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SAFEGUARDS | Softlines NO. 103/15

SafeGuardS baby playing in garden

The Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and the Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China (SAC) jointly published the mandatory standard related to infants and children textile production on 26 May 2015. GB 31701-2015 Safety technical code for infants and children textile products will go into effect on 1 June 2016. Products produced before 1 June 2016 which meet the current relevant requirements of the standard are allowed to be sold until 31 May 2018.

All of the technical content in this standard is compulsory. This standard covers technical requirements for fabric, filling materials and attached components for infants and children’s textile products. The publication of this standard will help to improve market supervision, protect infants, children and environmental safety. Products imported into the Chinese market which do not comply with the requirements of this standard are prohibited from sale. Therefore, the enforcement of this mandatory standard has posed a new challenge and opportunity for foreign brands selling products in China.  

This standard specifies the technical terms and definitions, quality requirements and inspection rules for infants and children’s textile products. This standard is applicable to textile products that are worn or used for infants less than 36 months and children 3 years to 14 years. This standard is not applicable to cloth art, plush toys, cloth craft products, disposable hygiene products, suitcases, handbags and knapsacks, umbrellas, carpets and professional sportswear, etc.

This standard specifies restricted substances (Lead, Cadmium and Phthalates), colour fastness to wet rubbing and flammability requirements, physical and chemical requirements for filling materials, and attached component properties (the size and sharp edge of accessories, cords and drawstrings attributes).

GENERAL REQUIREMENT

  1. Safety technical requirements for infants and children’s textile products are divided into Category A, B and C. Infant textiles shall comply with Category A. Textile products with direct skin contact for children shall at least comply with the requirements of Category B. Textile products without direct skin contact for children shall at least comply with requirements of Category C.
  2. The instructions for use of textile products for infants shall indicate the code of this standard and “products for infants use”. 
  3. The instructions for use of textile products for children shall indicate the code of this standard and the safety category (for example, Category A of GB 31701, Category B of GB 31701 or Category C of GB 31701).
  4. Infant and children’s textile products also shall comply with GB 18401. End products also shall comply with the requirements outlined in the following “TECHNICAL REQUIREMENT” and “OTHER REQUIREMENT” sections of this document.
  5. In addition to these two mandatory safety technical codes (GB 31701 and GB 18401), the products also shall comply with the corresponding product standard requirements.
  6. The safety technical category for infant and children products labelled should be based on GB 31701. Products must meet the mandatory requirements of both GB 31701 and GB 18401TECHNICAL REQUIREMENT.
  • Requirements for fabric

Textile fabrics shall comply with safety technical requirements for GB 31701 as outlined in Table 1.

Table 1

Category

Items

A

B

C

Colour fastness to wet rubbing a / grade ≥

3 (dark 2-3)

2-3

Heavy metals b /(mg/kg)  ≤

Lead

90

Cadmium

100

Phthalates c /(%) ≤

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP),

 dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and

benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)

0.1

Di-isononyl phthalate (DINP),

 Di-n-octyl phthalate(DNOP) and

di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP)

0.1

Flammability d

Class 1 (Normal Flammability)

Note: Flame retardant finish of infant textile is not recommended.  If the textile product is treated with flame retardant, the textile product shall comply with the relevant national legislation and mandatory standards.

a These requirements do not apply to non-dyed and bleached products. GB/T 4841.3 defines a colour as 'depth' if it has a colour depth greater than 1/12 according to the colour cards of standard depths for dyeing with dyestuffs.

b Only coating and pigment dyeing & printing fabrics shall be tested for total lead and cadmium mass fraction.

c Only coating and pigment dyeing & printing fabrics shall be tested.

d Only the shell/outer fabric materials of product shall be tested. There is no need to test fabrics made entirely from any of the following fibers or entirely from combination of the following fibers: wool, acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, olefin, polyester, and not applicable to textiles whose unit area mass are more than 90 g/m2.

  • Requirements for filling materials

Fibre, down and feather fillings used for infant’s and children’s shall comply with the safety technical requirements in GB 18401. Down and feather fillings shall comply with the microbiological requirements in GB/T 17685. Other filling materials shall comply with the safety technical requirements in relevant national legislation and mandatory standards.

  • Requirements for  attached components

Attached components (accessories) of infant and children’s textile products shall be free of sharp points or edges.  Accessories ≤ 3 mm in size on infant’s textiles are inappropriate. The attachment strength of all accessories which can be grabbed or bit by infants shall comply with the criteria in Table 2.

Table 2

Maximum  accessories  size mm

Attachment strengtha (N) ≥

˃ 6

70

3-6

50

≤ 3

a Accessories ≤ 3 mm in size or which cannot be gripped (or become deformed or damaged when gripped) with clamps shall be tested for alteration after washing (see Appendix A).

 

Cords and drawstrings on infant and children’s garments shall comply with the requirements in Table 3. Non-textile accessories shall comply with relevant national legislation and mandatory standards.

Table 3

NO.

Garments for infants and children below the age of 7 years old

Garments for children aged 7 years or older

1

The head and neck areas shall be free of cords.

Cords which adjust the garment size in the hood and neck area shall not have free ends, and other cords shall not have free ends with length ˃ 75 mm.

Hood and neck: when the garment is opening at its largest and laid flat, it shall have no protruding loop. When the garment is opening at the size of the normal wear, the maximum circumference of the protruding loop shall not be ˃ 150 mm. Elastic material may be used only for shoulder and neck straps.

2

Shoulder straps shall be fixed, continuous and without free ends. Decorative cords on shoulder straps shall not have free ends longer than 75 mm or loops longer than 75 mm in circumference.

3

Protruding length of cords for tying around the waist at the fixed point shall not be ˃ 360 mm, and not beyond the lower hem line of a garment.

Protruding length of cords for tying around the waist at the fixed point shall not be ˃ 360 mm.

4

Cords for tightening the cuffs of short sleeves may not extend by more than 75 mm when the short sleeves are fully stretched.

Cords for tightening the cuffs of short sleeves may not extend by more than 140 mm when the sleeves are fully stretched.

5

With the exception of waist belts, garments shall be free of extending or tying cords on the back.

6

Cords for tightening the cuffs of long sleeves shall remain entirely inside the garment when pulled tight.

7

Lower hem cords on garments extending below the hipline may not exceed the lower edge of the garment. Lower hem cords on garments extending to the ankle shall remain entirely inside the garment.

8

Cords on parts of garments other than those mentioned above shall not extend by more than 140 mm when the garment is fully stretched.

9

Free ends of cords may not be tied or used for decoration.

10

Loops attached at both ends and extending from garments shall not be longer than 75 mm around. Loops attached to garments (e.g. belt loops) shall not be longer than 75 mm from end to end.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Infants and children textile products and its packaging shall be free of needles and other sharp objects.

Permanent labels sewn onto infant’s garments should be placed without direct contact to skin.

SGS Global Softlines has extensive network of over 40 laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary background. Regardless if you are in need of chemical testing or services in the fields of inspection, certification, compliance assurance, outsourcing, training or auditing SGS is dedicated to satisfy your needs. Providing service to help your products to be fit for the market requirements of the future – whatever the legal frameworks might be.

For enquiries, please contact:

Louann Spirito
Director Technical Support, Softlines
t: +1 973 461 7919

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