Care Labels – Guide on Care Labelling Systems


A nursing guide is a small solution to a big problem. Care labels provide consumers with guidelines on clothing care and the best cleaning procedures for specific combinations of fabric, thread, and construction techniques. Follow the instructions on the care label to ensure that the look and fit of the garment will remain the same after repeated cleaning treatments.

From the manufacturer’s point of view, damage to clothing caused by incorrect cleaning methods may lead to complaints; Expensive customer returns and bad image. However, accurate and clear writing of care labels can prevent customer dissatisfaction. From the consumer’s point of view, accurate and clear written care instructions can serve as a cleaning guide and influence purchasing. Clothing that is easy to care for is often preferred over clothing that involves complex or incomprehensible care procedures.

Lesser Known Facts About Care Labels

  • The country where the garment is sewn is the country of origin listed on the care label
  • Care labels must be permanently attached so that they are easily accessible to the consumer at the point of purchase. Generally, it is placed on the side or bottom
  • The manufacturer or importer who directs production is responsible for the accuracy of care instructions
  • A product may be imported without a care label, but it must be attached before the product is sold


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The Iron Symbol: 

Each point iron symbol corresponds to a specific temperature range. The single-point “Low Iron” setting indicates that clothes can be ironed at up to 110°C, while the “medium” setting can reach 150°C and the “high” setting can go all the way up to 200°C.

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 If the iron symbol on the care label does not have a dot, your items can be ironed at any temperature.

  The more dots on the iron symbol, the temperature that can be applied:

1: Soft objects such as silk and wool.

2: synthesis.

  3: linen and cotton.

 If the iron symbol has a cross on it, you should not iron the item.

Washing Temperature:

European standards for washing care always show numbers between 30 and 95. This number represents the highest safe temperature in degrees Celsius that you can machine wash a piece of clothing.

In Canada and the USA, the same temperature settings are expressed as dots. One dot means 30°C, two dots 40°C, three 50°C, and so on up to 70°C (five dots). The hottest temperature, 95°C, is shown with six dots.  


If your care label has a bathtub logo, your items can be washed in the washing machine.

The number on the bucket symbol represents the highest temperature that can be applied.

More bars under the tub means less spinning and rinsing:

No bar: Items can be spun and rinsed normally.

1 bar: Rotation speed needs to be reduced.

2bar: gently washed, but can be spun and rinsed normally.Washing Temperature

If there’s a cross on the bathtub symbol, you shouldn’t wash this thing.

Washing Method:

Most clothes can be classified as “unwashable”, “machine washable” or “hand washable”. The “Permanent ironing cycle” logo refers to a washing machine setting that helps reduce wrinkles (you can see some natural and synthetic fibers). The “gentle cycling” sign would only appear on very delicate fabrics that would wear out if they went through a standard washing machine cycle.


1、If the tub on the care label has hands, your items can be washed by hand, or placed in a 40°C/104°F or lower wash cycle.

2、Hand washing is more suitable for delicate garments such as cashmere or silk because it is gentle and prevents shrinkage or scratches.

3、If there is a twist on the care label, your item can be twisted.

4、If there is a cross on the twisted symbol on the care label, the item should not be tightened.

The Square Symbol:

The square symbol indicates how clothes should dry after washing. The most popular symbols are “non-billow drying” and “billow drying (normal),” but there are many other variations.

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In Britain and Europe, the “trunk line” is a vertical line (North America uses curves that “hang down” from the top of the square). The United States also has drum dryers with three temperature Settings, while in Europe there is only “drum drying (normal)” or “drum drying (low temperature)”. There are even signs telling consumers to dry clothes only in the shade, or not at all.

The Circle Symbol:

Professional laundry care is a specialized field, and the circle can convey a surprising amount of technical information to dry cleaners. A line under the circle indicates “limited mechanical action”, while two lines indicate “no mechanical action” (this refers to the number of times an item moves and agitates in the dryer). If there’s a letter in the circle, that letter tells the dry cleaner what chemicals to use or avoid in the cleaning process:


W: Wet Clean (Water Based Treatments)
A: Dry Clean (Any Solvents)
F: Dry Clean (Petroleum Based Solvents like R113)
P: Dry Clean (Perchloroethylene and Petroleum Based Solvents)

The Triangle Symbol:

If it’s safe to use chlorine bleach (for example, white cotton sheets), then empty triangles are perfect. If chlorine bleach is too harsh (like blue denim jeans), you’ll often see the symbol for oxygen bleach.

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