Tara Tuesdays – Part Two

The following post is the second week of ‘Tara Tuesdays’, where my friend ‘T Girl aka Tara’ gives us some insight into her very crafty (and amusing) life.  I note that she neglected to mention the incident with the maggots in the posh alpaca yarn she’d purchased at a knitting show!  Sorry for the small photo of the mittens by the way, can’t make it bigger I’m afraid.  I’m very pleased to see the result of all Tara’s square cutting with my Accuquilt fabric cutter, the patchwork blanket is looking good – now you just need to sew it together Tara!  Over to the lady herself:

Up until very recently I was working full time in London commuting a 4 hour journey each day. Although this was exhausting, I made best use of my time and after having my coffee and putting on my makeup, I used to knit like crazy! The return journey was always more productive as I had more time than on the morning commute. People were fascinated by what I was doing and I was often stared at for the whole journey home. This could be a bit off putting especially when I made a mistake and was concentrating really hard! It was also a bit tricky when I used longer needles as I didn’t want to poke or stab anyone while I was working!

Since finding my love for all things fabric & yarn related, my collection of both has grown massively! I scour charity shops for bargains as you can often pick up lovely fabrics here. However, I am a bit of a snob when it comes to yarn and tend to go for Alpaca which is my ultimate favourite! I find it so gorgeous to knit with and will always try and use this on projects if possible. I am also a huge Rooster fan and think the colours are amazing. However, I would like to see some more autumnal and winter colours available in the future as these tend to be my favourites too!

Here are some pictures of things I have recently made. The mittens were a gift for my Aunt and are being fashionably modelled by her daughter; I used Gooseberry DK Rooster for these. The Hot Water Bottle cover was a gift for my Mum-in-Law and I used Alpaca yarn for this. The colour matched the quilt in her bedroom perfectly, and I was very pleased with the finished result. The booties were for my cousin’s son and were made using Rowan handknit cotton. I love Moss stitich and these were an absolute joy to make!

I have recently tried to sort out my yarn collection as it was getting a bit ridiculous and I managed to set aside some of my less favourites to either recycle to my girlfriends or take to the charity shop. A job well done as long as I don’t end up buying back what I have donated!

I am the sort of person who tends to have lots of projects on the go although I do from time to time have a purge and make loads of the same thing! At the moment I am working on a patchwork blanket which is a Christmas gift (from last year!) for some good friends. I told them when I asked if they would like this as a gift that they would get it as and when it was ready! I have attached a picture of it laid out here and have sewn 3 strips so far! I will try and finish it before I start something else but know what I’m like so may not!

Jo’s Easter Bonnet – Baaaaaaa!

I mentioned Jo’s Easter bonnet yesterday.  Here it is in all it’s glory!

I do think that it must have been ‘bonnet wars’ between the parents, who’d have thought of sticking a whole sheep on a bonnet though?!!  I think it’s both design and comedy genius and here is a note from Jo about how she did it:

The sheep idea for an Easter bonnet came to me whilst laying in bed one morning wondering how I was going to keep Beth entertained for the day, she was poorly enough not to be going to preschool but not poorly enough to not need some occupying. I had once before made a pig from papier mâché but admittedly that was during my last year at primary school so over 20 years ago!

Beth, Max and I took a trip to Hobbycraft and purchased some black paint, all other items I already had at home. I blew up a balloon and stood it in a glass tumbler, then mixed some pva glue with water to make the paste, and ripped up loads of newspaper. Beth and I dipped the paper into the paste and layered it on the balloon. It was very messy which 3 year old Beth loved.

It worked quite well as each layer took about 20 minutes to do which was long enough to keep Beth entertained without becoming bored, and then she could go and rest whilst it dried in the sun. We followed the newspaper layer with a layer of plain paper, then peppa pig magazine, another of newspaper, and then two of kitchen roll. 

For the sheep ears I cut triangular shapes out of a paper cup then layered some kitchen roll over to mould the shape I needed. I used the base of the paper cup for the sheep face but after attaching it to the body I realised it made the animal look like a pig and later, once dried, had to saw it off with a steak knife. In the end I made the face of the sheep using the circle I had cut out the bottom of the balloon (to allow it to sit on the hat) by gluing it to the front of the animal, layering some kitchen roll over it then painting it black once it had dried. The legs were made from card painted black and glued onto the side of the hat, along with with egg box feet.

