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Care labels provide information 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 care labels provides assurance that the appearance and the fit of the garment will be maintained after repeated cleaning treatments.


As manufacturers, importers and retailers, your brand value is dependent on the enduring quality of your products. 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 trade requirements?


Many countries have mandatory standards for care label instructions that apply to either apparel or soft home furnishing products. Some common countries are:
• Australia: Textiles - Care Labeling

• Canada: Care Labeling of Textiles (voluntary system and based on the industry best practice)

• China: Chinese Textile - Care Labeling Code Using Symbols

• European Union: Textiles - Care Labeling Code Using Symbols

• Japan: Care Labeling of Textile Goods

• USA: Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods as amended - 16 CFR 423



Permanent Care Label Requirement in Australia is that the wording of the label shall be in English and clearly legible.


A. Position of label attachment must be “clearly visible” or “accessible”.


B. For articles which are packaged, displayed or folded in such a way that the information is inaccessible, an extra care label must be given on a wing ticket or adhesive label, or in a pamphlet accompanying the articles.


C. For a label sewn in more than one side, the label shall have similar shrinkage characteristics to the base fabric.


D. For an adhesive label, it should not produce any bubbling or delamination when the garment is subject to cleansing treatment.


The labeling system consists of:

1) Washing temperature (cold, warm, hot, very hot, boil)

2) Agitation (hand wash, short machine wash, gentle machine wash, machine wash) Note: Where appropriate, phrases stating washing temperature and agitation may be combined to form a concise phrase, e.g. warm hand wash, hot machine.

3) Drying method (may be tumble dried - cold/warm/hot, drip dry, dry flat, line dry)

4) Bleaching instruction

5) Ironing (do not iron, cool, warm, hot, steam)

6) Drycleaning methods are expressed in symbol as listed in below table:


These symbols are to be used in conjunction with the phrase (Drycleanable / Dryclean only/ Drycleaning recommended).



Providing care information is voluntary for the Canada market and is based on the CGSB standard that was revised in 2003. The current 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 both English and French.




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 was issued and effective from 1st March 2009.

A permanent label shall include symbols of washing, bleaching, drying, ironing and professional cleaning in sequence. Sufficient and appropriate symbols shall be used to ensure that garment will not be damaged during cleaning process. Additional text in Chinese can be used to clarify the instructions.




The ISO care labeling standard ISO 3758 was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 38, Textiles, Subcommittee SC2, Cleansing, finishing, and water resistance tests. The care symbols used in this standard are based on the Ginetex labelling system, and the symbols are registered as international trademarks. GINETEX has 18 member countries, the national committees are given a mandate to represent GINETEX to ensure the correct use of the care symbols in their national territory. For details, please visit


The first and second editions ISO 3758 were published in 1991 and 2005 . The third edition ISO 3758:2012 has been published and replaces the previous version of the standard (ISO 3758:2005). Key changes are the addition of symbols for natural drying processes and the change of ‘Do not bleach’ symbol. The previous version used a blackened triangle; in the 2012 version this has now reverted back to a lined version. The care symbols used in ISO 3758: 2012 consist of 5 main treatments and shall appear in the order washing, bleaching, drying, ironing and professional textile care.




The Japanese care labeling JIS L 0001:2014, effective since 1st December , 2016,  is written on the basis of ISO care labeling code ISO 3758:2012 which features five main treatments that shall appear in the order of washing, bleaching, drying, ironing and professional textile care. According to the Household Goods Quality Labeling Act, a care label should be permanently attached to most household goods. 




According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Care Label Rule, care information shall be provided by care instructions, or care symbols in the ASTM D5489-96c standard. Whether composed of words or 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. Warnings (wash separately, wash before wearing, etc.)

8. Dryclean (cycle/solvent)

9. Warn about what would harm the garment


In addition to the care label instructions, manufacturers and retailers must provide labels that:

1. Remain permanently attached and legible for the useful life of the product

2. Can be easily seen or found by the consumer at the point of sale. If the product is packaged so that consumer cannot find the label, care information must also appear on the outside of the package or on a hang tag.


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.

SuitPark ®

At SuitPark ®, we work with brands and retailers around the world to assure their textile and apparel products maintain quality and durability through care label testing. With our thorough understanding and expertise in the industry, we offer care label verification or recommendation, supported by related testing.

Care label testing

• Appearance after washing/ drycleaning

• Colourfastness to washing/ drycleaning

• Colourfastness to chlorine bleaching

• Colourfastness to non-chlorine bleaching

• Dimensional stability to washing/ drycleaning

Care label verification or recommendation

• Content on care label

• Placement of care label

• Language of labelling

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