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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Care Symbol 2


Max Temperature 60C/140F - Bedlinen, towels, and some underwear
Max Temperature 60C/140F, gentle cycle - Bedlinen, towels and some underwear
Max Temperature 50C/122F, gentle cycle - Polyester, cotton/polyester, polyester/cotton
Max Temperature 40C/104F - Cotton
Temperature 40C/104F, gentle cycle - Acrylics, acetate, nylon, tri-acetate, cotton/acrylic, poly/viscose
Max Temperature 40C/104F, gentlest cycle - Wool and wool mixtures
Max Temperature 30C/86Fm gentle cycle
Hand wash
Do not wash
A short line under any of the above indicates reduce cycle, moisture, and/or heat
Tumble Dry
Do not Tumble Dry
Drip Dry
Hand dry after removing excess water
Dry flat after removing excess water
Hot 220C/392F - Cotton, linen, viscose
Warm 150C/302F - Polyester mixes
Cool 110C/230F - Acrylic, nylon, acetate,
Do not iron
Chlorine bleach may be used
Do not use chlorine bleach
Dry Cleaning
Dry cleaning
Dry clean in any solvent
Use fluorocarbon or petroleum solvent only
Do not dry clean
In all cases, if an X is through the symbol it means DO NOT USE

Man made fiber

Manufactured Fabrics are usually made of filaments extruded as liquid and formed into various fibers. Because the fiber starts as a liquid, many of the fibers are colored before they become filament, thus they are difficult to dye after the fiber is woven into a fabric.

ACETATE is not a strong fiber but can be extruded into fibers of different diameter and woven into fabrics that have the luxurious look of silk but do not wear like silk. Acetate does not absorb moisture readily but dries fast and resists shrinking. This is a resilient fabric that resists wrinkling in addition to being pliable and soft with a good drape. Triacetate is an improved acetate fabric which doesn’t melt as easier and is easier to care for. Remember, acetate in nail polish and nail polish remover will melt acetate as will alcohol so take care with perfumes and nail products including SuperGlue.

ACRYLIC is a fine soft and luxurious fabric with the bulk and hand of wool. Light weight and springy, this fabric is non-allergenic, dries quickly, draws moisture away from the body and is washable. Acrylic does not take even a moderate amount of heat. Modacrylics are used in pile fabrics like fake fur and are more flame resistant.

LASTEX is an elastic fiber made from Latex. It is most often used with other fibers to create fabrics such as Spandex and foundation garments. Lastex will deteriorate after repeated washing and drying, losing its elasticity.

NYLON became a household word in 1940 when it was knitted into hosiery. In 1942 it was called into service for the armed forces use in parachutes, flak vests, combat uniforms, tires and many other vital military uses. Until the war was over nylon was not available to the public. Nylon became one of the most versatile fibers of the man-made fabrics. In addition to hosiery, nylon is used in tricot, netting for bridal veils, and in carpeting.

Nylon is stronger yet weighs less than any other commonly used fiber. It is elastic and resilient and responsive to heat setting. Nylon fibers are smooth, non-absorbent and dry quickly. Dirt doesn’t cling to this smooth fiber nor is it weakened by chemicals and perspiration. Extensive washing and drying in an automatic dryer can eventually cause piling. Nylon whites should be washed separately to avoid graying. This fabric may yellow so it should be bleached frequently with sodium perborate bleach.

Nylon melts at high temperatures. If ironing is necessary, always use a low temperature on the wrong side.

POLYESTER is a strong fiber that is resistant to crease and thus keeps it shape. Polyester melts at medium to high temperatures. Although many people dislike polyester, perhaps due to the double knit fad of the 1950, polyester remains a versatile and important man-made fabric. Blends of polyester give cotton a permanent press property and extend the wear of these blended garments.

Polyester is manufactured in many weights including fiber-fill used in pillows and upholstery. Threads spun from polyester fibers are strong, wear exceptionally well, and are used extensively in home sewing and manufactured sewing.

