Writing a Care Label
How to Comply with the Amended Care Labeling Rule
A Federal Trade Commission Manual for Business


CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

HOW TO COMPLY WITH THE RULE
   Who is covered
   What is covered
   What must be done
   When must labeling be done
   How to label textile clothing
   How to label piece goods
   Exemptions
   Violations
 
HOW TO WRITE CARE INSTRUCTIONS
   Washing Instructions
     Washing
     Bleaching
     Drying
     Ironing
     Warnings
   Drycleaning Instructions
     Warnings
 
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE RULE
   Where to put the label
   What to write on the label
   How to label piece goods
   Exemptions to the rule
 
APPENDIX: TEXT OF THE RULE

GLOSSARY OF STANDARD TERMS

 
Developed by the Commission staff with the assistance of the National Care Labeling Conference Committee.

Bureau of Consumer Protection Federal Trade Commission
March, 1984


INTRODUCTION

To assist consumers in getting information about clothing care, the Federal Trade Commission in 1971 issued the Care Labeling Rule. This Rule requires manufacturers and importers to attach care instructions to garment. A revised version of this Rule became effective on January 2, 1984. The revisions to the Rule were based on information gathered by the Commission through public hearings and written comments. Data revealed that while consumers found care labels to be useful, they also believed labels were often incomplete, inaccurate, and inconsistent.

The revised version of the Rule makes no major modifications. rather, the changes clarify the Rule requirements and simplify the Rule language. The Commission anticipates that these changes will make it easier for industry to comply with the Rule. In turn, consumers will benefit from clearer and more complete care instructions.

Care labels often are a deciding factor when consumers shop for clothing. While some are looking for the convenience of drycleaning, others prefer the economy of buying garments they can wash. Some manufacturers try to reach both markets with garments that can be cleaned by either method. The Rule allows you to provide more than one set of care instructions, if you have a reasonable basis for each instruction.

The Federal Trade Commission has developed this business manual to assist you in understanding and complying with the Rule. If you have questions not addressed in this booklet, write to the Federal Trade Commission, Enforcement Division. Bureau of Consumer Protection, Washington, D. C. 20580.

 

HOW TO COMPLY WITH THE RULE

The Care Labeling Rule requires manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel and certain piece goods to provide regular care label instructions when these products are sold. The specifics required by the Rule are discussed in this section. Greater detail may be found in the Rule itself, printed here as an appendix.

Who Is Covered
  ?nbsp; Manufacturers of textile wearing apparel.
  ?nbsp; Manufacturers of piece goods sold at retail to consumers for making wearing apparel.
  ?nbsp; Importers of textile wearing apparel.
  ?nbsp; Importers of piece goods sold to consumers for making wearing apparel.
  ?nbsp; Any person or organization that directs or controls the manufacture or importation of textile wearing apparel or piece goods for making wearing apparel.

What Is Covered
  ?nbsp; All textile wearing apparel used to cover or protect the body, except shoes, gloves, and hats. Items such as handkerchiefs, belts, suspenders, and neckties are excluded because they are not used to cover or protect the body. Non-woven, one-time use garment are excluded because they do not require ordinary care and maintenance.
  ?nbsp; All piece goods sold for making home-sewn apparel. An exception is marked manufacturers?remnants up to 10 yards when the fiber content is not known and cannot easily be determined. Trim up to 5 inches wide also is excluded.

What Must Be Done
  ?nbsp; Provide full care instructions about regular care for the garment, or provide warnings if a garment cannot be cleaned without harm.
  ?nbsp; Ensure that care labeling instructions, if followed, will cause no substantial harm to the product.
  ?nbsp; Warn consumers about certain procedures that they may assume to be consistent with the instructions on the label but that would harm the product.
  ?nbsp; Ensure that care labels remain legible throughout the useful life of the product.

When Must Labeling Be Done
  ?nbsp; Domestic manufacturers must attach care labels to finished products before they are sold.
  ?nbsp; Importers must ensure that care labels are attached to products before they are sold in this country. Care labels do not have to be attached to imported products when they enter the United States.