I painted the hat green to make it look like grass, then painted the body of the animal (the balloon) white and covered it in cotton wool balls. I then used some flowers from Beth’s fuzzy felt box for decoration. Finally I added some pink ribbon to secure it to Beth’s head.

The whole process probably took the length of one entire day but having two small children around it was stretched over two weeks and turned the kitchen into an art and craft centre. One day my husband returned from work and quizzed me over the gluey glass tumbler as it actually looked like the dregs of Baileys in the glass, he was concerned I’d had such a bad day I had taken to drink!

We didn’t win the hat competition, most likely because the whole thing had become so heavy once all the glue and paint was added that Beth wasn’t able to keep it on her head which rather defeated the object of it being a hat! But, we had great fun making the sheep which was a lot more satisfying than winning a competition.

An Excuse For Cake @ Handmade In Hunton’s Home!

I wrote yesterday about going to see Judi at Handmade in Hunton today for crochet corner, well I am back from my escapades, sans crochet flower but full of lavender shortbread!  However, before we got going, a little friend of Judi’s came to say hi in the garden, I think he wanted some of the gorgeous feast Judi put together and I added my contribution of ginger biscuits to the scones, cupcakes and lavender shortbread!

I said yesterday that Jenny was ‘speed challenged’, well she had read this by the time I saw her this afternoon and she was determined to make a bag for her mum in the time we were at Judi’s – and she did!  I have therefore renamed her Usain Bolt – that was some QUICK work.  A touch quicker than the patchwork blanket she had been working on.  She took us all by surprise so there was no champagne on hand to celebrate this time!  I’m not sure she got the ‘memo’ though that we were actually crocheting today…

Lorna however (Dilly Dally by name and admittedly by nature too!) sped along with her crochet flower and did far more than I did.  She normally does things incredibly slowly so as to get it right, but no no no, today she was on top form and picked up the crochet technique really quickly.  Judi’s masterclass was going well (imagine she has clocked by now that I ran off with her crochet hook):

Jo always goes for something a bit more obscure and she decided she wanted to make a laminated fitted table cloth.  I know her husband won’t read this, but she sewed it according to his measurements but didn’t cut anything til she had fitted the finished item on the table when she got home.  She was fully prepared to unpick the whole thing in case her husband measured in cm rather than inches!  Needless to say it was, as usual, pretty damn perfect and all sewn with laminated cotton on a little John Lewis sewing machine!

Jo did throw us a curve ball when she showed us a photo of her daughter in her ‘Easter bonnet’.  Now, we all knew Jo had to make this Easter bonnet, but what we didn’t realise was that she’d throw down the gauntlet and go for a farm like sculptural kind of feel – a full on sheep on an Easter bonnet using at least three bags of cotton wool balls?  Genius.  I’ve asked Jo to write a blog post for me on how she did it.  I’ll never think of Easter bonnets the same again.

And my job for today?  Judi gave me a great lesson on the crochet flower, something for me to work on this week.  She also asked for one ball of each of the Rooster yarn colours I stock (double knit).  I thought it made quite a nice photo! Check out the six new colours on the right, a selection of seaside inspired colours from Rooster, will post more detail this week about those.

Crochet Corner with Handmade in Hunton!

Tomorrow I am off to see Judi from Handmade in Hunton where she will refresh my memory on my ‘crochet training’.

Judi and I have known each other for years and our little creative group consists of the two of us plus: Jenny, Jo and Lorna.  Jo and I went to school together and bizarrely ended up working at the same place about 10 years ago after not seeing each other for years.  She loves a sewing challenge and will be making a couple of quilt panels.

Lorna is a detail orientated fabric fan, she loves cute and pretty and does everything in miniature.  At her wedding last year I was one of her bridesmaids and witnessed first hand the detail that goes through her mind.  Note the term ‘detail orientated’ does not necessarily equate to bridezilla, I shall leave it to your imagination whether or not this term may or may not have applied to this scenario!

Judi, Jo and Jenny (more about her in a sec) made a wedding apron for Lorna and all her 50 metres or so of bunting for the wedding!  I was only excused from this task as I was on bridesmaid duties!

Now, in a poor lesson in marketing, I have not chosen any pictures with my own fabrics in, but I can assure you there were some!  I’m very generous, I offer friends and family a discount… I charge them double.

