Bolton Consultancy Ltd

Textiles Colour and Performance

Care Labelling

Consumer satisfaction with textile products is often highly influenced by any degradation of its attributes (colour, shrinkage, handle etc) after washing or cleaning. In the UK textile care instructions are advisable as a means of avoiding customer complaints but are not compulsory. However If recommendations are provided, they must be correct. Elsewhere appropriate labelling is a requirement.

The UK adopted a national care labelling scheme during the 1960s and adopted the symbols owned and protected (under international trademark legislation) by Ginetex, a Swiss organisation. The Ginetex symbols were initially incorporated into a British standard, and more recently into International standard, BS EN ISO 3758.

In a number of countries around the world the symbols may only be used under licence, with a levy being payable to the national organisation who is a member of Ginetex. In the UK the member is HLCC, Home Laundering Consultative Council. HLCC operate a fixed fee membership allowing use of the symbols worldwide.

The industry norm is to quote the maximum recommended treatment to avoid irreversible damage. Generally this takes the form of either the international standard symbols or simple phrases or a combination of both. It is clearly important to use both the appropriate symbols and ensure that the product performs at this maximum treatment level; assurance generally being achieved by testing.

Laundering outside the home environment by commercial cleaners (using either "dry cleaning" or water based processes) is supported by the "professional Cleaning" symbol in ISO 3758 advising which process and chemicals are appropriate.

Industrial cleaning presents its own issues and the marking of workwear articles and PPE clothing on the suitability of using the processes defined in ISO 15797, is being addressed through the proposed ISO/DIS 30023.

Bolton Consultancy Ltd has extensive experience in care labelling and can advise on many issues.  Please contact Bolton Consultancy Ltd to discuss your needs in detail.