RAYON, from cellulose, has many of the qualities of cotton, a natural cellulose fiber. Rayon is strong, extremely absorbent, comes in a variety of qualities and weights, and can be made to resemble natural fabrics. Rayon does not melt but burns at high temperatures.

Rayon drapes well, has a soft, silky hand, and has a smooth, napped, or bulky surface. Rayon will wrinkle easily and may stretch when wet and shrink when washed.

Technological advancemnts to the rayon process have produced high wet modulus [HWM] rayons such as lyocell and modal which makes fabric less prone to stretch when damp or wet.

Washable rayon will state the care on the fabric label. Like silk, if you pre-wash rayon fabric prior to construction of the garment, you have a washable garment.

Glossary of Rayon Fabrics

Fibranne is French term for Viscose rayon.

Velvet, although made from silk, is most often produced from the rayon fiber.

SPANDEX is an elastic type fiber that can be stretched many times its length and then spring back to the original length. Spandex is more resistant to washing, perspiration, and heat than latex. Spandex is used in foundation garments and hosiery.


HEMP is currently being used by designers in clothing. When thinking of hemp, the illegal plant, marijuana comes to mind. No, hemp fabric does not contain the narcotic chemical that, when smoked produces the "high" that smoking marijuana produces. Marijuana is from the dried flowers and leaves of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp fabric is made from the stems of the plant. The stems are processed to dissolve the gum or pectin and separate the fibers which are then processed again and woven into yarns and fabric. The finest hemp for fabric is produced in Italy. Hemp fabric is like linen in both hand and appearance. Hemp fabric withstands water better than any other textile product. It wrinkles easily and should not be creased excessively to avoid wear and breakage of the fibers.

RAMIE is also similar to linen and is a bast of plant fiber. It is natural white in color, has a high luster and an unusual resistance to bacteria and molds. Used in fabrics, and often mistaken for linen, it is extremely absorbent and dries quickly. Ramie has excellent abrasion resistance and has been tested to be three to five times stronger than cotton and twice as strong as flax. It is an inexpensive fiber from an East Asian plant and can be spun or woven into a fabric.

JUTE is a glossy fiber from a plant. It is seen most often in sacks, rope, twine, and as backing on carpeting.


SILK, the fabric that makes its own statement. Say "silk" to someone and what do they visualize? No other fabric generates quite the same reaction. For centuries silk has had a reputation as a luxurious and sensuous fabric, one associated with wealth and success. Silk is one of the oldest textile fibers known to man. It has been used by the Chinese since the 27th century BC. Silk is mentioned by Aristotle and became a valuable commodity both in Greece and Rome. During the Roman Empire, silk was sold for its weight in gold.

Today, silk is yet another word for elegance, and silk garments are prized for their versatility, wearability and comfort. Silk, or soie in French, is the strongest natural fiber. A steel filament of the same diameter as silk will break before a filament of silk. Silk absorbs moisture, which makes it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Because of its high absorbency, it is easily dyed in many deep colors. Silk retains its shape, drapes well, caresses the figure, and shimmers with a luster all its own.

Contemporary silk garments range from evening wear to sports wear. A silk suit can go to the office and, with a change of accessories and a blouse, transform into an elegant dinner ensemble. Silk garments can be worn for all seasons.

Silk -- elegant, versatile and washable. In the past, owning a silk garment meant not only the initial price of the garment but also the cost of dry cleaning. All silk is washable. Silk is a natural protein fiber, like human hair, taken from the cocoon of the silkworm. The natural glue, sericin, secreted by silkworms and not totally removed during manufacturing of the silk, is a natural sizing which is brought out when washing in warm water. Most silk fabrics can be hand washed. Technically, silk does not shrink like other fibers. If the fabric is not tightly woven, washing a silk with tighten up the weave.... thus, lighter weights of silk (say a crepe de chine of 14 mm) can be improved by washing as it will tighten up the weave. A tightly woven silk will not "shrink" or will "shrink" a lot less. Silk garments, however, can shrink if the fabric has not been washed prior to garment construction. When washing silk, do not wring but roll in a towel. Silk dries quickly but should not be put in an automatic dryer unless the fabric is dried in an automatic dryer prior to garment construction. A good shampoo works well on silk. It will remove oil and revitalize your silk. Do not use an alkaline shampoo or one which contains ingredients such as wax, petroleum, or their derivatives, as these products will leave a residue on your silk and may cause "oil" spots. If static or clinging is a problem with your silks, a good hair conditioner (see above cautions) may be used in the rinse water.

