Monday, August 16, 2010

What You Have to Know About CPSC

by Lyudmila Klebansky (WoolSolution)

I promised few days ago to collect, sort and post info about CPSC.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has jurisdiction over many types of consumer products, from coffee makers, to toys, to lawn mowers, to fireworks.
After all reading I cannot tell you that I completely understand the CPSIA when the CPSC itself has been giving conflicting information about what is required. Like 99.9% of the legislation that is passed by Congress, the CSPIA is written in convoluted legalese and most of the representatives I guess didn’t read it.

Two years ago, President Bush signed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act into law, giving vast new powers to CPSC and promising wondrous new levels of "safety" for children in our country. The CPSC regulations required every manufacturer, importer or private labeler of a children's product to have their product tested for phthalate and lead by an accredited independent testing lab and certified. Etsy had been warning for months that many of its artists and craftspeople members might not be able stay in business "due to the burdensome cost of testing and certification pursuant to the proposed legislation."

Well, we all want to make safe and good quality handmade goods and without going nuts about all the rules I’ll give you a quick overview and few links to help you find info related to your product.

Make sure you use safe items, such as fabrics, yarns, polyfil, paints, glues sold in the U.S. You can always check the list of Regulated Products Put as much information as possible on the labels and warning tags. Put all what you know about materials in the items description.

Etsy tries to keep artists and crafters updated on the latest CPSIA information. You can find all publications at As well as numerous forums threads dedicated to this topic. I found very useful today’s post at

The CPSC has integrated social media “share” functionality into each product recall notice so you can easily post items of interest to your Twitter or Facebook pages.

Products Under the Jurisdiction of Other Federal Agencies and Federal links

Friday, August 6, 2010

Labeling Handmade Garment

by Lyudmila Klebansky (WoolSolution)

When I started selling my knitwear on Etsy two things bothered me:

How to label my knitwear? and What info to put on the labels?

In my research I found that according FTC rules all handmade garment has to be labeled using general industry standards. I don’t know how strict the FTC rules are and I don’t want to find out.

So, Here is a summary:

The FTC requires your labels permanently attached to the garment and include 4 things:

1. Name of the company or RN number
I decided to use my Etsy userId and plan to brand my business under this name;

2. Fiber content in descending order by percentage
That’s why I use yarn from well known manufacturer like Zegna Baruffa. I can always go to it’s website and verify technical spec using manufacturer’s label.
“But I don’t know the fiber content!” You might say. Let me just say this – if you are selling garments you made, it is now your job to write down the fiber content when you buy yarn or fabrics. Writing it on the receipt (which you will keep) is a good idea.

3. Country of Origin
That’s the tricky one. Most people do not realize that “made in USA” cannot be used by most of us sewing/knitting in the USA. Even if you handmade the garment in USA, your fabric/yarn was most likely imported because very few mills operate in the USA today. Once again, it is your job to write down the country of origin info when you buy yarn or fabric. And if you don’t really know the origin of the material just put on your labels “made in USA of imported fabric/yarn” .

4. Care instructions or how to wash it
You are not allowed to just say “dry clean only” when the garment is really machine washable. You really should find out the best way to wash your garments and list just one washing method. For most of my knitwear I usually say something like this: “Hand wash warm, dry flat”

In my next post I'll share with you what I've learned from Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC ) website and Etsy forums with this topic.