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If you remember this time last year, thousands of “Made in China” toys were recalled due to high levels of lead found in their paint. The U.S. government has decided to take action against something like this happening again – but at small business owners expense. What does this have to do with sewing and handmade goods and how will it effect you?

CPSIA legislature (which goes into effect February 2009) mandates that all children’s products (toys, diapers, dolls, clothing, bags, etc.) must be tested for lead by a third party and labeled. The costs for these tests will depend on the each particular item but could range from $150-$4,000. While these prices may not seem like much for large manufactures, for those of us who sell goods on eBay, Etsy, or individual websites, this could mean the closure of numerous home-based businesses.

If this new piece of legislature will effect you, someone you know, or you just want to help protect the hand-made industry then be sure to write you local congressman. You can keep up with the latest news via Fashion Incubator (she has also opened up the CPSIA & Consumer Safety section of her forum to non-members) and National Bankruptcy Day.


  • Missing

    Dec 23, 2016, 09.24 AMby lucinamaoka1969

    There is a need to know the boundaries. Most especially with the arts. – Dr. Thomas Devlin

  • Cochise_pitch4_100h_large

    Dec 30, 2008, 11.56 AMby timallard

    This may not have the impact assumed since the responsibility goes back to the manufacturers of the materials, not a finished product made from them.

    So, to deal with this I’d recommend verifying with your sources that they comply with the lead restrictions, normally they’d have this taken care of, especially if their materials are already used in children’s clothing for example.

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    Dec 26, 2008, 09.45 AMby eichhorncreations

    Being a small business owner, I need the law allowing me to sew baby fashion from certified fabric instead of having to test each item I make.

  • Cc70b9fbdade3e83318a66551dbff7f825f48286_large

    Dec 22, 2008, 06.33 AMby sabine

    In my opinion, if you want to sell something as a toy, to children, then it should definately have obligatory and dependable security restrictions. This kind of thing is already in effect in Europe, for the most part.

    If you want to specifically market to children, then you’re held to the same standard as the big companies.

    You are free to sell stuffed toys or handicraft as handicraft. Not intended for small children.

    Would you really vouch that everyhting you used, and how it is made, is absolutely safe, without any independent testing? Would you buy such “toys” for your own kids?

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    Dec 19, 2008, 09.13 PMby sew4my3

    Thank you for this article! I have posted it on my facebook and sent it to many friends. I hope that by responding to this we will be able to reach a mutual conclusion for everyone. This would not only effect America but trade goods from all country’s. America would not be open to purchasing from other countries and other countries would not be willing to sell to us because of the difficulties associated with this legislation. Again, thanks for the information!

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