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  • Help with selling textile products

    Hello,

    I am about to start selling my handmade products online (and maybe at craft fairs in the future) but have got very confused on all the legal rules regarding selling textile products and I was wondering if anybody had any experience in this? I have checked with trading standards but they basically said its up to me to interpret what the rules mean . This will be a small scale business - just me, working from my home

    Basically what I need to know is whether or not I am legally required to have labels on my products and if so what information is required on these labels?

    The main products I am planning on selling are:

    Bunting
    Cushion covers
    Tote bags

    I have read varied information about having labels on textile products but I'm not sure what applies to me!

    Do I need fibre content labels? Do I need labels with my business name and address? Do I need 'keep away from fire' labels on any of these products? If I do need any of these labels, do they have to be sewn in or can they be a swing tag?

    Also, I have read that you have to be able to confirm that you have bought your material from a reputable supplier - how does this work if I use upcycled materials?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I've gotten very confused and a bit worried about it all! I want to make sure I'm doing everything the right way before I start selling.

    Thank you

  • #2
    Firstly, welcome to the forum.

    Unfortunately, I can't answer your question I but I certainly understand your concerns - I make and sell homemade preserves and the rules and regulations for food sales are very involved and confusing. I have to say I'm not impressed with your response from Trading Standards - they are the people who are supposed to be trained and have the experience to explain the rules and regulations! How people like yourself are supposed to know and interpret the rules is perplexing.

    Having done my usual vent on rules & regs, I can only recommend that you be patient until our resident textile person (Caroleecrafts) sees your post. Caroline makes and sells a vast range of textile items, both direct to customers and online, and has been doing so for many years; I am sure she will happily give you what advice she can.

    Good luck with your venture and I hope you can clarify what labelling etc you need to have for your business.
    Linda


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    • #3
      Hi, welcome to the forum.
      Unless you have them, before you can sell anything regardless, you need Public and Product insurance as a minimum.
      As far as labelling are concerned, no doubt one of our members that sew and sell can advise you on product requirements.

      Dave.

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      • #4
        Hello and welcome to the forum. As Linda says I work in textiles. Most items do not need content labels but does not hurt and looks professional, along with washing instructions etc. These can be bought from eBay quite reasonably. The items that do need rules and regs are toys or anything that could be a toy. I steer away from toys although you can self assess a nightmare.

        Insurance is a must when selling as you never know.

        With regards to recycled fabric just watch the fire retardant bit. I only work in cotton or silk and always test so you can label properly. You do not need your address on an item but always on a website. Worth branding your makes with your company name though as we all want to drive sales.

        Your specific products such as bunting are decorative would not hurt to add a label to that effect. Cushion covers care labels and the same for tote bags. Hope that helps a bit but please ask if you need any other info.

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        • #5
          Thank you all for your quick and helpful responses

          I have recently bought some product and liability insurance so I’m all set up for that!

          I was planning to sew in a little label with my logo on my designs and then adding a swing tag with fibre content & care instructions on it. Do you think that is enough?

          Sorry, I don’t quite understand - do you mean that tote bags and cushion covers do require care labels sewn in? What about ‘keep away from fire’ labels?

          I mainly use cotton fabrics and I definitely plan to stay away from toys....far too many scary regulations!!

          This may be a silly question with an obvious answer (!), but can I ask how you would go about testing your recycled fabric?

          Thanks again all for your help so far

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          • #6
            I would put a care label inside the cushion and tote bag as swings can get lost. If using recycled fabric and not sure what it is put a label inside which states recycled fabric. The fire and safety bit for cushions really refers to the pad and if these are bought from a reputable seller should all be labelled to CE standard etc.

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            • #7
              Thank you so much, I’ve spent so many hours trying to find out this information...I should have come here first!!

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