06.07.2023

What information should you include on a care label

care label

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates garment care labeling via the Care Labeling Rule and other acts. The good thing about this regulation is that it spells out exactly what you need to include on your care label.

The FTC Act also explains who has to abide by these rules, which garments they apply to, and much more. It is crucial to follow the FTC’s rules around garment labeling to avoid potential fines.

Additionally, care labels are essential for helping your customers decide on which items to purchase. For example, some shoppers may not prefer clothing they have to dry clean. It’s important to include that information on the label.

What are all the rules you need to consider when customizing your brand’s labels? We are talking about the most important ones to consider in this guide, so keep reading to learn more.

Who has to follow the care labeling rule?

The FTC’s Care Labeling Rule applies to manufacturers of apparel and apparel fabrics. It also applies to companies that import apparel and apparel fabrics.

What garments does the care labeling rule apply to?

The FTC’s care labeling rule applies to any garment that covers or protects the body. The only exceptions are shoes, hats, and gloves. The rule also does not apply to accessories like belts, suspenders, ties, and handkerchiefs.

Additionally, these rules apply to any piece of apparel companies sold to manufacturers or general consumers. The only exception is trimming fabric measuring up to five inches in width and up to 10 yards of remnant fabric.

Where should care labels go?

You can place care labels on the inside of the neck or in another easy-to-find area. You’re required to put the country of origin information (more on this in a moment) on the inside of the garment at the center of the neck if it has one.

All of the care labeling rule requirements we mention next can fit onto a single label. But if the information is too much for one label, the FTC allows you to split it onto multiple labels.

The FTC requires care labels to be permanently attached to garments. That means you can’t just include care labeling requirements on a hang tag or other removable tag.

Care labeling rule requirements

Now that you understand the basics of garment labeling, let’s get into the specific requirements.

The FTC and other regulatory agencies require you to include washing instructions, fiber content, country of origin, manufacturer identity, and flammability information.

Washing instructions

You must include information about washing (or dry cleaning) on the care label. The label must clearly state the following five elements.

  1. Whether the garment or fabric can be machine-washed, hand-washed, or dry-cleaned only
  2. Whether the garment or fabric can be bleached
  3. Whether the garment or fabric can be machine-dried or line-dried
  4. Ironing instructions
  5. Warnings about types of care that could ruin the garment or fabric

You can use text or ASTM-designated care symbols to represent this information.

Fiber content

The US Textile and Wool Acts require all garment tags to contain fiber content information. List the fibers in order of highest to lowest. Clearly state the percentages of each.

You do not have to list individual fibers that make up 5% or less of the garment. Instead, you can state that they are “other fibers.”

Also, you do not have to list the fiber content of decorative items if they make up 15% or less of the garment.

Country of origin

Your care label must also include where the fabric or garment was manufactured. The tightest regulations are regarding Made in the USA labeling. You can only state your product was Made in the USA if:

  • The garment was manufactured in the US
  • The fabric the garment consists of was manufactured in the US

You can state “Made in the USA of Imported Materials” if a US company manufactures the garment, but a non-US company makes the fabric.

Manufacturer identity

You must include information about the garment’s manufacturer on your care label. That means your label must feature an RN or registered identification number. The RN can correspond to:

  • The garment manufacturer
  • The garment importer
  • The corporation handling the garment’s sale

Manufacturers can also use this as an opportunity for brand marketing. You can include the name of your manufacturing company alongside the RN.

Hazard instructions

US law requires you to include information about a fabric’s or garment’s flammability on the care label. You must feature it in bold red capital letters. The text must be in Arial front and at least size 10 or larger.

Optional information for your care label

The above information is required for all US garment care labels. That doesn’t mean you can’t include additional information on the label, though.

For instance, there are no legal requirements around sizing on care labels, but they are the ideal place to include sizing. Also, you don’t have to include performance codes. But they are a value-add for customers.

What happens if you violate these requirements?

If you do not include the required information on a garment’s care label, the FTC can fine you. The penalty is up to $16,000 per offense.

Custom woven care labels from HiLabels

The US FTC requires care labels to include information about washing, fiber content, country of origin, manufacturer’s identity, and flammability information. This information will also help your customers make more informed purchasing decisions.

Are you searching for the best care labels for your brand? HiLabels offers custom woven care labels and more. Start customizing your care label with HiLabels today!

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