And on to Jenny, who I believe may have ironed on the vilene the wrong way round and scarred her ironing board for life when tasked with Lorna’s apron letters.  She is a patchwork impressario.  Every time she finishes a project we toast it with champagne but in all in honesty this isn’t that often as I’d called her pieces ‘labours of love’.  Do you understand my code words there?  Translate as… speed challenged.  Note that the spare hand belongs to the lovely Sue, aka ‘Old Bean’.  She doesn’t sew but her sister is a total whizz with a sewing machine!  She was temporarily granted admission to our crafty collective.

Tomorrow I’m planning to come away with the technique to crochet a flower.  I can easily knit one, but crochet… not so easy for me.  I will also be taking some new Rooster yarn product photos at Judi’s lovely home.  Look out for them in tomorrow’s blog (unless I get repetitive strain injury from the crochet flowers, then it will be Monday).

ps I’ve had lots of feedback on the Harry Potter Studio Tour blog.  I’m glad so many of you are encouraged to go.  I’ve had requests for information from all over the world based on that one blog post.  At least I know it can be found via Google!

pps An update on my running.  I said a few weeks ago that I wanted to ‘learn’ to run.  Well, I have beaten my personal best. I won’t share it with you as it’s still quite pitiful, but I am proud!  The only thing is that my dog Poppy has hip dysplasia and is a poor old (young) thing and she can’t keep up with me.  Don’t get excited, it’s more that she only does a trot, stops and sniffs the grass.  I’m not going fast!  Need to work on the strategy for keeping my eye on my dog whilst trying desperately to keep running!

Harry Potter Studio Tour – Emma’s Fabric Studio ‘Creative Outing’!

Yesterday I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Leavesden Studios, just north of London.  I took my sister with me and classed it as an Emma’s Fabric Studio ‘Creative Outing’!  Wow, we didn’t expect to be there for five hours and to have been engrossed every single moment of our time there.  I’m going again in June and I cannot wait to go back.  So, if you have a trip booked and don’t want the details then please don’t read this post, leave it as a surprise.  If you want the details, here they are:

We arrived late and were panicking… we shouldn’t have worried.  You go through in a group of about 150 through to 3 different areas (make sure you view the Cupboard Under The Stairs as you queue up to go in!).  After this, you are free to mingle with the other people and do as you wish.  This ‘phased’ approach meant we went through in manageable groups, first to a room of our own, secondly to  a luxurious cinema with lovely leather seats and then to the Great Hall…. and what a great Hall it was!  Here you will find a really big space with tables to the sides and of course an open ceiling.  You’ll find out the secrets of the floating candles, you’ll realise the stone floor is indeed stone and you will be able to see the Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff uniforms on manequins.  At the end of the room you’ll see the Professors, the House Point counter and Dumbledore’s podium.  Whilst there are ropes across, you can easily get great pictures, which are positively encouraged by the staff.

After we left the Great Hall, you were then free to meander through the various parts of the Studio tour.  We looked at props and costumes that were used as part of the Yule Ball, wigs/masks/clothing that were used throughout.  I started to realise I needed to focus this blog post a little bit on the costumes and the fabrics, so I took many images of things like Ron’s Yule Ball home made outfit, Luna Lovegood’s outfit and shoes and the Beauxbatons outfits and hats (with wooden mould!):

After this we moved onto various sets, the Gryffindor common room and boys dormitory where I found the most fabulous home made knitted patchwork blanket on Ron’s bed (another Mrs Weasley item to be treasured!):

Throughout this tour, every detail was amazing, every single thing you see on screen had been made to perfection, as required for the scene.  The knitted patchwork blanket was pulled together with a darker yarn which really gave it a home made feel and put together out of whatever colour wool was to hand!  The walls of the Gryffindor common room were somehow decorated with this fascinating tapestry type heavy fabric.  I couldn’t touch it of course, but this is what it looked like:

The Guide Book states that the Set Decoration Department chose tapestries for a medieval look with prominent use of scarlet and gold which are the Gryffindor colours.

Whilst I said everything was done to perfection, I didn’t necessarily mean that every piece was indeed leather bound, silver, gold or real brick and stone.  Some things, like the books in Dumbledore’s office were the poshest ‘bodge job’ I’ve ever seen.  They are phone directories, leather bound!

