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Care Labeling

Caring about the consumer


beyond the label
Your Challenges
Care labels provide guidelines to consumers and apparel caregivers about the best cleaning
procedures to be used for that particular combination of fabric, thread, decoration and
construction techniques. Following the instructions on the care labels provide assurance that
the appearance and fit of the garment will be maintained after repeated cleaning treatments.

As manufacturers, importers and retailers, your brand value is dependent on each product’s
appearance. How do you ensure that care labels placed on your product are understandable
for consumers and apparel caregivers, while simultaneously meeting the national and
international requirements trade?

Our Solutions
Many countries have mandatory or voluntary standards for care label instructions that apply to
either apparel or soft home furnishing products:

U.S.A : Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods as Amended
Europe: Textiles - Care Labeling Code Using Symbols
Canada: Care Labeling of Textiles
Australia: Textiles - Care Labeling
Japan: Care Labeling of Textile Goods

American Care Labeling


According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Care Label Rule, care labels may be composed
of either words or words and symbols. Whether composed of words or words and symbols,
care instructions are to appear in the following order of use:
1. Machine Wash/Hand Wash
2. Washing Temperature (hot/warm/cold)
3. Washing Cycle (delicate/permanent press/normal)
4. Bleaching Instruction (do not bleach/only non-chlorine bleach). Not required
if both chlorine and non-chlorine bleach can be used.
5. Drying Instruction – (tumble dry/high/medium/low, line dry, flat dry, drip dry)
6. Ironing (do not iron/cool iron/warm iron/hot iron). Ironing instructions are not
mandatory if the item is not expected to be ironed.
7. Cautions (wash separately, wash before wearing, etc.)
8. Dryclean (cycle/solvent)

In addition to the care label instructions, manufacturers and retailers must provide labels that:
1. Are permanently attached so they can be easily seen at point of sale. If the
product is packaged, displayed or folded so that customers cannot find the
label, care information must also appear on the side of the package or on a
hang tag.
2. Remain permanently attached and legible for the useful life of the product.
3. Provide care instructions for ordinary use of the garment.
4. Warn about what would harm the garment.
American Care Labeling

ASTM Guide To Care Symbols

Machine Wash Cycles Warning symbols for laundering

Normal Permanent Press Delicate/Gentle Hand Wash

Water Temperatures Do Not Do Not


Wash (Maximum) (200F) (160F) (140F) (120F) (105F) (65F-85F)
Wash Bleach

Symbol(s) 95C 70C 60C 50C 40C 30C

Do Not Dry Do Not


(used with do Wring
Any Bleach Only Non-Chlorine not wash)

Bleach When Needed Bleach When Needed

Tumble Dry Cycles Additional Instructions


(in symbols or words)

Normal Permanent Press Delicate/Gentle Line Dry/


Dry Hang to Dry
Tumble Dry Heat Setting
Do Not Do Not
Iron Tumble Dry

Any Heat High Medium Low No Heat/ Drip Dry Dry Flat
Air

Iron-dry or Steam
In the Shade No Steam
(added to line (added to iron)
dry, drip dry or
flat dry)
Maximum Temperature 200C 150C 110C
Iron (390F) (300F) (230F)
High Medium Low

Dryclean - Normal Cycle Dryclean - Additional Instructions

A P F
Dryclean Any Any Solvent Except Petroleum Do Not Short Reduce Low No Steam
Solvent Trichloroethylene Solvent Only Dryclean Cycle Moisture Heat Finishing

Note: This figure illustrates the symbols to use for laundering and drycleaning instructions.
As a minimum, laundering instructions should include, in order, four symbols: washing,
bleaching, drying and ironing; drycleaning instructions shall include one symbol. Additional
words may be used to clarify the instructions.
European Care Labeling
Individual technical committees of the European Union and International Standards
Organisation reviewed existing care label standards and have created a unified system
under the ISO scheme which is published as ISO 3758:2005.

The textile care labeling symbols are managed by Ginetex (International Association for
Textile Care Labeling). The symbols are registered as international trademarks. Ginetex
has 16 member countries, the national committees of which administer the right to
reproduce these symbols in their countries. For more information, see www.ginetex.net.

A correct care label for European countries is required to consist of five symbols in the
following sequence: washing, bleaching, drying, ironing and professional textile care.

