When you take up the art of fire spinning, whether it is batons, a staff, a hoop, or poi, your first concern should be the safety of yourself and those around you. While it is important to know your fuels and do regular safety checks on your equipment, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from stray flames and hot metal is to put together a fire resistant wardrobe.
Keep It Covered
Many fire dancers live by the motto that less is more. If you wear less clothing, you will have less fabric to get caught in your equipment or catch fire. While this is true, you also lack the protection that fire resistant clothing can provide.
Although skin can withstand contact with direct flames and wick material, it burns easily when it comes in contact with hot metal chains or poles. If you do any sort of wraps or rolls on your body, you need to keep that part of your body covered with a flame resistant material. This usually includes the thighs, ankles, neck, and wrists.
Choose Natural Fibers
Natural fibers, such as cotton and wool, are the choice of most fire spinners. This is because natural fibers will burn when they catch fire, as opposed to melting onto your skin. This reduces any damage you may suffer and makes it easier for your spotter to pull the flames away from your body.
However, your best choice will be natural fibers that have been coated to be fire resistant. This can prevent the clothing from catching fire in the first place.
Design Your Own Look
There are many types of fire resistant clothing on the market, some of which is designed specifically to fit the needs of fire spinners. However, a cheaper option is to select generic fire resistant clothing and then alter it to create your own look.
When you are making alterations to fire resistant clothing, you should use a wool thread. Otherwise, your seams may go up in smoke in the middle of a performance, leaving you embarrassingly bare.
Check Your Clothing
Just like you check all of your fire tools before a performance, you should regularly check your fire spinning wardrobe. Pay close attention to the threads along the seams and take note of any sections that tend to often have black smudges or an oily feel after your performances. If your clothing feels worn or thin, you should replace it.