Hand Made Clothes for Children CPSIA

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Original Post

not sure how many of you are affected by this, but I am just curious how you are going about handling it. I get the whole labeling thing, but what I am having trouble with is the certificates. I understand that we can rely on the manufacturers testing until feb (and hopefully after), but where can you get this info. I have fabric from all over. Joann fabric, walmart, co-ops, and other small fabric stores. Also all of the stuff currently in my shop is made from recycled sweaters! Do I have to contact the original maker of the sweater and ask them for proof of testing. Boy oh boy this is getting a little to complex for me. I just started and am thinking maybe it wasn't such a grand idea :(

Posted at 12:11pm Jan 16, 2011 EST


Personally I'm going to wait until after Feb 10, to see where things stand.

I got really stressed out about the CPSIA back in Dec. 2008, right before it went into affect. I did a lot of pro-active stuff, reading everything I could find online, signing petitions, writing to my congressmen and everybody else's congressmen, the Small Business Administration, and everybody in my field of gymnastics. And then the Consumer Product Safety Commission made a lot of exemptions and clarifications. And it became very hard to keep up with all the announcements and changes. I refuse to live my life in total dread.

In my field it seems like everybody is ignoring it. I say that because I have looked for tags in the garments made by the large manufacturers and I see nothing. Plus in skating, gymnastics, etc. people continue to put large quantities of jewels and crystals on the garments, even though from my research and from what I've read, there are no jewels and crystals which even come close to meeting the CPSIA standards. Even the glass crystals have lead in the backing.

So I stopped using crystals on any of my garments in Feb 2009, even though there are plenty of people on Etsy and eBay using them on children's garments.

One more thing. I just about started a thread on this topic a couple days ago, but stopped myself, because this is a public forum.

Back in 2008-2009 "rumor had it" that people from consumer protection groups were scanning the Etsy and Ebay forums, and those other venues looking for sellers of children's products, so they could report them to the CPSA and receive the "whistleblower's reward."

So I recommend that you not put anything in writing here, that you don't want seen by the public.

Posted at 5:19pm Jan 16, 2011 EST

ok Thanks for the heads up, and I think I will just sit and wait as well lets hope that they get it figured out to help us all out.

Posted at 8:03pm Jan 16, 2011 EST

There is a CPSIA team you can join if you look in the public forums. It has tons of answers to all your questions.

Fabric as long as it has no metallic looking threads is completely exempt from testing. You don't need certificates for fabric, but you should have an idea what it is, where you bought it, when you bought it, and where the fabric is from just for your records and to be safe...however I keep maintaining that I've never heard of a child becoming ill or dying from cotton!

Posted at 11:22pm Jan 16, 2011 EST

right. I was telling my friends/family about it and they were like has there ever been a recall on clothing? I've never seen child get ill after wearing 100% cotton shirt.lol I am a member of CPSIA team already, but thought since this was for clothes for children specifically it would be a good place to ask. I thought that fabric was exempt after reading the list,but everyone was saying to get certificates from the manufacturers. My newer fabric I do know when and where it came from. Some of the older I am unsure, but my kids won't mind :) They are my little test models anyway. Thanks for the info.

Posted at 6:19am Jan 17, 2011 EST

Yes, fabric is exempt ... as long as the CPSC continues to allow it to be.

WalMart had 1 Million pieces of clothing tested in 2008, and the results from an independent lab showed that not one piece of clothing showed signs of lead (above the allowable level.) The National Hosery Assoc, and several weaving and yarn associations also presented testimony. Based on that information the CPSC issued an exemption for fabrics, threads an yarns.

However one woman, who was doing massive amounts of testing for small businesses in 2008-2009, posted that she found higher then allowed amounts of lead in some fabric.amounts. Upon looking into it, she discovered that the fabric was produced in South America at a factory near a lead smelting plant. Hum!

In the tests that WalMart did, they did find lead in some of the buttons and fasteners. These are not exempt, and it is not likely that they ever will be.

I wrote to the CPSC in 2009 because I use elastic in my products, and that wasn't on the exemptions list. The elastic is made from rubber and cotton, which are natural products. Natural products are also exempt. I did not receive an answer, other than a a Booklet with common questions and their answers, which the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce charged the CPSC to produce in Feb 2009.

Be careful about believing what you read on forums. There is a lot of false information floating around about the CPSIA. Even most of our legislators ... who voted for the bill ... didn't not read it before they voted for it, and have no idea what is in it. After all the bill is 360 pages long.

When you read information which says what you want to hear, it is easy to believe it.

But it is best to get your information directly from a credible source ... like the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Posted at 10:33am Jan 17, 2011 EST

I got the tags last year, and also thought about throwin gin the towel. I'm glad I didn't because they did the year extension, I'm still hoping they get something figured out quickly. I will remove items with buttons (I don't use zippers) come February if they push this thru. I believe I read somewhere(it was last year) that elasti is Ok because rubber and 100% cotton were both exempt which is what it is made of and my elastic is completely incased in the cotton.

At least that my understanding. I hope they give another year extension to figure it all out:)

Posted at 7:55am Jan 18, 2011 EST

Is this just a US law? I'm unaware of it in the UK, or maybe just naiive. I wonder how that will work if shipping Internationally, I'll have to get my head round this....

Posted at 8:59am Jan 21, 2011 EST


The is a US law. The EU has it's own law, called EU's Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS)
1. The Directive covers 6 banned substances, including
a. Lead
b. Mercury
c. Cadmium
d. Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+)
e. Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) - flame retardant
f. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) - flame retardant

Obviously these are not generally substances found in children's clothing, so you probably have not had to worry about them for your business.

However our lawmakers prefer to use the "Atom bomb" approach to making sure there is no lead in children's products, by requiring the testing of EVERYTHING.

However you should be okay. I just looked at your products.

Just before the law was to go into effect (Feb 2009), they issued exemptions for cloth, thread and yarn.

Any type of fastener (such as buttons, snap, zippers, etc.) or decorative crystals or diamonte must be tested.


Posted at 9:06pm Jan 21, 2011 EST


Thank you for taking the time to look at my shop and all your information.

It sounds terrible for makers in the US, obviously there needs to be some safety issues with children's clothing but it doesn't help support the smaller business!


Posted at 2:41am Jan 22, 2011 EST

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