National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Jean – Flame Resistant, BDU, 28-32” X 34” Inseam

NFES Number: 
Storage and Shelf Life Checks: 

Initial Inspection/Disposal Criteria

  1. Inspect for holes, cuts, tears, burns, or torn seams. Inspect for color change (green to orange/pink) caused by exposure to heat. Dye sublimation is the result of heat baking the dye out of the fabric. Areas of fabric with dye sublimation do not affect the performance of the jeans. Charring (hard brittle fabric that will then form a hole) in association with sublimation will decrease the performance of the fabric and the item should be disposed of. Inspect hook and pile fastener that are missing or that do not provide adequate closure. Inspect belt loops to ensure that none are missing or broken. Check for broken zippers or missing sliders. Open and close zipper to ensure smooth operations and secure closure.
  2. Return to stock if item is clean and all components are in good working condition.
  3. Refurbish if repair holes, cuts, tears, burns, torn seams and broken zippers are easily repairable and economically feasible. Refurbish damage to pant leg cut off is a minimum of 30” inseam.
  4. Dispose of jeans if unrepairable damage is found in the inspection process.
  5. Exposure to poison ivy/oak/sumac is NOT disposal criteria. However, extra care should be taken when handling contaminated clothing. See below for direction on processing clothing exposed to poison ivy/oak/sumac.
  6. Lost or damaged cuff closure cord and side take-up tape should not be disposal criteria. It is not recommended to replace any lost or damaged cuff closure cords and side take-up tape.

Refurbishing Procedures


  1. Follow the cleaning procedures described in the publication, Nomex®- Aramid Fiber -Laundering Guide (H71603),
    1. Nomex® Aramid Fiber Laundering Guide (
      Additional information can be obtained by calling DuPont at 1–800–453–8527 or by writing:
      DuPont Advanced Fibers Systems
      Chestnut Run Plaza Laurel Run Building
      Wilmington, DE 19880-0705
  2. Abbreviated washing procedures from above publication:
    1.  “Garments of NOMEX® should be washed separately from other articles to avoid contamination with lint of flammable fibers.”
    2. “Tests show that formulations designed for use at a temperature of 140 °F (60 °C) or less – such as high-surfactant, low-alkalinity products - adequately clean NOMEX® and provide the best fabric color retention.”
    3. “For heavily stained and oily garments of NOMEX®, a higher temperature wash formula may be required for adequate cleaning.”
    4. “Garments made of NOMEX® must be adequately rinsed to remove residual wash chemicals.”
    5. “In some instances, tumble dry conditioning is the only finishing necessary for garments of NOMEX®.”
    6. “…dry cleaning is an alternative method of removing heavy soil and may be preferable to repeated high-temperature washing.”
  3. If items are taken to vendor laundry facilities for refurbishment; ensure that they receive a copy of this refurbishment standard. The laundry facility must satisfy both--the requirements as set by the manufacturer specification and the agreement made with the local agency. 

Nomex® Clothing Exposed to Poison Oak/Ivy/Sumac


At the request of the National Support Cache Refurbishing Standards Committee, MTDC researched the practicality of laundering Nomex firefighting clothing that has been contaminated with urushiol oil (the allergen to which the body reacts) from poison oak/ivy/sumac exposure. Current cache practices range from normal washing procedures to disposal of shirts and pants that have known urushiol contamination.

A search of on-line sources didn’t produce any special care instructions beyond normal laundering. Some examples:

  • “All clothing should be laundered, and everything else that may be contaminated with urushiol should be washed thoroughly.” American Academy of Dermatology. 
  • “…be sure to wash your clothing promptly with detergent…” Mayo Clinic. 
  • “Washing clothes with ordinary laundry soap will remove urushiol.” Missouri Department of Conservation.

A phone conversation with Daniel Boelman, RN, BSN, Customer Service Manager with Zanfel Laboratories, Inc. also indicated no special treatment beyond normal laundering. (Zanfel produces a commercially available poison oak/ivy cream). Mr. Boelman recommended using vinyl gloves when handling contaminated clothing.

On 11/17/2008 the Forest Service filed a SAFENET Supplemental Corrective Action concerning poison oak reactions experienced by firefighters during the 2008 fire season in California. In that posting, it is recommended that “All clothing and equipment should be laundered immediately …A degreaser was recommended for helping to remove urushiol from clothing and equipment.”


MTDC recommends that fire clothing contaminated with urushiol oil be cleaned following normal Nomex laundering procedures. Extra care should be exercised when handling the contaminated clothing. Clearly labeled plastic bags should be used to separate contaminated clothing from other returned clothing. Commercial laundry personnel should wear long sleeves and vinyl gloves when handling contaminated clothing and dispose of any bags used for transporting the clothes to the laundering facility. As an extra precaution, supply cache and laundry workers could apply an over-the-counter skin-barrier product that contains bentoquatum (such as Ivy Block or Stokoguard) before handling contaminated clothing. Bentoquatum helps prevent urushiol from penetrating the skin. After exposure, workers’ clothes should be washed and gloves disposed of. 

B. Repairs

  1. Repair holes, cuts, tears, burns, and torn seams by darning, patching, or by duplicating the original construction.
  2. Use Nomex® (Aramid) and/or Kevla/Nomex patching material for all repairs.
  3. Hemmed pant legs that change the inseam length shall indicate the new inseam length on the white sizing label on the inside of waist band.
  4. Re-stitch frayed buttonholes using a buttonhole or zigzag stitch that has 50 to 60 stitches per buttonhole.
  5. Replace damaged hook and pile fastener tape with tape of the same length, width, and quality as the original.
  6. Replace damaged zipper with the same type, length, and quality as the original.
  7. Replace damaged belt loops with loops of the same material and construction as the original. 
  8. Replace side take-up tape using Nomex® (Aramid) tape with a metal double-bar buckle. The replacement tape should be ⅝” wide Aramid tape, style #2007, color black.

    Order from:
    Offray Specialty Narrow Fabrics, Inc.
    4 Essex Avenue, Suite 403, Bernardsville, NJ 07924
    Ph: 908-879-3636
    The replacement buckle should be Albest Metal Stamping Corp. part # BB340-10BD, ⅝” black or ITW Waterbury Part #00482-09-21883.

    Order from:
    Albest Metal Stamping Corp.
    One Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211-1014
    Ph: 718-388-6000
    ITW Waterbury
    952 South Main Street, Waterbury, CT 06706
    Ph: 203-753-1161
    ​The first lot of pants manufactured in 2000 have thin light green side take-up tapes; later contracts have heavier black side take up-tapes. It is recommended that the loose end of the light green takeup tapes be replaced by the recommended Nomex® tape. It is not necessary to replace the tape that is holding the metal buckle.

C. Test for performance

  1. Inspect items after laundering to ensure all foreign matter and stains have been removed. If item fails second inspection, spot treat problem areas or remove item from service.
  2. Open and close the hook and pile fasteners to ensure that they provide adequate and secure closure.
  3. Open and close zipper to ensure smooth operation and a secure closure.

D. Repackaging

  1. Close fly and all pocket flaps, properly thread side take-up tape, untie cuff cord.
  2. With inseams meeting, fold pants from the leg bottom up toward the waist band to an overall length of about 23”.
  3. Pack 30 pairs of the same size pants in carton NFES #002007 (24” x 16” x 16”).


Leigh Fibers Inc.
Nelson Smith
1101 Syphirt Rd Wellford, SC 29385
Ph: 864-439-4111
Make contact with vendor to establish requirements and feasibility.

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