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, the testing looks 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.
During Oeko-Tex certification, common chemicals tested for include arsenic, lead, phthalates, formaldehyde, and pesticides. All substances labeled as harmful to human health. Additionally, testing fabrics ensures they have a pH that is acceptable to human skin. Products are put 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 primarily undergo testing 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, first follow this 5-step process:
1. 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
- A list of supplier’s 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. Then the textile is tested according to the plan and following all Oeko-Tex parameters.
3. Report is Complied
After the sample has been tested, the applicant receives a report detailing the results of the testing.
4. Declaration of Conformity
Applicants must guarantee that the rest of their products manufactures will be made exactly as the tested sample was.
5. Issue Certificate
Products can be marked with the Oeko-Tex label after the applicant receives an Oeko-Tex certificate from the testing institute.