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Friday, November 14, 2008

Care Label Symbols

What is the Care Labeling Rule? What is the Care Labeling Rule? What is the Care Labeling Rule? What is the Care Labeling Rule? What is the Care Labeling Rule?

The Care Labeling Rule was issued by the Federal Trade Commission in 1971 to help consumers with clothing

care. The rule states that manufacturers must tag their clothing with at least one safe cleaning method. Beginning

July 1, 1997, manufacturers may use certain care symbols in place of words on labels. These symbols and their

meanings are explained on the reverse side of this publication. Symbols and their written meaning will be required

for eighteen months. After January 1998, only symbols can be used by the manufacturer.


What information is required on the care label? What information is required on the care label?

What information is required on the care label? What information is required on the care label? What information is required on the care label?

Care labels for textile wearing apparel must provide either washing or dry cleaning instructions. Only one safe

method of care is required to be provided by the manufacturer. The label must also warn you against any

procedure that might harm the item during reasonable care. For example, the label must say whether any step of

the care method — washing, bleaching, drying, ironing or dr y cleaning — could harm the garment or other

garments cleaned with it.


Are there any other symbols? Are there any other symbols? Are there any other symbols? Are there any other symbols? Are there any other symbols?

The symbols shown on the reverse side of this publication are approved for use throughout North America. There

is not an internationally recognized care label system at the present time. Clothing manufactured in countries

outside North America may use different symbols.


Does washable also mean my garment can be dry cleaned? Does washable also mean my garment can be dry cleaned? Does washable also mean my garment can be dry cleaned? Does washable also mean my garment can be dry cleaned? Does washable also mean my garment can be dry cleaned?

Not always. Only one safe method of care has to be listed on the label by the manufacturer. The label does not

have to warn about other cleaning methods which might prove unsafe. For example, clothing labeled “washable”

may not dry clean well.


What if the care instructions don’t work? What if the care instructions don’t work? What if the care instructions don’t work? What if the care instructions don’t work? What if the care instructions don’t work?

If you followed the care instructions on the label and problems result, return it to the store where you bought it.

Dyes that run after following the the manufacturer’s washing instructions and other problems which result are the

responsibility of the manufacturer. The safe cleaning method listed on the care label is, in effect, a care warranty.

Ask the store for an exchange or refund. If the store will not help you, ask for the manufacturer’s name and

address and write directly to the company, describing your problem.


You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission by writing to: Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade

Commission, Washington, DC 20580. Although the FTC cannot resolve individual disputes, the information you

provide may indicate a pattern of law violations requiring action by the Commission.


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