Silk may yellow and fade with the use of a high iron setting. Press cloths and a steam iron are recommended. Silk is also weakened by sunlight and perspiration.

Glossary of Silk Fabrics and Weaves

Brocade is a jacquard weave with an embossed effect and contrasting surfaces. Can also be woven with synthetic or man-made fibers.

Canton Crepe is a soft crepe woven fabric with small crosswise ribs. Similar to crepe de chine but heavier.

Charmeuse is a satin weave silk with a crepe back sometimes called crepe backed satin.

Chiffon is transparent soft and light silk. Can also be woven of cotton or man-made fibers.

China silk is a plain weave silk of various weights. This silk is the "hand" or touch that many people identify as silk. There are various weights of China silk from light, used for linings and many "washable silks" with the wrinkled look, to heavy for shirts and dresses.

Doupioni is reeled from double cocoons nested together. The threads are uneven and irregular. Italian Doupioni is the finest, followed by Chinese Doupioni and Indian Doupioni. Doupioni is also seen in man-made fibers such as polyester, acetate and referred to as Doupionini. Silk Doupioni is most often found in men’s and women’s fine suits and also dresses in lighter weight silk Doupioni.

Faille soft ribbed silk with wider ribs than seen in grosgrain ribbon. Slightly glossy.

Georgette sheer crepe silk, heavier than chiffon and with a crinkle surface.

Matelasse has raised woven designs, usually jacquard, with the appearance of puckered or quilted.

Noil is sportier in appearance and created by short fibers, often from the innermost part of the cocoon. Has the look of hopsack but much softer.

Organza is similar to cotton organdy except it is made with silk and is transparent.

Peau de Soie is a stout, soft silk with fine cross ribs. Looks slightly corded. Also called paduasoy.

Pongee is a plain woven, thin, naturally tan fabric that has a rough weave effect.

Poult de siue is sometimes called faille taffeta. It has heavy cross ribs.

Silk Shantung is a dupionni type of silk that comes from the Shantung Prov. of China.

Silk Broadcloth is a plain weave silk in various weights; crisper than china silk. Often used in shirting.

Silk linen has a nubby yarn in a plain weave. Weights range from light to heavy. It is different from Dupion in that the nubby runs both lengthwise and crosswise. The look of linen with the characteristics of linen.

Silk satin is a satin weave with a plain back.

Tussah silk (tussah means wild) is a plain weave silk fabric from "wild" silk worms. It has irregular thick and thin yarns creating uneven surface and color. Wild silkworms feed on leaves other than mulberry leaves.Tussah silk is similar to shantung, with silk from the wild. Color is often uneven; usually referred to as "raw" silk.

Silk is also available in other weaves such as velvet and corduroy.


WOOL fabric brings to mind cozy warmth. Some wools are scratchy giving some people the idea that they are "allergic" to wool. Although wool fiber comes from a variety of animal coats, not all wool’s are scratchy but rather extremely soft. The wool fibers have crimps or curls which create pockets and gives the wool a spongy feel and creates insulation for the wearer. The outside surface of the fiber consists of a series of serrated scales which overlap each other much like the scales of a fish. Wool is the only fiber with such serration’s which make it possible for the fibers to cling together and produce felt. The same serration’s will also cling together tightly when wool is improperly washed and shrinks! Wool will not only return to its original position after being stretched or creased, it will absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp. Its unique properties allow shaping and tailoring, making the wool the most popular fabric for tailoring fine garments. Wool is also dirt resistant, flame resistant, and, in many weaves, resists wear and tearing.

