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Standards Foster Creativity


March is National Craft Month

It's time to get crafty - March is National Craft Month! While the most important element of any crafting activity is your own imagination, standards play an important role in making craft supplies safe, effective, and easy to use.

For the novice crafter, perhaps nothing is easier - and more satisfying - than bringing color to an object with a fresh coat of paint. Whatever palette you choose, paint is guided by standards that assure it is safe to use and does not have high levels of lead. ASTM D3618-05(2015), Standard Test Method for Detection of Lead in Paint and Dried Paint Films, provides a screening test to determine if the solids in a paint contain more than 0.5% lead. It was developed by ASTM International, a member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute.

Knitting is another craft that brings equal parts inspiration and relaxation to those who enjoy it. . Knitting instructions for stuffed animals, sweaters, and everything in between use an established set of definitions such as that laid out in ISO 4921:2000, Knitting - Basic Concepts - Vocabulary. This standard was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 38, Textiles, subcommittee (SC) 20, Fabric descriptions. ASTM is the ANSI-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to TC 38.

Crafts that involve sewing may seem intimidating, but with the right tools and simple patterns, anyone can bring beautiful colors and patterns into their home decor or wardrobe. A free pattern and instructions are available online for a simple cloth bag that uses two fabrics - one for the exterior and one for the lining - allowing you to easily personalize it to your taste. The sewing machine needed to finish the job is guided by standards such as IEC 60335-2-28 Ed. 4.1 b:2008, Household and Similar Electrical Appliances - Safety - Part 2-28: Particular Requirements for Sewing Machines. Developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)'s TC 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances, this standard deals with the safety of electric sewing machines used in the household, or by laymen in shops and light industry. The U.S. holds the secretariat for this TC, with UL designated by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as administrative secretariat and Randi Myers of UL as secretary. UL, an ANSI member and audited designator, is also the ANSI-approved U.S. TAG administrator for TC 61.

This March, take up the craft of your choosing to celebrate National Craft Month. Thanks to standards, your newfound or old favorite hobby will be as safe as it is enjoyable.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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