WASHINGTON — A rare majority of lawmakers has established a new federal agency to ensure the quality of hand embroidery, a heretofore unregulated activity which has, in the past, been a significant political issue.
“Everybody can remember the moments when grandma or an aunt or even your mom gave you some hand-embroidered item done sloppily. This inferior gift or product is dangerous, detrimental to our national reputation, and perhaps even the reason for this sluggish economy worldwide,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“It is imperative that we end this disgrace and ensure that consumers and gift recipients are awarded with something worthwhile. Embroidery can be deadly if not done properly, and embroidery-related deaths have jumped up 100% in the past year. The time to take action is now,” explained Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, an outspoken advocate of the legislation that created the new agency.
Widespread “inferiority” of the handcraft has bothered many embroidery aficionados and professionals, but opponents of the legislation cite a conflict of interest.
“If you own an embroidery business, sure you’ll want to regulate your competition: cheaper, more popular, and do-it-yourself embroidery crafts,” said Nee Dulle, founder of the Hand Embroiderers for Smaller Government. “Big bucks have been pouring in from around the country so our crafts will be smothered.”
Dulle is concerned that burdensome regulation by the new agency, the Embroidery Quality and Consumer Protection Agency (EQCPA) would deter embroiderers from picking up new skills or practicing their craft.
New EQCPA regulations require embroiderers to get official approval for their project. Inspectors will double-check to make sure that the project matches the approved description, and that “it is fit for consumers.”
“Think of us as the EPA of embroidery, perhaps more like the DOE of embroidery,” said the head of the agency, “We’re here to make sure that you have reliable and safe embroidery. As they say, we’re here to make sure that you don’t try embroidery at home. Needles, scissors, and pins are dangerous and that’s why permits should be required.”
The EQCPA has already flagged over seventy thousand violators of the new law, with more unlicensed embroiderers expected to turn up every day.
“It’s a new era for America, and new economy is going to emerge. I am so proud of the EQCPA for the work it has already done, and the work that it will do,” the agency’s leader concluded.