What is Oeko-Tex?
You may have heard of labels like Oeko-Tex being thrown about, and if you’re textile savvy you might even know what it means. We make our sheets from OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified fabric and we explain what it is and why this is the right choice for healthy sleep.
What is the Oeko-Tex Standard?
In the early 1990’s, as concern grew for the risks posed by chemicals in everyday textiles, a global fabric safety standard was developed in Europe to ensure that human health is not harmed by contact with fabrics.
This global safety standard is the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 which is an independent third party certification system to evaluate the safety of textile products and accessories against more than 100 known or suspected harmful chemicals.
What kind of products can be certified?
The standard is used to test textiles at all levels of processing ranging from raw fabric to finished product, as well as any accessories used such as buttons, zippers and thread.
What is tested?
The OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 tests a very long list of chemicals, the same list as tested by the organic GOTS standard. It takes into account chemicals which are legally regulated such as banned Azo dyes, flame retardants, pentachlorophenol and heavy metals as well as chemicals thought to be harmful even if they’re not currently regulated.
Of note is the restriction on the presence of formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen and is often used in textiles as an anti-wrinkle treatment. We don't know about you, but we're embracing the wrinkles!
The limits on permitted levels of chemicals vary with the intended use of the fabric, thus there are four product classes recognised, with stricter requirements applied to products which will have closer contact with skin. Our cotton sheets are made from fabric certified according to product class II.
Class I – products for children aged 3 years and under
Class II – items in close contact with skin, such as underwear or bedding
Class III – items not in direct contact with skin, such as outerwear
Class IV – furnishings such as curtains, carpets or tablecloths
Fabrics are also required to have a pH level which is skin friendly so as not to cause irritation or moisture loss.
Can you trust it?
Because the testing is performed by globally recognised third-party laboratories which are independent of the manufacturers of the fabric, the Oeko-Tex standard is one of the most stringent and reliable testing certification systems in the world. The certification is voluntary and manufacturers must update and renew it every year. Control tests are performed regularly to ensure all the requirements are still being met. So, yes! You can rest easy knowing that if your sheets are made from certified fabric, they will be kind to your skin and kind to your health.
For more information and the full table of limits, visit the Oeko-Tex website at https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/business/certifications_and_services/ots_100/ots_100_start.xhtml