Monday, 16 June 2014

CE Testing Crochet Toys

If you were to see an old woman weighing bean cans and torturing small crochet creatures in her kitchen, I expect you might suggest she needs medical help. In fact this is just to comply with the safety of toys laws. Don't get me wrong I thoroughly approve of making sure toys are not a threat to children's well being and we always have tried to make the things we make very safe. You can probably feel the but coming: we also believe in upcycling and recycling and we usually only make limited numbers (sometimes only one) of each toy. This it seems is no longer possible. The rules have been made for large manufacturers of toys and we small artisan makers must try to comply.

I have tried to get round the problem of limited numbers of each toy by making a generic toy for testing:

 He has a limb, an ear, some hair, all the different eyes we might use and each side of him is made to a different tension.

Now assemble your torture kit - not shown is a bag full of bean cans and sugar bags weighing in total 9.2 kg
This is me testing a seam.
And when you have tried to stretch him on the rack you have to try and shove a wooden spoon into him . The scales should read 1kg but it is quite hard to do this yourself as well as take the picture. Anyway he has passed all of the tests so far - hooray.

Having said that we rarely make many toys of the same kind there are one or two exceptions so I had the terrible task of selecting one of these dear little mice for the torture chamber. These are one of our best sellers.

Here I am checking that the beads used for his nose and eyes don't come off - they didn't but his tail needs a better way of anchoring it.
He is being very brave!

Here I am trying to pull the hair out of a minion. The fact that he is an evil minion doesn't make me feel any better!

The first lot of tests are done and mostly things have gone well but I am dreading tomorrow when I have to start the flamability tests so I am going to be setting fire to mice - good grief!

The final test for all of these is the chemical migration of dyes test on the yarn and I really don't think it is even possible to find out about this for the vintage yarns we have used.

On a lighter note I wonder if I can sue the government for the damage I have done to my back doing the tension test?

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