There is a new law due to be enforced on Februrary 10th called the CPSIA. This is a VERY important law which came about after so many toys were found tainted with lead. This law requires a great deal of testing for any product (including clothing) made for children 12 and under. Yay, let's keep our kids safe!!
BUT--this law is having unintended consequences. Many people who handmake items for children will no longer be able to do so due to the expensive testing requirement. While this might be fine for Mattel, Grandpa Bob who makes toy trains out of wood in his basement because he loves to see children smile can no longer do this (well, he can make them, but can't pass them out!). MANY shops on etsy have had to close their doors, or about to due to this law and being unable to afford testing (which includes items such as handknit mittens, which are not typically found to contain lead!). With the way the economy is going, it seems to be a backwards decision.
It needs to be amended!
Here are a couple of great links to learn more...
And this can not only give you more information, but give you an idea of how to take action to save handmade!
Besides really feeling for those who have to close their shops, and those of us that will miss out on some wonderful, delightful handcrafted items, this does directly affect me. Later this year I was planning on opening shop on some name art that I have been making for years for friends and relatives. My father, who has handmade the frames and cut the mats for my artwork, has been teaching my husband and I to take it over to handle (hopefully!) a higher volume.
Sadly, this dream of mine may never take place if this law is not amended--because even though it is to be hung on a wall, not to even really be touched by a child (even though the paint I use IS non-toxic!), it is included in this blanket law. And my dream is only one of many that will be defeated.