Cords | CE Marking Handmade Toys Collective




cordsAll the technical info for the cords is described in our loops and lengths wiki (for members only) However its come to our attention that we need to clarify a little on the cords front to be clear.

I’d like to thank Anna for bringing our attention to this  and sharing her pictures.

What are cords?

Cords are used in the regs to describe any length of fabric which could pose a strangulation hazard, this would include, ribbon, string, plaited fabric, and lengths  of fabric which are flexible, straps, loose spring or anything else you wonderful people can come up with that may fit the bill.


The smaller size is within length limits, larger size would not be within the limits for cords

N17349580_10154701527221888_1726684523125117235_o (1)ote that bolded ‘lengths of fabric’ that are flexible, as its something important – it comes into play when toy making (no pun intended!)

For example..

these lovely bunny ears. Attached to the ring they appear to conform, but when unraveled or pulled off of the ring (which they are designed to do for washing) they look a bit different, and the total length equals longer than the 22cms for the cord length rules.

As the standards are designed to apply to vast amounts of different toys, it doesn’t explain things in huge amounts of detail as to what width a flexible piece of fabric turns from a cord into just general fabric, or even at what thickness,  this frustratingly turns into another ‘is it or isn’t it’ issue, as to whether the wider part of the ears counts as part of the ‘cord’. If it does not, only the inner unshaped part would count, thus making it possible to leave the ears as they are, or, if  it all counts as flexible textile, it puts the maker at risk to not following the standards. It could possibly be arguable either way.

Now obviously this is a total shame if its the latter, as they are adorable as they are…but safety first.

The possible solutions would be:

  1. To fix the ears permanantly to the ring or fix them so that they cannot be removed by a child.
  2. to make the ears shorter
  3. to stuff the ears or pad them, as they no longer become a hazard once stuffed as they’re less likely to wrap around the neck
  4. to redesign the pattern so the ears were on one edge, to be looped through a button hole on the bottom edge.
  5. to fix the ears so they do not make one long length when undone

So all is not lost completely, just needs a bit more thinking.

We can’t advise you on how to interpret the standards in a case like this, but we can advise you to choose safety for your own liability and go with worst case scenario to cover yourself. Its down to you as the manufacturer to make sure you comply with the standards.

Design with safety in mind

Its likely that this lengths of fabric/cords will cause issues elsewhere, so its worth remembering the ‘magic’ 22cms length and working around that when designing toys with free cords. If you’re working with a loop or circle of fabric 38cms is the limit you should work to, to prevent a head being put through it.

Hope this helps!