How To Label Textile Clothing
  ?nbsp; Labels must be fastened so they can be seen or easily found by consumers at the point of sale;
  ?nbsp; If labels cannot be readily seen because of packaging, additional care information must appear on the outside of the package or on a hang tag fastened to the product;
  ?nbsp; Labels must be fastened securely and be legible during the useful life of the product.

How to Label Piece Goods
  ?nbsp; Manufacturers and importers must provide care information clearly and conspicuously on the end of each roll or bolt. This information must say what regular care is needed. The information need only apply to the fabric on the roll or bolt and not to additional elements that the consumer may add to the fabric, such as trim, lining, or buttons.

Exemptions
The following products do not need to have permanently affixed care labels, although temporary labels must be provided.
  ?nbsp; Totally reversible clothing without pockets, as long as care information appears on a temporary label and is conspicuous at point of sale.
  ?nbsp; Products that may be washed, bleached, dried, ironed, or dry-cleaned by the harshest procedures available, as long as the instructions "Wash or dryclean, any normal method" appears on a temporary label and is conspicuous at point of sale.
  ?nbsp; Products granted exemptions under Section (c)(1 ) of the original Rule, (e.g., reversible garments), as long as they still meet the exemption standards.
  ?nbsp; Products granted exemptions in the future on grounds that care labels will harm their appearance or usefulness, pursuant to a petition under the amended Rule.
The following products do not need to include any care instructions.
  ?nbsp; Products sold to institutional buyers for commercial use.
  ?nbsp; Garments to be custom made of material provided by the consumer.
  ?nbsp; Products granted exemptions under Section (c)(2) of the original Rule because they were completely washable and sold at retail for $3 or less. If the product no longer meets the standard for the exemption, the exemption is automatically revoked.

Violations
Failure to provide reliable care instructions and warnings for the useful life of an item, as required, constitutes a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act and could subject the violator to enforcement action and penalties of up to $10,000 per offense.

 

HOW TO WRITE CARE INSTRUCTIONS

The label for textile wearing apparel must have either a washing instruction or a drycleaning instruction. If the product can be washed and drycleaned, the label need have only one of these instructions. If the product cannot be washed or drycleaned, the label must say "Do not wash - Do nor dryclean."

It is recommended, but not required, that the terms defined in the Rule’s glossary be used when applicable. Symbols that communicate care procedures may be used in addition to words, but the words must fulfill the requirements of the Rule.

Washing Instructions

Washing. The label must say whether the product should be washed by hand or machine. The label must also state a water temperature setting if regular use of hot water will harm the product.

EXAMPLE    MEANING
Machine wash, Warm    Use washing machine, warm setting. (Hot water should not be used.)
Hand wash, Cold    Wash by hand in cold water. (Machine washing, warm or hot water should not be used.)

Bleaching. If all commercially available bleaches can be used on a regular basis, the label need not mention bleach.

If chlorine bleach would harm the product when used on a regular basis, but regular use of non-chlorine bleach would not, the label must say "Only non-chlorine bleach when needed."

If all commercially available bleaches would harm the product when used on a regular basis, the label must say "No bleach" or "Do not bleach. "

EXAMPLE    MEANING
Machine wash, Warm    When bleach is not mentioned, all commercially available bleaches can safely be used when needed.
Machine wash, Warm. Only non-chlorine bleach when needed    Non-chlorine bleach can safely be used. (Regular use of chlorine bleach would harm the product.)

Drying. The label must say whether the product should be dried by machine or by some other method. Unless regular use of high temperature will harm the product when machine dried, no temperature seeing need be indicated.

EXAMPLE    MEANING
Machine wash, Warm. Tumble dry    Hot, medium or low dryer temperature setting can safely be used.
Machine wash, Warm. Tumble dry, Medium    Medium or low dryer temperature settings can safely be used. (The hot setting should not be used.)

Ironing. Ironing information must be given on a care label if ironing will be needed on a regular basis. If regular use of a hot iron will not harm a product, no temperature setting need be mentioned.

