt?” Technically yes, but only if it’s treated to be flame-resistant. Cotton is an excellent workwear material because it is soft and breathable. If you want to wear a cotton shirt for welding, make sure it is FR, oil-free, and of a heavier weight for durability and protection from UV light exposure and hot spatter.
Your best option is a 100% cotton shirt, as cotton blends might contain synthetic materials that will melt in high temperatures and stick to your skin. The best cotton welding shirts include vents for additional breathability and sweat evaporation, so you stay relaxed and comfortable.
MCR Safety’s Breathable Cotton FR Welding Shirt
Comfort and safety are two of MCR Safety’s top priorities when we manufacture PPE products. You get both from our lineup of Summit Breeze® FR work shirts welders can wear. We make a 7 oz. 100% cotton shirt, which is heavier than the recommended 6 oz. recognized as the starting point by most welding professionals. But, it’s no ordinary FR welding shirt. Triple-vented mesh vent openings, both on the back and under the arms, minimize the heat stress of workers by maximizing the human body’s mechanism of regulating heat stress through evaporative cooling and convection.
Summit Breeze® technology provides better heat stress management for those working in a hot environment, those who are performing labor-intensive tasks, or a combination of the two. When working in an environment prone to heat stress, vented openings can be a lifesaver, literally. For welders, who are always under siege by hot temperatures, having some fresh air make its way into a shirt is a blessing.
A Testimonial for MCR Safety’s Cotton FR Welding Shirts
Cotton material is the best shirt material to wear when welding or grinding.But you don’t have to take our word for it that MCR Safety’s FR welding shirts are top of the line. We recently invited a local university’s welding instructor to test our shirts to get an expert opinion. We had both our 7 oz. 100% FR cotton shirt tested, and our 5.5 oz. shirt tested. Here’s what the instructor said:
“The breathable feature is awesome and really makes the shirt stand out. I feel the level of protection is just as much as that of a cloth welding jacket.”
In addition to comfort, the instructor told us that after two weeks of wearing the cotton shirt, it showed normal wear and tear, even after fairly heavy usage. He put our shirts through the test, applying three types of welding: stick welding, cutting torch usage, and mig and flux core welding. All three types produce a fair amount of sparks. With heavy usage, the instructor told us that three weeks is a relatively long period of wear time. In total, our FR cotton shirt, equipped with triple vents, lasted five weeks!
Ultra-Lightweight and Breathable Welding Shirt
At only 5.5 oz., our inherent blended option is one of the industry’s lightest-weight FR shirts. However, as we mentioned above, welders require a shirt that doesn’t fall apart, which is one reason a 6 oz. shirt is typically worn. So, can a welder wear this 5.5 oz. FR shirt?
MCR Safety’s lightest button-up welding shirt.
Our Summit Breeze® 5.5 oz. FR shirts feature ripstop FR material reinforced with double-needle stitching for durability. With this added reinforcement, this shirt holds up to strenuous work conditions, including welding. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, we had it wear-tested, too. Although it didn’t last for a total of five weeks, like our cotton FR welding shirt, it did last the standard wear time of three weeks. Being lighter and triple-vented, with the same wear time as other welding shirts found in the market, what is holding you back from trying out our ultra-lightweight FR shirt?
Below is a matrix we’ve assembled for all our FR welding shirts.
FR Work Shirt Matrix
Our 5.5 oz. FR shirts are comfortable to wear in hot welding environments or during hot summer months. You’ll appreciate the fresh air coming in from three mesh vent openings! Most importantly, our welding shirts with Summit Breeze® technology are flame-resistant and can protect you from any flame, arc flash, or abrasive object found on an industrial worksite.
Long Sleeve Welding Shirts, Welding Jackets, Welding Gloves,
and Much More
Of course, a professional welder needs more than just an excellent welding shirt. MCR Safety carries a wide range of welding PPE and accessories to keep you safe from head to toe. Every welding job requires quality PPE for your safety. Whether you’re at risk for sparks, burns, molten metal spatter, or radiation, reliable PPE is the only thing that stands between you and a dire injury.