Basically, there are two different processes used in wool production. Woolen fabrics have a soft feel and fuzzy surface, very little shine or sheen, will not hold a crease, and are heavier and bulkier than worsteds. Blankets, scarves, coating, and some fabrics are considered woolens. Worsted wool is smoother than woolen, takes shine more easily, does not sag, holds a crease well, is lighter and less bulky, and wears longer than woolen. Worsted wool’s require a greater number of processes, during which fibers are arranged parallel to each other. The smoother, harder-surface worsted yarns produce smoother fabrics with a minimum of fuzziness and nap. Fine worsted wool is even seen in clothing for athletics such as tennis. No, they are not hotter than polyester but actually cooler, as the weave of the fabric allows wool to absorb perspiration and the fabric "breathes," unlike polyester.

WOOL SPECIALTY FIBERS, although still classified as wool, are further classified by the animal the fiber comes from.

Alpaca fleece is very rich and silky with considerable luster. It comes from the Alpaca.

Mohair is from the angora goat and is highly resilient and strong. Mohair’s luster, not softness, determines its value. Mohair is used in home decorating fabrics as well as garment fabrics including tropical worsteds.

Angora wool is from the angora rabbit. This soft fiber is used in sweaters, mittens and baby clothes.

Camel hair is from the extremely soft and fine fur from the undercoat of the camel. Camel’s hair can be used alone but is most often combined with fine wool for overcoating, topcoating, sportswear and sports hosiery. Because of the beauty of the color, fabrics containing camel’s hair are usually left in the natural camel color or dyed a darker brown. Light weight and soft, it is said that a 22 oz. camel fabric is as warm as a 32 oz. woolen fabric.

Cashmere is from the Kasmir goat down. Separation of the soft fibers from the long, coarse hair is tedious and difficult, contributing to the expense of the fabric. The soft hair is woven or knitted into fine garments and can also be blended with silk, cotton, or wool.

Vicuna is the softest coat cloth in the world. The amount of coarse hair to be separated from the soft fibers is negligible and yields the finest animal fiber in the world. Vicuna is a member of the Llama family and is small and wild. Since it is generally killed to obtain the fleece, it is protected by rigorous conservation measures. This fiber is rare and very expensive, costing several hundred dollars per yard.

Glossary of Wool Fabrics and Weaves

Beaver cloth is a heavy woolen overcoating, napped and pressed down to resemble beaver fur. This fabric is also a plush fabric that is used for hats.

Botany/Merino wool is a fine wool made from worsted wool yarn.

Broadcloth is an all woolen or worsted fabric with a velvety feel.

Challis, a light weight soft wool in plain weave, has a printed or woven design or flowers.

Cheviot, usually Scotch wool is a soft, fine wool that is heavier than serge.

Chinchilla cloth is a heavy, spongy woolen overcoat fabric with a long nap that has been rubbed into a curly, nubby finish.

Donegal was originally a thick and warm homespun or tweed woven by Irish peasants in Donegal, Ireland. Donegal now describes the wool tweed that has colorful thick slubs woven into the fabric.

Felt fabric is a compact sheet of entangled, not woven wool, fur, sometimes cotton fibers. The felt is produced by processing a mat of fibers with moisture, heat, and pressure.

Flannel wool is a soft, lightweight fabric with a nap on one or both sides.

Gabardine is a tightly woven wool twill with a high sheen. This fabric is excellent for tailoring and wears well.

Glen checks are usually seen in menswear and originated in Scotland. It is characterized by a variety of small, even check designs.

Harris tweed is a hand woven fabric from Scotland with a soft feel.

Heather Mixture describes tweeds and homespun’s that have colors of heather and sand of the Scottish heather fields.

Herringbone wool is woven in a twill that is reversed at regular spacing, creating a sawtooth line.

Homespun is a loose, strong, durable woolen woven either by hand or machine with a coarse feel.

Houndstooth check has a four pointed star check in a broken twill weave.

Jersey is a knit fabric that is usually knit in fine wool but can also be found in silk, and man-made fibers.

Laine is French for "wool".

Lambsdown is a heavy knit fabric that has a spongy fleeced nap on one side.

Linsey-woolsey is a coarse fabric first made in Lindsey, England, of wool combined with flax or cotton.

Loden fabric is a thick, soft, waterproof, windproof, wool used in outerwear that has a characteristic green color.

