Flame Retardant (FR)


NOVASUEDE® and NYTEK® faux leather products pass the following flammability tests without additional flame retardant (FR) treatment:

  • Cal 117E-Pass: Novasuede, Nytek (nylon and polyester microfiber composites)
    UFAC/NFPA260- Class 1:Novasuede, Nytek (nylon and polyester microfiber composites)

To meet other flammability specifications, it may be necessary to apply a flame retardant (FR) treatment to Novasuede or Nytek. Majilite can be treated to the following standards; please contact us with any questions:

  • ASTM E84- (glue down method) Class A: Novasuede/sheeting, Nytek (nylon)/poplin
  • I.M.O. 652 (16), Sections 8.2 and 8.3: NovasuedeMED certified, Novasuede/knit, Novasuede/sheeting, Novasuede/FR foam and tricot, Nytek (nylon and polyester microfiber composites)MED certified, Nytek/knit, Nytek/sheeting, Nytek/FR foam and tricot, Indoor/OutdoorMED certified
  • I.M.O. 653 (IMO Fire Test Procedure Code, Annex 1, Part 2 and Part 5): NovasuedeMED certified
  • I.M.O. 653 (IMO Fire Test Procedure Code, Annex 1, Part 5 and Annex 2): Nytek (special construction, minimums required)*
  • B.S. 5852, Part 1, Ignition sources #0 and #1: Novasuede, Novasuede/knit, Novasuede/sheeting, Nytek, Nytek/knit, Nytek/sheeting
  • B.S. 5852, Part 2, Ignition source #5 (crib 5): Novasuede, Novasuede/knit, Novasuede/sheeting, Nytek, Nytek/knit, Nytek/sheeting
  • EN 1021: Novasuede, Novasuede/knit, Novasuede/sheeting, Nytek, Nytek/knit, Nytek/sheeting
  • BS 476, Part 7, Class 1: Novasuede/sheeting, Nytek (special construction)
  • FAR 25.853 (a) Appendix F Part I (a)(1)(ii) (12 second vertical burn): Novasuede, Novasuede/knit, Nytek, Nytek/knit
  • MVSS302 Novasuede, Nytek

*Denotes conformance to European Marine Equipment Directive (MED), modules B and D and is also available with Lloyd’s Register “Certificate of Fire Approval”

Unless otherwise noted, Nytek faux leathers are nylon microfiber composites.

Independent laboratories have tested sample lots of flame retardant-treated Novasuede and Nytek using the previously described methods. The test reports are available upon request. Majilite manufactures new orders using these methods, which undergo quality control testing. Majilite must acknowledge a customer request in writing before performing or certifying these tests on individual orders.


Since March 1, 1992, the state of California has required upholstered seating furniture sold for use in certain public occupancies (as defined in the bulletin) to meet the requirements of the State of California, Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulating Technical Bulletin 133, better known as “Cal 133.”

The city of Boston, the New York/New Jersey Port Authority, and other city and state governments adopted Cal 133 as the standard for drafting their own legislation.

Cal 133 is a full-scale test involving a piece of furniture or a suitable mock-up. A suitable mock-up consists of a seat, back cushion and arms, if applicable, which are configured into a metal frame made of slotted “L” angle iron and slotted flat iron as described in the Cal 133 Technical Bulletin. The cushions will be constructed using the same methods and materials (cover, barrier, foam, threads, etc.) to be used in the final finished piece of furniture. The purpose of the mock-up is to give a predictable indication of how the furniture will perform in an actual chair test.

No cover material can pass Cal 133 since it is a composite, not a component test. It considers the effect of the individual components and their influence on each other as they relate to the design of the seating furniture being tested. The methods and materials that pass with one design may not pass on another.

Cal 133 does not specify fire barrier materials, however most manufacturers have reported that the best results are obtained when adequate fire barrier materials are used.

Fire-retarding foams are not a requirement of Cal 133. In fact, no components are specified. The law’s goal is the construction of safer furniture. Manufacturers have the flexibility to select their own methods and materials as long as their chair passes the test.

NYTEK products are used successfully throughout the industry on Cal 133 furniture when used in conjunction with a suitable fire barrier and Cal 117 rated foam and other components.

The California Department of Consumers Affairs, Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation (BHFTI) has literature on barrier fabrics and foam components, Cal 133 question and answer booklets, and copies of the regulation. If you need assistance call the following numbers:

  • BHFTI www.bhfti.ca.gov
  • The New York/New Jersey Port Authority: 212-435-7000
  • The City of Boston Fire Department Chemist Office: 617/343-3527

For further guidance or for technical assistance, call Majilite at 978-441-6800.


The City of Boston’s BFD IX Component Test has been one of the toughest flammability tests for upholstery fabrics. It requires a vertical flame test with a large flame and a short after-flame time requirement. Because of Boston’s reputation for tough fire standards, many specifiers request that upholstery fabrics pass the Boston test even though the fabric might not be used there.

Often a flame retardant compliance treatment would change the hand of the fabric and, in some cases, the color and texture. Some of these treatments were water-soluble and could be washed out, limiting their effectiveness. Sometimes a chair built with approved components (fabric cover, foam, etc.) did not perform well in a full-scale burn test.

The City of Boston discontinued component testing in January 1995. In its place, Boston adopted the Cal 133 full-scale burn test. Its emphasis has shifted to total chair performance in a fire and allows the chair manufacturer to select component combinations to successfully meet the test requirements.

NYTEK products are used in the city of Boston by incorporating them into chairs designed to pass Cal 133. Often it is necessary to use a barrier fabric between the NYTEK cover and the foam or fiberfill. Please refer to the section on Cal 133 and contact your Majilite representative if you have any questions.

Boston regulations differ in some respects from Cal 133. They do not exempt buildings with sprinklers and then cover more occupancy use groups than Cal 133.

For more information on the City of Boston regulations, contact the Boston Fire Department, Chemist Office at (617)-343-3527.



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