For info, the lighting differed throughout the tour and I found it really difficult to get good images of everything which is where my official guide book comes in handy, but the photos in this blog are my own.  I only took my compact digital camera and realised lots of people took their SLRs, so next time I’m taking the big guns with me!  We looked at the Potions classroom and got a great understanding of how they developed all the jars and what was in them.  Such effort went into every single one of them.  The same with Hagrid’s Hut, which was small, dark and cluttered (there were two different versions of this set depending on what the crew were trying to achieve with the scene they were shooting):

We looked at all the green screen work and avoided the queue to be photographed riding on a broomstick.  Whilst it looked fab, my sister and I decided to move onto the Ministry of Magic (we were both a bit dishevelled after getting caught in the rain, didn’t want our photos taken!).  When I say there was a queue, we’re not talking Alton Towers at the height of summer… no no no… everything flowed really well because of course you are introduced to the tour in large groups of about 150, which paces things.  There are however loads of people using the audio tours who seemed to linger for ages and were in worlds of their own.  And naturally there were a few boisterous children but on the whole both the children and the adults were totally transfixed.

We moved onto the Ministry of Magic and learned how things were done and how the porcelain looking tiles were in fact wood covered in a special coating and shaded to look more ’tile’ like.  It was such an impressive sight, as was Umbridge’s office and various costumes, a bit like being slapped in the face by a big pink ball of bubblegum and sickly sweet as was her horrid character!

I must mention The Burrow, the Weasley’s house.  It was amazing, with an iron that controlled itself and knitting that knitted itself, my idea of a fabulous invention!

We finished this huge section of sets by walking around the amazing Ministry of Magic sculpture, looking at the Malfoy family and Death Eater outfits and reading some letters and Quibbler editions.  Once you leave this part you cannot re-enter it, you then move on to the Back Lot and the next indoor section:

By this point, Lucy and I had taken in so much information that we realised we’d been in a relatively small area for a couple of hours and needed a drink, so off we went for a Butterbeer.  We were advised Butterbeer tastes likes butterscotch and shortbread, but we only ordered one to share, topped with cream.  Wow… sugary and nice, but it then got a little sickly. The food and drink weren’t vastly overpriced like many other places are.  A sandwich was about £2.95.  Better than the £6.00 I paid in Dublin at the Guinness Factory!  We looked at the outdoor sets and large props and then made our way through the creature area.  The detail on Hagrid’s face was unbelievable, check out the thread veins if you go, and the pores too.  Poor old Dobby was there.  I swear my sister wanted to chuck her sock at him, revive him and take him home. Throughout this part of the tour one of my favourite people, Warwick Davis, was doing some of the TV presentations which were great to watch.

And then onto the much anticipated Diagon Alley, which was a little smaller than expected but the detail, again, that was in these sets was incredible.  We actually only saw the outside shop fronts, we couldn’t go in.  Gringotts was there too.  It was a relatively short (in length) set so I found it really hard to take photos, this was the best I got:

After moving through to look at architectural drawings (mind bogglingly amazing) and white card models, we then went through a gallery and ultimately onto the end of the tour, which was the most spectacular.  As we walked round the corner I kept hearing gasps and ‘wow’ noises.  It was a large scale model of Hogwarts with the most intricate detail.  I had seen the images of the model in the newspapers in the weeks before the tour opened, but it was more spectacular in real life.  My photos don’t really do it justice, but take time to look round this entire model, it’s well worth a second look!

Now, I do apologise to the ‘Couple in the Photo’ but so many people were taking these photos it was impossible for me to take one without people.  Plus, they add perspective to the size of the model!

All in all, a truly fabulous experience, good value, good facilities whilst we were there.  The shop was expensive, but we expected that didn’t we?!  The staff were excellent and so helpful and enthusiastic.  I definitely want to do some sort of dressing up when I go again in June, not the full monty but maybe we’ll all get Gryffindor ties or something.  There were lots of people in costume, mainly under the age of ten…

I’m off to re-start Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – toodle pip and goodnight!

Tara Tuesdays – Part One

As promised last week, from now on Tuesdays at Emma’s Fabric Studio blog are known as ‘Tara Tuesdays’ where my sewing and knitting friend Tara, aka T Girl, will write about her weekly shennanigans (don’t you just love that word?!).  So, from me (Emma) – over to T Girl!

How my obsession started and how Emma and I met

After acquiring a vintage Singer sewing machine and bags of yarn from a good friend (his Mum was a professional seamstress and had recently sadly passed away), I decided that I needed to do something with both the machine and the yarn. Both of my Nan’s taught me to knit and sew when I was little and I knew that my Aunt was a fabulous knitter and sewer. I asked her if she could help me learn to knit again and once I started there was no stopping me! I made my first scarf using some very fine merino wool which was quite a difficult first project but one that I was determined to finish!

