Innovation of the Era!
Mid to Late 1900s

Dupont Does It!

During the mid 1900's, turnout gear was made out of a thick cotton outer fabric with a vapor barrier of parch (untanned animal skin) and a thermal barrier of wool. All of these materials were flammable. Nomex by Dupont Corporation was first offered in turnout gear in 1967. Nomex is a revolutionary heat and flame resistant fiber that provides unsurpassed protection when utilized in firefighting turnout gear Nomex is unique in the fact that the protection provided to the wearer of Nomex increases as the heat source gets hotter, yet it remains supple and flexible. It was the first truly flame resistant turnout gear available to firefighters.
Nomex is a superior product that offers fire resistant protection that can't be washed away or worn out. Nomex also lasts about three times longer than the old-fashioned cotton turnout gear.
Cotton fabric was not a great choice for turnout gear, as it is flammable. But, until the advent of Nomex, it was the best alternative the firefighter had for protection from fire.