The aim of this study was the optimization of cone calorimeter to determine the burning behavior of textile fabrics. In particular, the combustion behavior of commercial polyester textile fabrics with varying densities was studied in terms of time to ignition (TTI), heat release rate (HRR), and relative peak (pkHRR) were monitored. Reproducibility and repeatability of the data have been verified by the influence of instrument variable including incident heat flux, the temperature of ceramic backing pads and retaining grid used during sample mounting as well as sample weight (as the number of fabric layers), the density of textiles, and the relative humidity. A low reproducibility has been obtained when a wire grid was not used to stabilize samples during the tests. The effects of these variables on TTI and pkHRR were observed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.