This was the just the start for me and you can imagine my delight when a booklet dropped through my letterbox with details of Adult Education courses in my area covering both knitting and sewing! By this time I had knitted several scarves, and I felt confident that I was no longer a beginner (!) so I decided to enrol for the “Sewing for Beginners” class which is where Emma and I first met.

Our first project was a reversible shopper which I made on my beautiful Singer.

I wasn’t content however with making just the one bag, oh no, I had to make two!  When I had my first “Show & Tell” session I was so pleased with myself and kept thinking how proud my Nan would have been of me. Also, having no experience what so ever of buying fabric, I went for the most expensive pieces I could find to use for my bags! As my knowledge has grown I hunt the bargains down now although I do have to do the “feel test” to check the quality of what I am working with!  

I know that we all really enjoyed the classes and making the projects as the hard core of the group continued for 3 terms and although we were sad when it finished, we still continued to meet up every week as we all live very near to each other (apart from Emma!) We were very fortunate to have Nicki Trench as our teacher – here is a link to her blog. She is a fantastic and enthusiastic teacher and we all had such fun with her every week making beautiful and interesting projects.  

The ladies left in the group that still get together now are Emma, Ginny, Mary, Mags, Sue and of course me! All of us bring something different to the group, we all have different levels of knowledge, skills and abilities and what is so lovely is the fact that we all support, help and encourage one another to make beautiful things. We are all up for a challenge and have increased our skills no end compared to when we first started our night class together. I think I am very lucky to have met these lovely people and often wonder what I did with my time before this!  

When I met Tara ‘T Girl’…

I wrote this in January about Tara from my sewing group (Fabric Fruitloops of Crowborough)…

And then there is Tara… how she ever gets things done nobody knows.  She has so many ideas that it keeps her awake at night.  She bought some rustic, organic (etc etc) alpaca wool (yarn to the posh peeps inc Tara) at a knitting show and decided to knit with it on the train to work in London.  Little did she know that the wool hadn’t been treated properly and maggots started appearing as she started knitting.  That would have been a packed train I would NOT have wanted to be on!  I get the impression she pokes people in the ribs with her needles if they annoy her.

Tara’s emails to us all in the sewing group are nothing short of comedy genius.  She goes riding every week and her favourite horse is called Bomber (which frankly doesn’t really bode too well, he sounds like a mad old man bombing around the countryside with Tara hanging on for dear life).  If I didn’t already call Tara ‘T Girl’ (like a yarn bombing superhero) I would probably call her Bomber.  She is THE most enthusiastic person I know, gets incredibly excited about all things crafty and is a very serious soul (we thought our tea cosies looked like Mitre hats):

 

Tara keeps us all amused with her daily emails and I think she needs to share her enthusiasm to a wider audience.  From next week, Tuesdays at Emma’s Fabric Studio will be re-named ‘Tara Tuesdays’ and Tara will take over the blog.  Normally only I (Emma) write on Facebook, Twitter, the blog etc, so I’m handing a little control to Tara!  I hope she tells you about her love of re-enactments at various Castles round the UK and further afield, about her love of Adam Ant and Keane and also of her obsession with sewing machines.  She also has the ability to upcycle almost anything and is a member of the ‘Sewing Circle’, the splinter group to the ‘Fabric Fruitloops of Crowborough’ who take their makes to local fetes and fairs.

So, welcome Tara, I’m glad you’ve joined the blog!

Let’s Knit Feature – Spring 2012

Another one of my fabric bundles has featured in a popular craft magazine.  This time it was Let’s Knit magazine and they featured the Trinny bundle which contains fabrics from the Farm Fresh range from Riley Blake Designs.  The fabric itself featured in the Trend Spotter section under ‘New Season Shopping’.  This bundle has been incredibly popular and has been picked up by a couple of magazines and I love to see things I have chosen being popular enough to feature in magazines.

On a similar note, I did another Etsy Treasury at the weekend: Spring Pastel Rainbow.  I sneakily put in one of my own fabric bundles as I thought it went well with the colour scheme!  Spot the Mina bundle!

CE Marking – Fabric Toys

Note before reading… If you wish to use my post, please ensure you check with me first and link back to this blog. This blog post is intended as a collection of resources for your information and Emma’s Fabric Studio takes no legal responsibility for the content, please use the links provided for this instead.

EDIT UPDATE 2 18.06.2012: Robert Kaufman have provided a statement from their Compliance Manager that I have incorporated into the post below.