Mackinaw fabric is a heavy double fabric in striking colored patterns.

Melton, a heavy, tick, short napped fabric without a finish press or gloss.

Merino wool is soft and luxurious, resembling cashmere. This term is also used to describe the finest wool’s.

Oatmeal Cloth is a durable, soft wool with a pebbled face.

Panama Cloth, a plain woven worsted wool, sometimes resembling the texture of Panama hat.

Petersham, a very thick, waterproof woolen coating, usually dark blue, is used for men’s trousers or heavy coats.

Pilot Cloth is a coarse, heavy, stout twilled woolen that is heavily napped and navy blue. Used by seamen.

Poodle Cloth is made with a boucle yarn and resembles the Poodle dog.

Rabbit Hair is used in woven wool’s as a substitute for vicuna to give a soft effect in the fabric.

Sharkskin is woven with warp and filling yarns of alternating white with black, brown or blue.

Tartan is a twilled plaid design, originally Scottish.

Tweed is a rough textured wool, originally homespun and slightly felted. This fabric is sturdy with a mottled color.

Virgin Wool is wool that has never been processed into fabric.


LINEN, elegant, beautiful, durable, the refined luxury fabric. Linen is the strongest of the vegetable fibers and has 2 to 3 times the strength of cotton. Linen table cloths and napkins have been handed down generation to generation. Not only is the linen fiber strong, it is smooth, making the finished fabric lint free. Fine china, silver and candles are enhanced by the luster of linen which only gets softer and finer the more it is washed.

Linen is from flax, a bast fiber taken from the stalk of the plant. The luster is from the natural wax content. Creamy white to light tan, this fiber can be easily dyed and the color does not fade when washed. Linen does wrinkle easily but also presses easily. Linen, like cotton, can also be boiled without damaging the fiber.

Highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat, this fabric is cool in garments. However, constant creasing in the same place in sharp folds will tend to break the linen threads. This wear can show up in collars, hems, and any area that is iron creased during the laundering. Linen has poor elasticity and does not spring back readily.

Glossary of Linen Fabrics and Weaves

Butcher’s Linen was originally a heavy, sturdy linen fabric used for French butchers’ aprons. This type of heavy fabric was also used for interfacing.

Damask, a jacquard weave, is a reversible rich weave, patterned in satin or plain weave.

Venise is a very fine damask table linen consisting of large floral patterns.


COTTON, cool, soft, comfortable, the principal clothing fiber of the world. Its production is one of the major factors in world prosperity and economic stability. Cotton "breathes". What would we do without cotton? Since cotton wrinkles, polyester was added to give it wash and wear properties for a busy world. In recent times, the consumer determined that polyester, although easier to care for, took away the cool from cotton and also added a "pilling" effect to cotton/polyester blends. Consumers now often request "100% Cotton". Permanent finishes also added to the all cotton fabric gave a wash and wear property to cotton. cotton. The cotton fiber is from the cotton plant’s seed pod The fiber is hollow in the center and, under a microscope looks like a twisted ribbon. "Absorbent" cotton will retain 24-27 times its own weight in water and is stronger when wet than dry. This fiber absorbs and releases perspiration quickly, thus allowing the fabric to "breathe". Cotton can stand high temperatures and takes dyes easily. Chlorine bleach can be used to restore white garments to a clear white but this bleach may yellow chemically finished cottons or remove color in dyed cottons. Boiling and sterilizing temperatures can also be used on cotton without disintegration. Cotton can also be ironed at relatively high temperatures, stands up to abrasion and wears well.

Mercerized cotton is treated to permanently straighten the cotton fibers which then becomes a smooth, rod-like fiber that is uniform in appearance with a high luster. Cotton is often blended with other fibers such as polyester, linen, wool, to "blend" the best properties of each fiber.

Glossary of Cotton Fabrics and Weaves

Diaper Cloth is a twill, dobby or plain woven absorbent cotton.

Dimity is sheer, thin, white or printed fabric with lengthwise cords, stripes or checks.

Drill is a strong twilled cotton fabric, used in men’s and women’s slacks.

