How is my article tested?

The criteria and limit values of the OEKO-TEX® tests for harmful substances according to STANDARD 100 are always based on the actual intended use of a textile item.

Here, the following principle applies: The more intensively a textile comes into contact with the skin (and the more sensitive the skin), the higher the human ecological requirements to be met.

Products with direct and/or intensive skin contact (e.g. baby articles, underwear, sports textiles, bed linen or terry towels) therefore have to meet more stringent requirements than garments worn away from the skin (e.g. jackets or coats) or furnishing materials (e.g. stores or table cloth).

Accordingly, successfully tested textile products are allocated to four different product classes:

  • Product class I: Textiles and textile toys for babies and small children up to the age of three, e.g. underwear, romper suits, bed linen, bedding, soft toys etc.
  • Product class II:
    Textiles which, when used as intended, have a large part of their surface in direct contact with the skin, e.g. underwear, bed linen, terry cloth items, shirts, blouses etc.
  • Product class III:
    Textiles which, when used as intended, have no or only a little part of their surface in direct contact with the skin, e.g. jackets, coats, facing materials etc.
  • Product class IV: Furnishing materials for decorative purposes such as table linen and curtains, but also textile wall and floor coverings etc.

Test methodology

The OEKO-TEX® test methodology is mainly based on the release of harmful substances from the materials to be tested. According to the opinion of the OEKO-TEX® Association, this is the most important concern for garments (possible contact with skin and risk of absorption through the skin). Strict methods are selected for the release of harmful substances.

  • Materials for babies and toddlers are additionally tested for colour fastness using a simulation of sucking /nibbling with a synthetic saliva and perspiration solution. Colourants must have a very high colour fastness level at this test.
  • Large-scale materials, which are encountered in the area of furnishing materials, are tested additionally for the emission of specific harmful substances into the air.
  • Odours that are atypical for the materials automatically lead to the exclusion of a certification for all articles