In the present manuscript a new concept of completely inorganic intumescent flame retardant nanocoating comprised of sodium montmorillonite nanoplatelets embedded in an ammonium polyphosphate matrix has been investigated using cotton as model substrate. The coating, deposited by multistep adsorption from diluted water-based suspensions/solutions, homogenously cover each cotton fibers with average thicknesses below 50 nm and add-on up to 5% in weight. Combustion characterization evidences the interesting properties: indeed, the so-treated fabrics reached self-extinguishing during horizontal flame spread tests. Furthermore, when the coating add-on reaches 5%, no ignition has been observed during cone calorimetry tests under 35 kW/m² heat flux. Residue analyses pointed out the formation of an expanded all-inorganic coating capable of greatly improving char formation by exerting barrier function towards volatile release and heat transfer.