Duck is a heavy, durable tightly woven fabric. Heavy weight drill is used in awnings, tents, etc. Lighter duck is used in summer clothing.

Flannel cotton is plain or twill weave with a slight nap on one or both sides.

Flannelette is a soft cotton fabric with a nap on one side.

Gauze is a sheer, lightly woven fabric similar to cheesecloth. Is also made in silk.

Gingham is a lightweight, washable, stout fabric that is woven in checks, plaids or stripes.

Lawn is a plain weave, soft, very light, combed cotton fabric with a crisp finish.

Muslin is a sheer to coarse plain woven cotton fabric. Muslin comes in "natural" color or is dyed.

Organdy is a very thin, transparent cotton with a crisp finish.

Outing flannel is a soft, twill or plain weave fabric napped on both sides. Used for baby clothes, diapers, and sleepwear.

Oxford is shirting fabric with a lustrous, soft finish. It is characterized with narrow stripes and can be woven in plain or basket weave. Also a term used for wool fabric that has black and white fibers.

Percale is a light weight, closely woven, sturdy fabric that can be found printed in dark colors.

Pima Cotton, from Egyptian cotton, is an excellent quality cotton fabric.

Polished Cotton is either a satin weave cotton or a plain weave cotton that is finished chemically to appear shiny.

Poplin is a plain weave fabric with a cross-wise rib.

Sailcloth is a very strong, heavy canvas or duck made in plain weave.

Sateen is a satin weave cotton fabric.

Seersucker is a lightweight cotton fabric crinkled into lengthwise stripes.

Swiss is a sheer, very fine cotton that can be plain or decorated with dots or other designs.

Terry Cloth is a looped pile fabric that is either woven or knitted. Very absorbent and used for towels, etc. French terry cloth is looped on one side and sheared pile on the other.

Velveteen is an all cotton pile fabric with short pile resembling velvet.

Whipcord is a strong fabric with a diagonal round cords that can also be produced in wool.

Detail care symbol


machine wash, normal
Machine Wash, Normal
A machine wash, normal symbol indicates that a garment can be easily laundered in most commercial washing machines. You'll often spot this symbol on your everyday basics such as cotton undergarments, jerseys and T-shirts, as well as jeans.

If that's the case, you can machine wash with regular laundry soap or detergent. Also, use the hottest available water, as it facilitates the cleaning process (except if the color of the fabric runs easily).

Occasionally, you'll spot dots, numbers or a combination of both inside the wash symbol. The dots and numbers essentially tell you how to set your water temperature.

For example, if the symbol specifies 120°F, then the washing machine's water shouldn't exceed that temperature. Here are the most common denominators you'll find on clothing labels:

85°F = 1 dot
105°F = 2 dots
120°F = 3 dots
140°F = 4 dots
160°F = 5 dots
200°F = 6 dots

machine wash, permanent press
Machine Wash, Permanent Press
A permanently pressed garment means that it has been permanently shaped and treated for wrinkle resistance. Those garments should be laundered in a machine, set on "permanent press." Simply read your machine's instruction manual to find out whether or not a permanent press wash setting is available.

machine wash, gentle or delicate
Machine Wash, Gentle or Delicate
Again, gentle or delicate wash is a specific setting you'll find on your machine. Essentially, this symbol means that your garment requires a reduced spinning cycle and/or gentle agitation.

hand wash
Hand Wash
Guess again; this symbol isn't a reminder for you to wash your hands each and every time you go to the washroom. It stipulates that your garment should be hand-washed only. Use water, detergent or soap and manipulate with care.

do not wash
Do Not Wash
The following symbol is normally accompanied by a dry-cleaning symbol. It indicates that the garment should be cleaned professionally.


bleach when needed
Bleach When Needed
This triangular symbol suggests that you can use any commercial bleach. Always double-check the bleaching agents' instructions and make sure there aren't any restrictions, which could eventually spoil your clothes. And NEVER pour bleach directly on clothes.

non-chlorine bleach when needed
Non-Chlorine Bleach When Needed
You'll generally spot a non-chlorine symbol on your bright colored clothing. In that case, purchase non-chlorine, color-safe bleach.

