iQ: The Year In Review

15 Dec


In 2014, Bulwark – the world’s #1 FR apparel brand –broke the industry from the shackles of its bulky, itchy, sweaty past. With the introduction of the Bulwark iQ Series™, the world’s first performance FR. And the most comfortable FR apparel ever made, by any measure.(see iQ products here).
The reception to this revelation has been astounding. Even earning the design and technical team here at Bulwark, and our co-development partners at Milliken, recognition as a Top 100 Innovator by R&D Magazine (an honor often regarded as the “Oscars of Invention.”) Read the article here. But as nice as the hardware is, it’s the words of the communities we so proudly, and purposefully, outfit that provide us the greatest sense of achievement.

Layering and Undergarments

18 Nov


According to NFPA 70E section 130.7 (C) (12) (a), layering of non-melting flammable garments is permitted to be worn under FR garments for added protection. However, the system arc rating of the innermost FR layer must be sufficient to prevent breakopen and ignition of the flammable under layer.

If Table 130.7 (C) (9) is used to determine the HRC category; only FR layers within the layered system are used to determine system arc rating. Arc ratings of individual layers cannot simply be added together. Any garment worn as the outer layer, including rainwear, must be FR.

Meltable fibers such as acetate, nylon, polyester, polypropylene, and spandex cannot be used in under layers next to the skin the only exception being an incidental amount of elastic is permitted in socks and underwear.

Because of changes to the 2009 Edition of NFPA 70E, we can no longer advise our customers to simply add individual single layer arc ratings together to arrive at a system arc rating for layered garments. Annex M.3.1 of the 2009 Edition of NFPA 70E states that the total system arc rating cannot be determined by adding the arc ratings of the individual layers. The only way to determine the total system arc rating is to conduct a multilayer arc test on the combination of all the layers assembled, as they would be worn.

We will work with you to understand the unique needs of your business and answer any questions you may have. Simply call us at 615-565-5307 or click here.

Lineman’s Rodeo Round-up

11 Nov


This year’s International Lineman’s Rodeo was marked by the largest attendance in the event’s history. And amidst the masses, Bulwark was there supporting and saluting, competing and connecting, oh – and throwing down the best ribs EVER!

Special thanks to Team Ameren for competing so fiercely while wearing our Bulwark iQ Series™ Comfort Knit Henleys (now you know first hand how the world’s first performance FR can give you an athletic edge in your job.) We’d also like to give a shout out to the throngs of people who stopped by to pick up both their Day 1 and Day 2 Bulwark Rodeo T-shirts. At times it felt like we were swimming in a sea of Bulwark red!

Most importantly, thanks to all those who showed such genuine enthusiasm for the new garments we have coming out later this year and in 2015. We consider it our greatest honor to outfit the men and women of electric utility. The respect we have for what you do, the pride you have in your work and how you pass it down through your family is endlessly inspiring.

To see our pics from International Lineman’s Rodeo, check us out on Instagram:

The NFL Has Nothing On These Linemen.

10 Oct Blog_MainStory_v03d copy

Blog_MainStory_v03d copy

For two days in October (Oct. 17 & 18), the best electric utility lineman on the planet will gather in Kansas City to compete in the International Lineman’s Rodeo (the full Expo runs Oct 15 -18). From simulated pole-top rescues, to “sprints” up 40-foot poles, to timed equipment repair challenges – they will put their abilities to the test to earn the coveted title of “best in the world.”

It’s no wonder why we view this as the “X Games” of our industry.

Which gets us thinking. Maybe it’s time our industry started seeing lineman for what they really are: occupational athletes. After all, be it a crisis situation or a “typical” workday, these modern day cowboys are called upon to perform heroics that require world-class speed, agility and technique.

It’s this perspective that is driving us at Bulwark to usher in a new era of smarter, more athletically-inspired “performance FR.” Case in point, our iQ Series™.

Thanks to an all-new FR science that enables us to bring activewear fabrics (even polyester!) into the FR equation for the first time ever, we can finally outfit electric utility lineman properly, and comfortably, for the ultra-physical demands of their duty. Because from greater breathability and softness, to enhanced mobility and moisture management, iQ garments have been designed specifically to increase wearer performance, and productivity.

So next time you see one of these brave souls risking everything to climb that precarious pole, just think about the skill it takes to fill their spiked boots. And if you’re in KC for the Lineman’s Rodeo, be sure to ask about iQ at our booth and see iQ in action. We’ll be outfitting Ameren’s “athletes” as they compete vie for the title.

Top 3 Announcements at NSC 2014

24 Sep

Check out our list of the top 3 most important announcements at NSC 2014.



iQ In The News

9 Jul

Back in January, we announced our launch of iQ Series, a revolutionary product line that delivers superior comfort through fabric and design innovation — without compromising the trust and safety of its wearers.  Read the announcement here: The Future Of FR Is Here

We’ve seen a huge amount of interest and excitement regarding iQ Series. We’ve only scratched the surface. Below is a list of links to all the buzz around town about iQ, the better, smarter, more comfortable FR gear that people will want to wear – and not just while they’re working.”



OSHA 1910.269 Q&A

19 Jun

Got Questions about OSHA 1910.269 and how it pertains to FR/AR Clothing? We’ve got Answers!

Click the link below to view our Q&A:


Bulwark OSHA 1910.269 Q&A




Bulwark to Unveil Revolutionary iQ Series™ at Safety 2014

8 Jun

This week we announced our plans to debut our much anticipated iQ Series Comfort Knits and Wovens at the American Society of Safety Engineers’ Safety 2014 Expo in Orlando (Orange County Convention Center, West Building, June 8-10).

The new iQ Series is set to rock the world of protective workwear wearability unlike ever before — thanks to a scientifically engineered new breed of comfortable FR apparel. Not only will attendees be able preview iQ Series garments, but we also plan to give attendees an exclusive look at the paradigm-shattering science from its co-development partner, Milliken™ & Company. Read more here.

No-Itch, Flame Resistant Clothes Podcast

1 May

Our VP, Chris Holcombe, spoke with Creative Safety Publishing recently about our new iQ Series products. “Hot. Heavy. Stiff. Itchy. If you’ve worn flame resistant clothing, you know what it feels like. But that’s all changing.” Click here to listen to the full interview. Talks About Polyester in FR Apparel

24 Apr

Hot. Heavy. Stiff. Itchy.

Anyone who has worn a flame-resistant (FR) garment might use the four adjectives above to describe the experience of wearing such apparel. However, for many workers throughout the oil and gas value chain, uncomfortable FR apparel is a necessary burden in order to protect oneself from flash fire hazards on the job.

“Most everyone at refineries must wear something for flash fire protection,” said Jan Newman, president of Rosedale, La.-based Medical/Professional Protective Clothing, Inc. (MED-PRO).

The extent of one’s FR garment coverage depends on one’s exposure to active plant units, she said. For instance, a craftsperson at greater risk of encountering a flammable event may wear coveralls and other protective gear while a supervisor might comply with safety regulations by wearing a FR shirt and pants, Newman explained.

“There are two major categories of FR fabrics used in the secondary FR protection market: natural fiber fabrics such as 100-percent cotton that are treated to be FR, and inherent fiber fabrics that are man-made to be FR in the fiber state and are then made into FR fabrics,” said Chris Holcombe, vice president and general manager of the FR garment maker Bulwark FR. “They both have their benefits and drawbacks. One must evaluate the fabrics’ cost, comfort and durability based on the job application to choose appropriately.” Read More



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