EXAMPLE    MEANING
Machine wash, Warm Tumble dry, Medium. Warm iron    Iron on a medium temperature setting. (The highest setting should not be used.)

Warnings. If the consumer may be expected to use a washing procedure that would harm the product, the label must contain a warning such as "Do not, " "No, " "Only, " or other clear wording to warn against the harmful procedure. For example, even though ironing is not regularly needed, and should not be used, the label should state "Do not iron" if the customer can be expected to occasionally "touch up" the garment.

If a care procedure on one product could cause harm to another product being washed with it, a warning must be given. For example, if an item is not colorfast, the label must say "Wash with like colors" or "Wash separately.

Warnings are not necessary for alternate procedures that may be harmful. For example, if the instructions state "Dry flat, " it is not necessary to give the warning "Do not tumble dry."

DrycIeaning Instructions

If all commercially available types of solvent can be used, the label need not mention any type of solvent. If one or more solvents would harm the product, a solvent that is safe to use must be mentioned.

EXAMPLE    MEANING
Dryclean    Item can be drycleaned by only commercial method that uses any of the available drycleaning solvents (petroleum, perchlorethylene, fluorocarbon).
Professionally dryclean Fluorocarbon or petroleum    Item can be drycleaned by any commercial establishment using fluorocarbon or petroleum. (Perchlorethylene solvent should not be used.)

Warnings. Any part of the drycleaning process that will harm the product must have a warning on the label. "Do not " "No" "Only " or other clear wording must be used.

EXAMPLE    MEANING
Professionally dryclean Reduced Moisture    Moisture addition to solvent should be reduced to decrease solvent’s relative humidity. (Do not use moisture addition to solvent up to 75% relative humidity).
Professionally dryclean Cabinet dry warm No steam    Cabinet dry at a temperature up to 120°F. (Do not tumble dry). No steam should be used in pressing, finishing, steam cabinets or wands.

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE RULE

Where To Put The Label
Q.  Can care instructions be put on the back of another permanent label sewn into the garment?      A.  If only one end of a permanent label is sewn into the garment and both sides of the label are readily accessible to the purchaser, care information may appear on the reverse side. However, the front side of the label must clearly show wording such as "Care Information on Reverse Side. "
Q.  Does each piece of an ensemble, suit, or other multiple piece garment need a care label?      A.  When a garment consists of two or more parts that are always sold as a unit, only one care label is required if the care instructions are identical for all pieces. The label should be attached to the major piece. If the items require different care instructions or are designed to be sold separately then each item must have a care label.
Q.  Is it permissible to print care instructions directly on the product?      A.  Yes, if the instructions meet the Rule’s requirements of permanency and legibility.