Symbol Washing Process Symbol Drying Process


tumble drying possible
normal temperature
* maximum temperature 95 C
normal process tumble drying possible
drying at lower temperature
* maximum temperature 95 C
mild process do not tumble dry
* maximum temperature 60 C
normal process Symbol Ironing Process
* maximum temperature 60 C iron at a maximum sole plate temperature of 200 C
mild process
iron at a maximum sole plate temperature of 150 C
* maximum temperature 50 C
mild process iron at a maximum sole plate temperature of 110 C
steam-ironing may cause irreversible damage
* maximum temperature 40 C
normal process do not iron

* maximum temperature 40 C Symbol Textile Care Process


mild process professional dry cleaning in tetrachloroethene and
all solvents listed for the symbol F
* maximum temperature 40 C
normal process
very mild process

* maximum temperature 30 C professional dry cleaning in tetrachloroethene and


very mild process all solvents listed for the symbol F
mild process
maximum temperature 40 C
* hand wash only professional dry cleaning in hydrocarbons
(distillation temperature between 150 C and 210 C,
do not wash flash point between 38 C and 70 C)
normal process
* Note: The symbols most popularly used in the U.K.
professional dry cleaning in hydrocarbons
(distillation temperature between 150 C and 210 C,
Symbol Bleaching Process flash point between 38 C and 70 C)
mild process
any oxidizing bleaching agent allowed
do not dry clean
only oxygen / non-chlorine
bleach allowed professional wet cleaning
normal process

do not bleach / no bleach


professional wet cleaning
mild process

Note: ISO 3758 has not been amended to show the


professional wet cleaning
change in the ‘Do Not Bleach’ symbol. For a period of
very mild process
time both blackened and line versions of the symbols
will be in use.
Japanese Care Labeling
Japanese care instructions, like other care label systems, must be in a specified order.
This order is washing, bleaching, ironing, dry-cleaning, wringing, and drying.

Washing (with water)


Machine washable - with slow water current or
95 Washable - maximum temperature 95 C gently by hand - maximum temperature of 30 C
30

60 Machine washable - maximum temperature 60 C


Gently hand wash only - maximum
30 temperature 30 C
40 Machine washable - maximum temperature 40 C

Machine washable - with slow water current or


gently by hand - maximum temperature of 40 C Cannot be washed with water
40

Possibility of chlorine bleaching

Chlorine-based bleaching allowed Do not use chlorine-based bleach

Ironing
Ironed at high temperature Ironed at low temperature
(between 180 C - 210 C) (between 80 C - 120 C)

Ironed at medium temperature


(between 140 C - 160 C) Cannot be ironed

Dry-cleaning
Can be dry-cleaned
Can be dry-cleaned. Use solvent of Use petroleum - based solvent
perchloroethylene or petroleum - based matter
Cannot be dry-cleaned

Wringing
Wrung gently Cannot be wrung

Drying

Hung and drip - dried Laid down to dry

Hung and drip - dried in the shade Laid down to dry in the shade

Labeling method
1. Symbols should be arranged from left to right according to the following sequence

40

2. For colored products which are not usually bleached, the symbol for possibility of chlorine bleach may be omitted.
3. For products which are not usually ironed, the symbols for ironing may be omitted (Except cannot be ironed).
4. For products which can be washed with water, the symbols for dry-cleaning may be omitted. (Except cannot be
dry-cleaned).
5. The symbols should be either in black or dark blue whereas the prohibition symbols are in red on a white background.

Attached remarks

1. The word ‘ ’ indicates that 2. The symbol ‘ ’ indicates that clothes


30 neutral detergent should be used. ironed should be covered with another cloth.

3. The sentence ‘ ’
40 indicates that a net should be used.
Canadian Care Labeling
The Canadian standard for care labeling has been revised. The new version has symbols
in black and white replacing the previous “traffic light” colors of green, amber, and red. The
new standard is harmonized with the American and international standards for care
labeling using five basic symbols which must appear in the sequence: washing, bleaching,
drying, ironing, professional textile care. Any additional information must appear in English
and French.
Guide to Apparel Care Symbols
Machine Wash Cycles
Do Not Wring

Normal Permanent Press Delicate/Gentle Hand Wash W


Do Not Wet-Clean
Wash Wash Water Temperatures
(Maximum) (200F) (160F) (140F) (120F) (105F) (65F-85F)
Symbol(s) 95 C 70 C 60 C 50 C 40 C 30 C
Do Not
Wet-Clean

Do Not Any Bleach Only Non-Chlorine


Bleach Bleach When Needed Bleach When Needed

Tumble Dry Cycles

Do Not Normal Permanent Press Delicate/Gentle Line Dry/ Dry Flat


Tumble Dry Hang to Dry

Dry Heat Setting

Do Not Dry
(used with do Any Heat High Medium Low No Heat/ Drip Dry In the
not wash) Air Shade

Iron-Dry or Steam

200 C 150 C 110 C No Steam


Do Not (390F) (300F) (230F) (added to iron)
Iron Iron or Press High Medium Low

Dry-clean - Normal Cycle

P F
Professional Do Not Any Solvent Except Petroleum
Textile Care Dry-clean Trichloroethylene Solvent Only
Australian Care Labeling

Permanent Care Label Requirement


The wording of the label shall be in English and clearly legible.

