What Is Fiberglass Cloth? (with picture)

Adam Hill
Adam Hill
Fiberglass cloth has been used as armor plating on U.S. Military aircraft carrier decks.
Fiberglass cloth has been used as armor plating on U.S. Military aircraft carrier decks.

There are a variety of applications for industrial fabrics when weight, strength, and durability are important, and one common solution to these needs is fiberglass cloth. Fiberglass cloth is a strong and durable woven textile used mainly for industrial, non-apparel applications. Its unique set of valuable properties makes it ideal for many industrial uses, such as for the interiors of circuit boards and conveyor belts.

Fiberglass cloth is woven in various configurations from four basic weave patterns, called plain, leno, satin, and basket. It is sold in rolls that range in length from 150 feet (45 meters) to 9,000 feet (2740 meters), and in many different widths. It also offers a wide choice of controlled properties depending on the industry it will be used in.

Fiberglass cloth has numerous applications as thermal insulation, electrical insulation in the electronics industry, and even as a component in armor plating on U.S. Military vehicles, helmets, and aircraft carrier decks. Light-weight cloths also provide a smooth finish and are ideal for producing a waterproof layer over wood or other surfaces, such as is needed in boat repair and other marine applications.

Perhaps the most notable quality of fiberglass cloth itself is its high tolerance of extreme heat. It not only dissipates radiant heat with remarkable efficiency, but some types of cloth can withstand temperatures of up to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit (1648 degrees C) for as long as a minute. Another notable attribute of fiberglass fabric is its high tensile strength. At a much lower weight and cost, it has a greater tensile strength than steel wire of similar diameter. Also, fiberglass cloth is composed of inorganic materials, making it impervious to damage from sunlight, bacteria, or fungus of any kind.

Glass fibers are known to produce fabrics with excellent dimensional stability as well, meaning that fiberglass fabric stretches only very minimally under stress- usually about three percent or less. Like glass itself, fiberglass is highly resistant to most harsh industrial chemicals. Oddly enough, despite its resilience and resistance to almost every possible type of industrial hazard, it is important that fiberglass cloth be rolled onto a tube for shipment, and not folded, regardless of how large or small the order may be. Folding it for shipment can damage the cloth where it is creased. If this one precaution is followed, the structural integrity of the fabric will be preserved to provide strength or protection in whatever context it is needed for.

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Discussion Comments


@runner 101 - I have seen charcoal fiberglass at the Home Depot store; however, I have just seen it. I don't know if its the right type of fiberglass cloth for your issue or if any fiberglass cloth would be appropriate.

I would ask the employees at Home Depot, I'm sure they hear it all. And just as you mentioned, people are starting to put their flat screen over their fireplace more often, so maybe they have heard of your flat screen overheating problem and have heard some anecdotal resolutions that you may want to try.


Like more people are doing now with flat-screen televisions as the rule as opposed to the exception, we hung our flat screen television over our fireplace.

We put a two layer metal shelf in between the fireplace and the flat screen to hopefully be able to run the fireplace without it heating the television to a high degree, but the flat screen still became too hot.

Has anyone else had this problem? And what did they do to combat the heat? And lastly, I'm thinking of using some of this type of cloth in the metal shelf above our fireplace to absorb some of the heat. Anyone know a store where fiberglass cloth is for sale?

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    • Fiberglass cloth has been used as armor plating on U.S. Military aircraft carrier decks.
      Fiberglass cloth has been used as armor plating on U.S. Military aircraft carrier decks.