WOPCOM Blog: Trust placed in retailers and manufacturers, by Ken Cupitt

Displaying the fibre percentages of textiles on garments is a mandatory requirement in the UK. This is specified in the 2012 edition of the Guidance on Textile Products (Labelling and Fibre Composition) Regulations.
These regulations state that information about the main fibre content of a garment must be displayed in percentages, e.g. 100% Cotton etc.,
Nightwear, babies, toddler, and small children’s clothing are required by The Guide to the Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985 to carry a permanent label indicating whether they meet the flammability standard BS-5722.
In this standard, the label requires KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE to be clearly displayed on the label and in red.

There isn’t a compulsory regulation within garment construction to require the display of the country of origin within the EU, but trading regulations insist that it is necessary to state this. However, there is no regulation for advice on the after care of the garment to be displayed and the inclusion of washing/dry cleaning instructions is not mandatory in the UK. If after care labels are attached it is recommended that the use of GINETEX symbols are the standard – the system used throughout Europe.
ISO 3758:2012 established a system of graphic symbols, intended for use in the marking of textile articles, and for providing information on the most severe treatment that does not cause irreversible damage to the article during the textile care process, and specifies the use of these symbols in care labelling. The following domestic treatments are covered: washing, bleaching, drying and ironing. Professional textile care treatments in dry and wet cleaning, but excluding industrial laundering, are also covered. However, it is recognised that information imparted by the domestic symbols will also be of assistance to the professional cleaner and launderer.

BS EN ISO 3175 is the standard for Identification of fabric and garment properties, which can change in cleaning and finishing. This standard is the expectations of dimensional and col-our change in any cleaning, drying, and finishing cycles that can be used by manufacturers as a measure of clean ability and therefore the selection of a suitable care label.

BS EN ISO 3175-4 is the standard for professional wet cleaning. The cleaner should be able to expect garments, that carry a care label, to have been manufactured and tested to the ISO Standard 3175 and that the garment care label is suitable for the garment it is attached to. Dimensional change is some-times progressive and a single process may give little indication of the extent of the change after repeated treatments, but with so many textile items, which includes garments, being made off shore there is a risk that testing is not perhaps as rigorous has it should be and this is why we see many that have care labels attached that are unsuitable and also the problem with many care labels is that they do not cover the entire garment including embellishments and adornments which may have been attached after the basic testing.

Loose colour, and colour bleeding, is another problem that gives cleaners concern and is on the increase because cloth dyers save money by reducing on rinsing out after colour dying.

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