A. Position of label attachment must The labeling system consists of:


be “clearly visible” or “accessible”.
1. Washing temperature (cold, warm, hot,
very hot, boil)
B. For articles which are packaged, 2. Agitation (hand wash, short machine
displayed or folded in such a way wash, gentle machine wash, machine
that the information is wash)
inaccessible, an extra care label Note: Where appropriate, phrases stating washing
must be given on a wing ticket or temperature and agitation may be combined to
adhesive label, or in a pamphlet form a concise phrase, e.g. warm hand wash, hot
machine.
accompanying the articles.
3. *Drying method (may be tumble dried -
cold/warm/hot, drip dry, dry flat, line dry)
C. For a label sewn in more than one
side, the label shall have similar 4. Bleaching instruction
shrinkage characteristics to the 5. *Ironing (do not iron, cool, warm, hot,
base fabric. steam)
6. Drycleaning methods are expressed in
D. For an adhesive label, it should symbol as listed below:
not produce any bubbling or
A Dryclean in any solvent normally
delamination when the garment is
used for drycleaning.
subject to cleansing treatment.
P Dryclean in perchloroethylene, white
spirit or fluorocarbons as normally
used in drycleaning.
P Dryclean in accordance with P
but with restricted water amount or
mechanical action or temperature
during cleaning or drying.

F Dryclean in white spirit or


Trifluorotrichloroethane.

F Dryclean in accordance with F


but with restricted water amount or
mechanical action or temperature
during cleaning or drying.
Do not dryclean.

These symbols are to be used in conjunction


with the phrase (Drycleanable / Dryclean only/
Drycleaning recommended).
Chinese Care Labeling

National Textile Base Standard Technical Sub-committee discussed and voted for revision
of GB/T 8685 in the Huangshan annual technical meeting in April 2008. An updated
standard GB/T 8685-2008 is issued and is effective from 1 March 2009.

A permanence label shall include symbols of washing, bleaching, drying, ironing and
professional cleaning in sequence. Sufficient and appropriate symbols shall be used to
ensure garment would not be damaged during cleaning process.

Symbol Washing Process Symbol Bleaching

- Maximum washing temperature 95 C - Any bleaching agent allowed


- Normal process
- Only oxygen / non-chlorine
- Maximum washing temperature 70 C bleach allowed
- Normal process
- Do not bleach
- Maximum washing temperature 60 C
- Normal process
Symbol Natural Air Dry
- Maximum washing temperature 60 C
- Mild process - Hang dry

- Maximum washing temperature 50 C


- Normal process - Hang and drip dry

- Maximum washing temperature 50 C - Flat dry


- Mild process

- Flat and drip dry


- Maximum washing temperature 40 C
- Normal process
- Hang dry away from the
direct sunlight exposure
- Maximum washing temperature 40 C
- Mild process - Hang and drip dry away
from the direct sunlight
exposure
- Maximum washing temperature 40 C
- Very mild process - Flat dry away from the
direct sunlight exposure
- Maximum washing temperature 30 C
- Normal process - Flat and drip dry away
from the direct sunlight
exposure
- Maximum washing temperature 30 C
- Mild process
Symbol Tumble Dry
- Maximum washing temperature 30 C - Tumble dry
- Very mild process - Maximum exhaust
temperature: 80 C
- Tumble dry
- Maximum washing temperature 40 C
- Maximum exhaust
- Hand wash
temperature: 60 C

- Do not wash
- Do not tumble dry
Chinese Care Labeling

Symbol Iron

- Iron at a maximum sole plate temperature of 200 C

- Iron at a maximum sole plate temperature of 150 C

- Iron at a maximum sole plate temperature of 110 C


- Steam-ironing may cause irreversible damage

- Do not iron

Symbol Textile Care Process


- Professional drycleaning in tetrachloroethene and all solvents
listed for the symbol F
- Normal process

- Professional drycleaning in tetrachloroethene and all solvents


listed for the symbol F
- Mild process

- Professional drycleaning in hydrocarbons (distillation


temperature between 150 C ~ 210 C, flash point between
38 C ~ 70 C)
- Normal process

- Professional drycleaning in hydrocarbons (distillation


temperature between 150 C ~ 210 C, flash point between
38 C ~ 70 C)
- Mild process

- Do not dryclean

- Professional wet cleaning


- Normal process

- Professional wet cleaning


- Mild process

- Professional wet cleaning


- Very mild process
About Intertek

Intertek is a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of
industries around the world.

From auditing and inspection, to testing, quality assurance and certification, Intertek
people are dedicated to adding value to customers’ products and processes, supporting
their success in the global marketplace.

Regional Contacts

Asia Pacific
2/F, Garment Centre, 576 Castle Peak Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
Tel: +852 2173 8888 Fax: +852 2786 1903

North America
2107 Swift Drive, Ste 200, Oak Brook, Illinois, 60523 USA
Tel: +1 630 481 3111 Fax: +1 630 481 3101

Latin America
8300 N.W. 53 rd Street, Suite 400, Miami, Florida, 33166 USA
Tel: +1 305 513 3000 Fax: +1 305 513 2856

Europe, Africa, Middle East


ECOPARC 2, 27400 Heudebouville, France
Tel: +33 2 32 09 36 36 Fax: +33 2 32 09 36 37

For Further Information

Email: consumergoods@intertek.com
Website: www.intertek.com/consumergoods

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