Clothing labels can be confusing Posted on December 9, 2020 under Blog, Cleaning Tips, Garment Care. | no comments.

It’s important to check your clothing labels before washing and drying new garments so you don’t damage them. Many fabrics need special care, but the labels will tell you what to do.

Clothing label chartHowever, you have to know what the labels mean. They can be a little confusing. Clothing labels (and labels on other products using fabric) mostly rely on standard symbols. Although most are easy to figure out, others might not be so clear.

Textile garments are required to have care label attached to them. The labels were first used in the 1960s in Switzerland and then made their way to North America in the early 1970s. In 2000, standardized symbols, rather than words, were chosen to better convey information around the world.

You probably already have a good idea what clothes need special attention — suits, dresses, lingerie or any clothing with specialty or expensive luxury fabrics. Therefore, don’t just throw everything in the laundry basket and wash it. Read the label and follow the care instructions.

Clothing labels – What do they mean?

You may have read the label on your new outfit but you still aren’t clear what it means. Not all the symbols are obvious. If you get confused, you aren’t alone.

Let’s start with the basics.

At a minimum, laundering instructions include, in order: washing, bleaching, drying and ironing. Additional symbols or words may be used to clarify the instructions.

The symbols for washing directions look like water in a tub. They are pretty easy to figure out. If there is a hand with the water, it means to hand wash. The symbol for drying instructions is a square. A triangle indicates whether something can be bleached. Dry cleaning is represented by a circle.

Perhaps the easiest symbol is for ironing — it’s an iron.

In addition, there are dots indicating high, medium or low temperatures. If there is one dot in the water of the washing icon, that means use cold water. Two dots are medium and three indicate hot. 

On the other hand, some symbols indicate what not to do. An iron with an X through it, obviously, means don’t iron it. A triangle with an X through it means don’t use bleach.

It’s also important to know the definition of cold. It means different things to different people. Cold water temperature is up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, warm ranges from 87 to 111 degrees and hot is typically 112 to 145 degrees.

If you aren’t sure what the labels mean, there’s always one safe way to clean clothes — use a dry cleaner. They will be able to clean your clothes properly whether they can be washed and dried or dry cleaned.

At Champion Cleaners in Naples, we can take care of all your laundry and dry cleaning needs. We even provide free pick up and delivery. Call 239.598.1555.

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