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How To Determine A Premium Montessori Material?

We often have many customers contacted our company to express how they felt cheated by other discount vendors/supplier who claimed their products were premium quality, but were not (hereafter, refer to "Discount Quality Materials"). These products experience immediate paint chipping, horrible paint smells, etc. In response to our conversation with those victims, We AI JIA MONTESSORI  Industrial Group Ltd decided to prepare this guideline for our customers on the following topics:


How to Differentiate Premium Quality vs. Discounted Quality

Premium quality Montessori materials are sold by industry-leading companies such as Nienhuis Montessori and Ai Jia Montessori  Industrial(Aplus Montessori). They provide excellent quality products made of solid beechwood and Baltic birch plywood with perfect finishing. A Montessori material can be recognized as premium quality only if it meets all of the following requirements:

  • The materials must be produced based on the authentic blueprints. All Montessori materials must be made according to the authentic blueprints, since the blueprints contain many technical details regarding the products' safety control. Currently, many discount vendors/supplier purchase materials made in Asia which copies either Nienhuis or Aplus Montessori materials without paying attention to safety controls.
  • The production facility must be 100% owned by the Montessori materials supplier so that there will be a 360-degree quality-control monitoring system implemented at the factory according to the specifications listed on the authentic blueprints. Currently, many discount vendors/supplier are buying materials from wooden toy manufacturers and claimed they were professional on Montessori materials,but were not, actually they cannot control such facility's production quality and management behaviors. Most of these manufacturers are not officially Montessori materials supplier which are not audited or certified by the local government.
  • The production facility must be ISO-9001 and ISO-14001 audited and certified by a European independent quality-control auditor such as UK National Quality Association or TUV Rheinland Laboratory. According to our research, many Asian wooden toy factories obtained their ISO licenses from local auditors through bribery, thus avoiding strict audits from European QC auditors.
  • The products must be made of non-toxic paint tested at SGS Laboratory and obtain the CE mark. As the world's one of the largest and most reputable independent testing laboratory, SGS helps us to regularly test its products and make sure all of our products satisfy European and US toy-safety standards. With SGS's recognition, a CE mark can be legally stick on our packages. Currently, many discount supplier still use traditional oil-based paint, which has strong and unpleasant odors when you open the package. Due to the high expense, all other discount suppliers don't test their products at SGS nor their manufacturers, thus releasing potentially dangerous materials to the market.
  • The products must be made of FSC or PEFC certified lumber. As the world's leading Montessori materials producer and distributor, AI JIA Montessori Industrial (Aplus Montessori) actively participate in all kinds of environmental protection programs. Using FSC or PEFC certified lumber is a contribution toward our environmental protection efforts. Currently, all discount vendors and their manufacturers are using non FSC or PEFC certified lumber. They are using local lumber and almost all Asian lumber is not FSC or PEFC certified.
  • A premium-quality Montessori company not only provides premium-quality materials, but also premium-quality customer services. As the world's leading Montessori materials producer and distributor, Montessori Outlet currently has more than 100 employees providing complete customer service worldwide. Most discount vendors have no more than five employees with limited product safety knowledge, and most of them are family members working from home. How can a small reseller with limited production knowledge guarantee adequate product safety and quality control to our kids?

Why People Should Stop Buying Discount-Quality Materials

People should act immediately to stop buying discount-quality materials from other discount vendors, but relying on Nienhuis or Montessori Outlet, because:

  • All discount-quality materials are a violation of federal copyright laws. Nienhuis and Montessori Outlet are the only legal owners of the blueprints that we produce our materials from.
  • No discount-quality materials are made of FSC or PEFC certified lumber, creating significant environmental problems for our earth and our future.
  • All discount-quality materials are made of traditional oil-based paint, which may contain lead and endanger our kids' health.
  • All discount-quality materials are not TUV and CIQ tested, thus not satisfying European and American toy-safety standards and threatening our kids.
  • All discount-quality materials manufacturers are not CIQ certified, thus not qualified to produce Montessori materials.