Surface photografting with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate phosphate has been used to improve the flame retardancy of polyamide 6.6 fabrics. Limiting oxygen index tests and vertical burning tests were used to characterize the fire performance. The highest limiting oxygen index value of the grafted sample can reach up to 31.2, which is 58% higher than that of the ungrafted fabric. The thermal stability and char morphology of the polyamide 6.6 fabrics have been characterized by the thermogravimetric analysis and scanning electron microscopy analysis. Kinetic analysis on fabric samples was investigated, and the results show that the activation energy of the grafted sample is higher than that of the ungrafted fabric. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.