Quality and Standards
Sustainability, quality and safety are key considerations when selecting fabrics, products and fittings. These things are as important to us as they are to our customers, and we work hard with our supply chain partners to make sure that the product is the best it can possibly be. We work with responsible suppliers and manufacturers and are able to pass on the following certifications on many of our products.
Our Organic Fabrics
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Certified Fabric
Where possible we source and use GOTS Certified fabrics in all of our sewn product lines. These are fabrics which are grown, harvested and manufactured within a rigorously controlled, audited environmentally, and socially responsible framework. What does this mean in reality?
Check out this movie about GOTS from the Organic Trade Association.
Fabric Performance Standards
Durability, colour-fastness and lifespan. are key considerations when assessing the quality of a product. Our printed fabrics have been independently tested to ensure their compliance with the following key standards:
BS EN 71-3:2019
Chemical Migration of Toxic Elements:
A test to ensure the fabric does not contain excessive levels of harmful chemicals that would prevent it from being used in CE marked products for children. The test is graded as a pass or fail.
BS EN 105 X12
Dry and Wet Fastness to Rubbing:
A test to determine the resistance of the print to rubbing off and staining other textiles. The test is graded using the Greyscale for Staining where a test score of 5 is excellent and 1 is poor.
BS EN 12945-2
A test to determine the resistance of the fabric to piling. The test is graded visually at set intervals where a test score of 5 is excellent and 1 is poor.
A test that simulates wear of a fabric to determine its durability. The test is graded as using a score with determines its suitability for levels of use.
Printing Ink Certifications
Due to the exclusive nature of our Artwork we have our fabrics printed by trusted partners to the standards shown below. These are vitally important as they ensure that the end product is safe as well as environmentally and socially responsible.
OEKO-TEX Standard 100 (11-29028) and OEKO-TEX Eco Passport Certified Ink (NEP 1612)
If a textile article carries the STANDARD 100 or Eco Passport certification, we can be confident that it has been tested for harmful substances and is harmless to human health. In the modern world, this may sound like an obvious requirement, but you may be surprised, and disappointed to learn that not all printing inks and fabric treatments and residues are entirely safe. We will only permit the use of OEKO certifed inks in the production of our fabrics, so you rest assured that they are entirely safe.
ECOCERT GOTS Certified Ink
The ECOCERT is an extension of the GOTS fabric certification and guarantees the following:
environmentally friendly production and processing processes
respect and improvement of working conditions
promotion of the use of fibres from organic agriculture
prohibition of hazardous inputs such as toxic heavy metals, aromatic solvents etc.
EN71-3 certified indicates that a representative sample has been independently tested to ensure that it meets the requirements of EN71-3. The sample which is tested features a design which utilises all available inks. EN71-3 is part of the CE directive that ensures toys sold in the EU meet a minimum safety standard. Part 3 relates to the migration of harmful elements
Fire Retardant Fabrics
On occasion, due to legal requirements imposed to ensure product safety, such as Fire Retardancy for soft furnishings (floor cushions, bean bags etc.) it is not always possible to use fabrics with the GOTS Certified Fabric Standard. However, in these instances we will work to source the most responsible fabrics possible. Certifications vary upon application, and buyers should satisfy themselves that the product complies for their specific application. Relevant standards are:
BS5852 Crib 5
BS5867-2 Type A, B & C
BS7175 Source 0 - 7
IMO FTP Code 2010 Part 7
IMO FTP Code 2010 Part 8
NFP92 503-505 M1-4
A few words about Colour Fidelity
Our Artists work contains an almost infinite range of colours which are created either digitally, photographically, in the real world or by a combination of these methods. At the point of creation, the colours are exactly as the Artist intends. However, there are then two unavoidable factors applied, both of which can then cause shifts in hue, value and saturation, namely the viewing of the Artwork on our website, and the translation of the original colours to a printable colour set.
Viewing Artwork via Monitor and Screen
When viewing items on our website, the colour and contrast in the images that we see depends a great deal on the settings and type of device on which we view them. For instance, our Graphic and Web Designers use large, high resolution (4K), high dynamic range (HDR) monitors to refine and publish images, whilst these images are tested on regular monitors the brightness and saturation available on these high end monitors can be very different to a mobile phone screen or tablet for instance.
We work hard to balance these differences, but ultimately the individual settings (primarily saturation, brightness and contrast) on a monitor or screen can yield different results to those which are achieved in the real world item.
Translation of Artwork from Digital to the Real World
The Artwork which we view on the website is created in a colour space (a set of pre-defined colours) which works great for screens, but can't be directly reproduced in the printing process. There is no alternative to this, it is simply a product of the very different ways in which the images are produced for output.
Modern monitors, TV's and Mobile Devices use an RGB (Red, Green and Blue) colour space, whereas printers use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) or an extended colour set based around the CMYK set of colours. The key difference between these two colour spaces (apart from the colours used) is that RGB is additive whilst CMYK is subtractive. In practice, this means that RGB outputs start from a black screen and adds a mixture of red, green and blue to render the desired colour, conversely CMYK starts with a white background and subtracts the white by applying a mixture of colours over it to reach the desired colour. Adding all of the RGB colours together achieves white, whilst adding CMYK colours gives black. As we can see, these two media are effectively polar opposites. A further complication is that using RGB we can make 16.7 million colour possibilities, where CMYK offers only 16 thousand so the colour pallette is often reduced and some colour translation can occur.
It should also be noted that the media on which the printing occurs can add another layer of complexity and variation to the matching process.
At Hardy+Christensen we work hard to provide Artwork for production which remains as faithful to the original, and to what we see on the website as possible, however variations can occur and are simply an inherent part of the rather complex process of taking Artwork from the digital world and turning it into a real item.