1992 CWU-45/p Isratex Jacket Fire-resistance Experiment; Out of curiosity...


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Seams are out in my CWU 45/P in several places. Does anyone do repair for these jackets. It's been a long time since fire proof was a necessary requirement though a nice option, but a professional looking repair is a must. Any help?


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Yeah, the Isratex jackets are notorious for falling apart. I recently picked up a newer Valley Apparel jacket and the quality is light years ahead. Personally I’d take it to a normal clothes repair place and have them look at it, it’s not worth paying a load of money for a specialist repair because new ones are still so cheap on eBay. Like you say, you’re not wearing it in a cockpit, so as long as they do a neat job (and there’s no reason a skilled tailor won’t be able to fix it) then you should be good.


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Cotton vs. Nomex



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Hello everyone,

Please allow me to explain myself!
I'd like to make clear that no jackets were harmed in the making of this post! I would never do that!

With that being said, I recently got the sleeves on a beater 1992 Isratex CWU45/p jacket shortened and so had some extra poly aramid material (1st gen, pre 2010, shiny nomex) to play with.
To my knowledge, I do not think there is an existing thread on testing out the fire-resistance of the poly aramid materials that makeup our CWU jackets so I thought I'd start one.
This is by no means scientific, but was done out of plain curiousity. So, here we go.
The extra sleeve materials I was left with seemed to consist of 3 distinct layers: (1) an external nomex layer; (2) internal nomex lining, and (3) nomex filler or batting in between (please see cross section below)

View attachment 44441

Now, this may have been a little reckless of me, but I held the nomex material up by putting my hand in the middle of the 'sleeve' and lit an ordinary every-day gas station cigarette lighter underneath.
And surprise, surprise! It really works! I held the lighter underneath the materials for a solid 30 seconds, and it did little to no damage.
The resulting 'damage' was just a little blackening and stickiness of the material.
With regards to the sensation, my hand felt nothing of the lighter fire but a little warmth and nothing more! I kid you not.

On a related note, it is to my understanding that 90s Istratex jackets (or all Isratex made equipment in the 90s for that matter) were involved in a scandal with regards to Jacket quality (as it was being produced elsewhere than the US in addition to using sub-par materials or something or rather) and I have also heard the oft-quoted comment that the older nomex fabric threads used in the pre 2010 CWU Jackets are notoriously fragile and are known for disintegrating or falling apart easily.
With this in mind, I purposely placed the flame close to the threads and, rather surprisingly, they held up very well. Have a look!

(The threads look perfectly fine to me, even after direct exposure to a lighter for 30 or so odd seconds)View attachment 44444

Here's a picture of the fire 'damaged' nomex next to the non-fire exposed control nomex:

View attachment 44443

If I am being perfectly candid, the fire damage was hard to spot out; only under direct white light was there a clear and marked difference. In ordinary light it would be difficult to distinguish from a dirt stain or the infamous 'mottled' look of the stains that water/rain leaves on these older 1st gen shiny fabric nomex jackets.

Anyways, in conclusion, CWU45/p jackets do what they say on the can; they are literally fire-resistant. Magical. Perhaps I am a lot more excited about this than I should be, but I am haha.
Thank you for sticking with me through my rather shoddily unprofessional experiment.

Let me know your thoughts and comments.
Have any of you guys tested out the fire-resistance (hopefully intentionally, and not unintentionally) of your CWU Jackets or materials out of sheer curiosity? Let me know.
Or if there are other threads out there relating to this topic, please feel free to direct me their way.

Cheers guys,
Good to know if I'm ever in a fire.


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I'll start looking for a seamstress/tailor and, if successful, will have it cleaned and repaired. If that doesn't work, I'll be careful not to try to burn it.

I'll start looking for a replacement JIC.


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I found a local lady re-stitched the seams and I had it cleaned. Here are some before and after pictures. Before:
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