CE testing stage 1: what everybody who makes toys should know, and do.

Good morning all and welcome.

Hello especially to new readers, hope you find this an interesting and informative blog. (I assume you’re here because I’m going to talk about CE testing and how I make my dolls so they will pass)

Firstly what is CE? good question. This is what www.ce-marking.org say:

The letters “CE
are the abbreviation of French phrase “Conformité Européene” which
literally means “European Conformity”. The term initially used was “EC
Mark” and it was officially replaced by “CE Marking” in the Directive 93/68/EEC in 1993. “CE Marking” is now used in all EU official documents.

Ok what has that got to do with my making dolls? This time from www.ce-marking.com/toys.html

The CE Marking is the manufacturer’s declaration
that his toys meet the essential requirements of the European Toy
Safety Directive (TSD) 88/378/eec, and that such toys are therefore entitled to free movement throughout the 28 European Union & EFTA member states.

Right then, a CE mark on a toy is a way of the purchaser knowing that toy has been tested to certain safety standards, so they can feel safe when giving that toy to a child.
The tests are very thorough and strict covering all aspects of the manufacture and materials used, this especially makes a difference to me as my ‘toys’ are soft cloth dolls and as such can not be marketed to children over 36 months. It is just the law that as it is a soft toy, babies will be drawn to it and as such it must comply with all the from birth tests. Fingers crossed for those poor dolls.
The tests are broken down into three parts
  1. mechanical and physical properties
  2. flammability
  3. migration of certain elements and organic chemical compounds. 
If you are a prospective toy maker or even a toy maker who hasn’t got CE certified yet (you are breaking the law in Britain and Europe), I thoroughly recommend you to go to Conformance Ltd and buy their CE pack, it contains most things you need for testing and they are around to help you find anything else. www.conformance.co.uk.
Well today’s blog post is just going to concentrate on part 1 tests, which I carried out yesterday with the help of Dr. J. (always helpful to have an extra pair of hands for these things).

My mini Bees don’t have any parts that fit into the small parts cylinder, (choking test) so as long as nothing falls off during the rest of the tests, I can ‘pass’ that section.

Firstly for this doll, each part needs to be twisted 180 degrees, held for 10 seconds and then twisted the other way.

Pass, ticks, go on the checklist.
No automatic alt text available.
Next tension test, the seams, head and limbs need to withstand 7.2 kg, that’s this pile of tins. Even her hair as that is sewn on needed to be tested. As I didn’t do the test on the same day as this photo though, we used other tins, some cat litter and a big bag of rice. 
Clamps need to be attached at least 3cm apart and equal distance from the seams, tricky that part of the doll slipped out a few times.

Having survived all that the poor little darling had to be prodded with the end of a wooden spoon to see if any holes had appeared.

Well she survived and so did her dress, (yes that has seams to test too), hurray!!

Oh and guess what after completing all the tests, the poor subject needs to be washed and tested again.
oh my……..

Fire next week, can you wait?………………………………..
At least the condemned had a hearty last meal.
Hugs and Kisses

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