I'm not sure if you have noticed, but we really love our fabrics over here. There are lots of reasons. They feel good. They're beautiful. They wash well. They're OEKO-TEX certified.
What was that last thing? I didn't really know either until this last week.
OEKO-TEX certification is more popular in Europe than it is here. I first ran across the label in a pillow from IKEA.
The certification was a reaction to panic in the early '90s about the possible toxicity involved in fabric production and how it could affect people's health. Textiles, while we love them, can be very toxic if they aren't made mindfully. The industry in Europe came up with the OEKO-TEX Standard 100. The idea behind this standard is that the industry is responsible for producing fabrics that the consumer can use without worry - that they don't pose any risk to your health whatsoever. It has now become standard in Europe, with 16 independent testing facilities that are qualified to help maintain the standards. It's not so well known here in North America, but we hope it will be.
There are four different product classes depending on the intended use of the textile:
Level 1: This is the highest standard. Fabrics that conform to this level are intended to be used next to the skin on babies and small children.
Level 2: This group is for textiles that have a large part of their surface in direct contact with skin (first layer clothing) of adults.
Level 3: This group is for textiles that have very little contact with the skin - outerwear would be a good example.
Level 4: This group consists of textiles that would be used in the home.
OEKO-TEX certification is applicable to every level of fabric production from the raw materials that go into the base fabric production to the dyes that are used and how the fabrics are finished. The idea is that if you certify every step along the way, you end up with a product that is as healthy as it can be. In order to claim OEKO-TEX certification you have to be assessed and inspected every 12 months. OEKO-TEX is working on a new level of certification for manufacturers that applies to environmentally friendly production processes and optimal health and safety working conditions for the people who make the fabric.
If your fabrics are OEKO-TEX certified, you can be confident that they are safe and healthy for your family. That sounded a bit like a commercial, but the more I read, the more I like the idea of this standard.
Another reason to feel good about our fabric? I think so.
Next week - an easy project to get a head start on that holiday that comes in December but we shall not speak of yet.
See ya later!