do not bleach
Do Not Bleach
If you spot the following symbol on a new sweater, it signifies that you can't carry it along on your next camping trip. (Get it? A crossed out tent...) No seriously, the symbol denotes that this specific garment won't withstand any type of bleaching agent, so do not even try.


tumble dry, normal
Tumble Dry, Normal
This symbol indicates that you may dry your garment in most commercial dryers, at very high temperatures.

tumble dry, low heat
Tumble Dry, Normal, Low Heat
The following 6 symbols demand that you understand your dryer's basic settings. Similar to washing symbols, the dots found in the drying symbol dictate the machine's required temperature. A tumble dry symbol with 1 dot indicates that you should set your dryer settings to a low heat dry.

tumble dry, medium heat
Tumble Dry, Normal, Medium Heat
If the symbol contains 2 dots, you can set your dryer settings to low or medium heat.

tumble dry, high heat
Tumble Dry, Normal, High Heat
Finally, if the symbol comprises 3 dots, choose between a low, medium or high heat setting.

tumble dry, no heat
Tumble Dry, Normal, No Heat
The full circle symbol indicates that you can tumble dry that garment at no heat, or at an air only setting.

tumble dry, permanent press
Tumble Dry, Permanent Press
When spotting this symbol, set your machine to permanent press. Again, don't forget to check whether your dryer is designed for this.

tumble dry, gentle
Tumble Dry, Gentle
The following symbol requires that you set your machine's setting to gentle dry.

do not tumble dry
Do Not Tumble Dry
The big "X" crossing out the tumble dry symbol is pretty self-explanatory. Use an alternate drying method instead.

do not dry
Do Not Dry
A crossed out square means that you shouldn't machine dry your garment, and is usually accompanied by an alternate drying symbol.

line dry
Line Dry
This envelope-looking symbol indicates that your garment should be hung to dry, either on a line or a bar.

drip dry
Drip Dry
The drip dry symbol stands for "hang dry only" and requires that you don't hand shape or smoothen out your clothes.

dry flat
Dry Flat
If you spot this symbol, let your garment dry by laying it out on a table, for example. Make sure the surface is clean and of course, waterproof.

dry in shade
Dry In Shade
The dry in shade symbol normally accompanies a line dry symbol. It notifies you to keep your garment away from direct sunlight.

do not wring
Do Not Wring
To wring out a garment means to extract its moisture by twisting it. Therefore, logically, the "do not wring" symbol tells you not to twist it or it will shout.


iron, any temperature, steam or dry
Iron, Any Temperature, Steam or Dry
The basic ironing symbol indicates that you can use any ironing method. So take out the steamroller and get rid of those creases.

iron, low
Iron, Low
Again, for ironing symbols, dots are used to point out what ideal temperature setting to choose for a specific garment. For example, one dot tells you to set your iron at a low setting, which is around 230°F.

iron, medium
Iron, Medium
2 dots indicates that you should set your iron at a temperature of approximately 265°F.

iron, high
Iron, High
Finally, 3 dots indicates that your iron should be set at 300°F.

do not steam
Do Not Steam
Isn't it funny that this symbol resembles an older manual blender? Unfortunately, wearing a shirt with this symbol on its label won't make you a better chef. The symbol simply denotes that steam ironing your garment could cause permanent damage.

do not iron
Do Not Iron
Which part of, "do not," don't you understand? Do Not Iron: it's as simple as that. Ne pas repasser. No planche. Nicht bgeln siz.

dry cleaning

dry clean
If you spot a circular symbol, then you should know that your garment must be dry-cleaned. Have it cleaned professionally (unless there's a big "X" marked on the circle, in which case it should not be dry-cleaned). Heck, if the dry cleaner will charge you an arm and a leg for it, you might as well let them have the headaches of deciphering the symbols for you.

Okay, have you fallen asleep yet? Well with this care symbol summary, you can now sleep in peace. Finally, if you're worried about forgetting the meaning of each sign, simply print out the article and stick it next to your washing machine.