Here are some of the welding-related PPE products offered by MCR Safety:
- Gloves –
We offer over 50 different welding glove styles and are continually adding styles that meet industry requirements. Check out some of our most recent additions in the image below.
April is National Welding Month
- Welding Aprons -
Protect your clothes and yourself with one of our heavy-duty welding aprons. They are perfect for every job where there might be hot sparks from cutting, grinding, or welding.
- Welding Jackets -
Made of genuine split cowhide leather, our welding jackets provide outstanding heat resistance and protection.
Welder wearing MCR Safety welding gloves, welding garments, face shields, and cutting glasses.
- Welding Sleeves -
When you don’t want the bulk of a jacket but require a little more protection, try our welding sleeves. With features like elastic wrists or Kevlar® thumb slots and wrists, our sleeves stay in place while you work.
- Extensive FR options -
We also sell FR coveralls, hoodies, footwear, chaps, and more to meet all of your welding needs.
MCR Safety understands the risks that welders take every day. That’s why we’re committed to providing you with a variety of trustworthy welding gear. Each piece has features that make them comfortable for hot work and help you look and feel good on the job. Most importantly, our products are highly rated and provide the protection you need from open flames and extreme temperatures.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect FR welding shirt or need welding gloves, cutting glasses, and more, MCR Safety has the gear you need to get your job done right—and done safely every time.
Flame-Resistant FR Retardant Welding Shirts: Common Questions
- Can I weld in a Cat 1 welding shirt?
Cat 1 FR shirts are designed for those who face an arc flash hazard. Made with FR material that will not ignite, welders may consider wearing these shirts, as long as the material is flame-resistant. Keep in mind; Cat 2 is the most common arc flash shirt found.
- What is the best shirt to wear while welding?
As long as the shirt is made with FR material, you’re good to go. After reading about our triple-vented FR shirts above, we hope you’re enthusiastic about trying one out!
- Where can I buy welding shirts?
Check out our blog called FR Clothing Near Me, which highlights MCR Safety distribution sites. We invite you to take advantage of our trial program with free shipping. You can also leave us a comment below, and we will have a distributor provide a quote or get you in touch with a welding distributor near you.
- Will a flame-resistant shirt work for welding?
Yes, and FR shirts should be worn as a critical layer of PPE. But keep in mind, as we stated above, FR clothing is not fireproof. It will not ignite, and it does offer burn protection, but it is not fireproof. Also, the heavier the material, the more protection you achieve. Lastly, always check with your employer first to ensure that MCR Safety products are approved for the hazards you are likely to face.
Additional welding resources:
CCOHS Welding PPE
OSHA Welding Safety
Welding Safety Tips
Try out MCR Safety Welding Shirts!
No one turns up the heat like welders do. Keep yourself safe and in one piece with FR PPE from MCR Safety. Our outstanding triple-vented FR work shirts are the ideal garment for any welder, whether welding is your job or a hobby. They offer Summit Breeze® flame-resistant technology to protect you from all the thermal hazards of welding, combined with triple mesh vents and minimal weight to keep you cool and comfortable.
We know safety and comfort are your priorities, and your priorities are our priorities. On your first trial order, MCR Safety pays the shipping! Click here for additional details.
Click the image above to request a quote, leave us a comment, ask a question, or share any concerns.
For over 45 years, MCR Safety has proven to be a world leader in gloves, glasses, and garments. Whether it's on the shop floor, an oil rig, or a construction site, we are there to provide solutions to workplace hazards. It's all part of our commitment to protect people.
No matter your industry, we have the personal protective equipment you need.
Learn more about MCR Safety by checking out our most recent video. For more information, browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor, or give us a call at (800) 955-6887.