Oeko-Tex Standard 100 is a worldwide certification for textiles such as yarns, fabrics, buttons, linens, terry cloth, thread, and other accessory materials, developed in 1992 that tests for harmful substances in raw, semi-finished, and finished textile materials and products. The Oeko-Tex standard exists only to ensure the final product is safe for human use.
Common chemicals tested for during Oeko-Tex certification include arsenic, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde, and pesticides, all of which are known to be harmful to human health. Additionally, fabrics are tested to ensure they have a pH that is acceptable to the skin. Products are divided into four different classes based on their intended use and contact with the skin.
- Class I – textiles and accessories for babies and children up to 3 years of age. Products include: clothing, underwear, bedding, soft/plush toys, etc.
- Class II – textiles which contact a large portion of the skin such as: bedding, clothing, underwear, etc. This is the largest majority of Oeko-Tex testing.
- Class III – these textiles either do not come in direct contact with the skin, or have very minimal contact with skin. These products include coats and jackets and lining materials.
- Class IV – textiles and home furnishing that are mainly decorative including products like curtains, floor coverings, table linens, etc.
Class II products are those most commonly tested for Oeko-Tex 100 standard compliance, as those products are most likely to have direct skin contact.
To have your product Oeko-Tex 100 certified, a 5 step process must be followed:
- Submit Application and Test Samples
Before your product can even be tested, you must submit an application consisting of: a product description, a detailed description of each stage of the products manufacturing process, a complete list of any dyes or auxiliaries used in the manufacturing process, a safety data sheet for finishing agents, copies of any certificates of any materials already approved/certified, and a list of suppliers names for any components used in making the product. A complete application is submitted to the testing institution along with a sample of the product to be certified.
During this step the testing institute develops a plan for testing the product submitted in step 1, and then the textile is tested according to the plan and following all Oeko-Tex parameters.
- Report is Compiled
After the sample has been tested, the applicant receives a report detailing the results of the testing.
- Declaration of Conformity
Applicants must guarantee that the rest of their products manufactures will be made exactly as the tested sample was.
- Issue Certificate
Products can be marked with the Oeko-Tex label after the applicant receives an Oeko-Tex certificate from the testing institute.
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