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Care Label Check in Garment Inspections 12 / 19 / 2019

It is not very uncommon for us in the quality control industry to come across situations which importers (mostly unexperienced) do not fully understand cross-border regulations on care labels and its importance to consumers’ satisfaction with the product they are buying.

To understand care labels, let us start by introducing its definition according to the Federal Trade Commission (https://www.ftc.gov)

Care label is a permanent label or tag which contains care information and instructions that is attached in such a manner that it will not become separated from the product and will remain legible during the useful life of the product. The reason why care labels must remain attached and legible is that they are normally pivotal when consumers shop for clothing. Some look for the convenience of dry cleaning, while others prefer the economy of washable garments. Worldwide regulators enforce care labeling rules which require manufacturers and importers to attach care instructions to garments following certain guidelines.

Who shall pay attention to these rules?

  1. Manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel
  2. Manufacturers and importers of piece goods sold to consumers for making wearing apparel
  3. Any person or organization that directs or controls the manufacturing or importing of textile wearing apparel or piece goods for making wearing apparel

What's to be covered?

  1. Textile apparel worn to cover or protect the body
  2. Exempt apparel: shoes, gloves and hats

Excluded items:

  1. Handkerchiefs, belts, suspenders and neckties
  2. Non-woven garments made for one-time use
  3. Piece goods sold for making apparel at home

V-Trust’s Guidelines on Care Labels

  • Care labels must be permanent (cannot be easily removed). Manufacturers must use cloth printing method and sewn on the inside of the garment. They can also be printed on the clothing (e.g. neckline position).
  • Care labels must contain the following:
    1. Composition information (fiber composition), indicating the fiber composition of clothing, such as "100% Cotton", "50% cotton, 50% Polyester" etc.
    2. Care information (care instruction), indicating the best way to care for the garment, including washing/washing temperature, drying method, ironing method, dry cleaning and more. The content may be a text description, or a symbol description, or a text description and a symbol description (written instructions and symbols);
    3. Origin information indicating the place of origin of the garment (some of the care labels may not contain this information), such as "Made in China";
    4. Other information that may be contained, such as fur logos and trace marks for the United States, Europe and other countries and regions, the guest's own trademark, cargo number, etc.
  • For protective clothing, the care label will also be marked with protection type or level, certification identification and other information.
  • Understanding care labels attached to clothing:

    Clothing Type

    Corresponding Care Label



    What’s in the instructions?

    1. Care label information indicates that the composition of each part is 100% polyester;
    2. The nursing information using "text and symbol", explained that the washing method for 40 degrees of machine washing; non-bleaching; cannot be tumble drying; cannot be ironed; cannot dry cleaning; and explained that fluorescent strip can only be washed 25 times;
    3. CE certification standard and the corresponding standard EN340:2003, indicating that this protective suit meets the requirements of this standard, as a general protective clothing.

    Note:

    The EU market for personal protective clothing, such as cold clothing, electric clothing, anti-high temperature clothing, anti-freeze clothing, chemical-resistant clothing, anti-ionization clothing, mechanical protective clothing, etc., requires CE certification mark. Examples of some common protective clothing standards are as follows:

     

    • EN 340: General requirements for protective clothing (minimum requirement);
    • EN 342: protective clothing (cold protection);
    • EN 381: protective clothing (chainsaw user);
    • EN 470: protective clothing (welders);
    • EN 510: protective clothing (danger of entanglement when moving);
    • EN 531: Protective clothing for workers exposed to heat sources (except for firefighters and welders);
    • EN 533: Protective clothing (protection against heat and flame - limited combination of flame-borne materials and materials);
    • EN 1149: protective clothing (anti-static);
  • Understanding care labels printed on the clothing:

    Clothing Type

    Corresponding Care Label

    What’s in the instructions?

    1. Care label information indicates the composition of 100% cotton fiber;
    2. The nursing information using the "symbol" way, explained the washing for 40 degrees of machine washing; medium temperature ironing (150 degrees temperature); non-bleachable, cannot be dry cleaned;

Inspection engineers when conducting quality check on garments are fully trained to perform care label checks according to client’s requirements and market regulations. It is extremely important the importers also provide the artwork of the care labels for comparison during inspections.

V-Trust has a solid history in helping overseas importers ensure their garments will be shipped in accordance with their quality standards and in compliance with markets’ regulations.

For more information concerning quality control and regulations, please feel free to contact us at info@v-trust.com

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V-Trust team
Joao
Account Manager
B.S. degree in Computer Engineering at West Virginia University
5-year experience in QC industry
Fluent in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Mandarin
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