EDIT UPDATE 1 03.05.2012: I am still awaiting further information regarding Robert Kaufman and Riley Blake Designs.  I would encourage you to email the fabric companies yourself so that they are fully aware of how many people are awaiting this vital information for CE marking purposes.

CE Marking – Manufacturing Toys

If you manufacture toys and offer them for sale, you are required to ensure your product has the CE mark (CE stands for Conformité Européenne!).  CE marks are required for many products, but because Emma’s Fabric Studio is a fabric retailer, I’m only going to concentrate on the fabric side of things for soft toys.  One of the Directives relates to the ‘Safety of Toys’ so this comes into play mainly for my army of dolly makers out there!  If you look at the Directive relating to ‘Recreational Craft’ thinking this relates to you… think again… this relates to boats!

CE marking states that the product is assessed before being placed on the market and meets EU safety, health and environmental protection requirements.  It is your responsibility as a manufacturer to ensure everything is in place to obtain a CE marking.  Remember, this is for people who manufacture and sell toys, the majority of my customers don’t, so this blog post possibly won’t apply to you so don’t panic!  In America the similar standard is called CPSIA (Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act) and you can obtain information from fabric manufacturers that show whether or not individual products are CPSIA compliant, to enable you to go forward with obtaining your CE marking.

A major part of gaining your CE marking is ‘European standard’ EN71 which relates, not solely, to fabric and the technical data for the components.  You’ll hear this term often as you go through the process.  EN71 is the European standard that pertains to the safety of toys which is the Directive relating to you. CPSIA and EN71 may be different standards and test results need to be confirmed either by checking EN71 guidelines or with someone official. CPSIA compliant fabrics are likely to pass EN71 standards but this is not guaranteed. A company stating they are CPSIA compliant is not good enough in Europe, the fabrics need to comply with EN71.

With regard to CPSIA compliant fabrics, my suppliers are based in America and therefore I refer to CPSIA for this reason. My main fabric suppliers are listed below, please contact them directly if you need further technical data/detail or explanation:

  • Michael Miller, whose CPSIA details are on their website here.
  • Moda, see the very bottom of this page labelled ‘CPSIA’.
  • Riley Blake Designs, awaiting information.
  • Robert Kaufman, The Kona cotton solid shade card states that Kona cotton solid fabrics are tested for harmful substances according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100.  This standard in turn is CPSIA compliant and the details can be found on their own official website here.  The Robert Kaufman Compliance Manager has provided the following statement (in grey only).  Note that if you require the certificate(s) mentioned below, you need to specify which collections you are interested in (suggest you email info@robertkaufman.com):

We are compliant with all standards and laws set forth in the Consumer Product Safety Compliance Act (CPSIA) and the Fabrics Flammability Act (FFA).

The CPSIA only provides requirements for Lead and Phthalates, it currently does not cover other heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury. It has deemed that textiles are exempt from Lead and Phthalate testing as neither are used in the production, dyeing or printing of textiles. We do test for lead and Phthalate on our Slicker quality because of the PU coating used. To the best of my knowledge cadmium and mercury in not used in the production, dyeing or printing of textiles either. The FFA also allow for exemptions in testing. The below fabrics are exempt from flammability testing because they exhibit low burn rates:

“(1) Plain surface fabrics, regardless of fiber content, weighing 2.6 ounces per square yard or more; and
 (2) All fabrics, both plain surface and raised-fiber surface, regardless of weight, made entirely from any of the following fibers or entirely from combination of the following fibers: acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, wool.”

Our fleece, Kona Cottons, sheeting prints and poplin solids and prints all qualify for one the above exemption.  We do test annually the goods that are not exempt. I can provide a General Certificate of Conformity GCC stating our compliance.  I must list a fabric description and collection on the certificate.

Finally, to obtain your CE marking you need to carry out testing or self certify.  Be sure to check the CE website (the link is at the end of this paragraph) to ensure your paperwork is in order, your testing is done as appropriate and your pathway to achieving CE marking is documented.  I have been asked a number of times if the fabrics I sell have the CE mark.  Please remember that it’s the product that you manufacture (if you’re in the business of soft toy manufacture) that actually requires the CE mark. I am not an expert on this subject but I feel an informed customer and also an informed fabric retailer are certainly good things to be! One place you can get advice from is your local Trading Standards team, who sit within your county council structure.  Look also at the official EU site for CE marking here and the Business Link guidance for CE marking here.