What To Write On The Label
Q.  What is the minimum washing instruction that can be noted on a care label?      A.  At a minimum, a washing instruction would include a method of washing and a method of drying, such as "Machine wash, Tumble dry." This minimal wording, however, means that the product can be machine washed and tumble dried at any temperature, that ironing is not necessary, that any type of bleach can be used, and that no warnings are required. Thus, all elements of a proper washing instruction would have to be considered - washing, drying, ironing, bleaching, and warnings.
Q.  Generally, when wash-and-wear garments are removed promptly from the dryer, they do not need ironing. But if the garments are not removed promptly, they will wrinkle and require some pressing with a cool iron. Must a care instruction say something about this?      A.  Yes. The Rule requires ironing instructions (l) if ironing is needed on a regular basis to preserve the appearance of the product or (2) as a special warning when a consumer reasonably can be expected to use an iron and the use of a hot iron would harm the product. In these cases, it is reasonable to expect some consumers to use an iron. Therefore, the instruction could read "Cool iron, if needed." This indicates that ironing is not needed on a regular basis, but if an iron is used, it should be set at the lowest temperature setting.
Q.  Is it proper if the bleach portion of a washing instruction says "Do not use chlorine bleach"?      A.  No. A care label that only contains the words "Do not use chlorine bleach" is not acceptable. If regular use of a chlorine bleach would harm a product, but regular use of a non-chlorine bleach would not, the care label must say "Only non-chlorine bleach, when needed." This instruction is designed to warn the consumer that chlorine bleach is not safe, but non-chlorine bleach is safe for regular use. For further clarity, the care label may say "Only non-chlorine bleach, when needed. Do not use chlorine bleach."
Q.  Would a care instruction that said "Wash in warm water with a mild detergent. Block to dry. Do not use bleach." be permitted under the Rule?      A.  No. This instruction is not complete, even if no other warnings are required and ironing is not necessary. The Rule requires that washing instructions say whether the product should be washed by hand or machine. If you use the terminology contained in the glossary of this booklet to write your instructions, they will meet the requirements of the regulation. The glossary provides a common point of reference for manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.
Q.  Must a care instruction take into consideration such things as linings, trim, buttons, and zippers?      A.  Yes. Care instructions must include all components of the product, including non-detachable linings, trim, and other details. Any special considerations for such components should be contained in the instruction as a warning, e. g., remove trim, or close zipper. A detachable component, such as a zip-out liner, must be separately labeled when it requires a different care procedure than the main product.
Q.  Under what conditions may the instruction "Dryclean, only" be used?      A.  "Dryclean, only" may be used when the garment can be safely drycleaned by the normal process (without modifications), using any drycleaning solvent. The instruction also indicates that the product cannot be washed. When this instruction is used, there must be a reasonable basis established for both the drycleaning and the washing instruction.
Q.  Is the single word "Dryclean" a sufficient care instruction?      A.  Yes. While a drycleaning instruction generally must include the types of solvent that can be used safely, if any type of commercially available solvent can be used, i.e., perchlorethylene, petroleum, or fluorocarbon, the instruction may omit the list. Thus, a care instruction containing only the word "Dryclean" means that any solvent may be used safely in a process that includes machine cleaning, moisture addition to solvent of up to 75% relative humidity hot tumble drying up to 160’F., and restoration by steam press or steam-air finishing.
Q.  When should the instruction "Professionally dryclean" be used?      A.  "Professionally dryclean" should be used when the normal drycleaning process must be modified to safely dryclean the product. However, by itself, "Professionally dryclean" is not an adequate instruction. It must be accompanied by the modification(s) necessary to make the drycleaning process safe. For example, "Professionally dryclean, Reduced moisture, Short cycle, Tumble warm, No steam" would mean that any commercially available solvent could be used, the moisture addition to the solvent should be reduced, the cleaning time should be reduced, the warm setting (120’F) should be used for tumble drying, and steam should not be used in pressing or finishing.

How To Label Piece Goods
Q.  What is meant by "certain piece goods," as the term is used in the Rule?      A.  Under the Rule, certain piece goods are fabrics sold at retail on a piece-by-piece basis from bolts, pieces, or rolls for use in home sewing of textile wearing apparel. The term "fabric" means any material woven, knitted, felted, or otherwise produced from, or in combination with, any natural or manufactured fiber, yarn, or substitute.

Two categories of piece goods are excluded from the Rule:
?nbsp; Trim up to 5 inches wide, such as ribbon, lace, rick-rack, tape, belting, binding, braid;
?nbsp; Manufacturer’s remnants up to 10 yards long when the remnants are clearly and conspicuously marked as "pound goods" or "fabric of undetermined origin and the fiber content of the remnant is not known and cannot readily be determined. If the fiber content of the remnant is known, it is not excluded. Remnants created at the retail level, or by the manufacturer at the request of the retailer, also are not excluded.

Q.  Manufacturers and importers must put care information for piece goods "on the end of each bolt or roll." Is there any specific location for this information?      A.  This requirement is purposefully broad. Care information may be placed on the selvedge of the material, on the end of the "board" on which the goods are wound, on a tag attached to the selvedge or the "board end, " or on any other position at the end of the rolI where the information can be found easily and read by a consumer. If a tag is used, it should be attached so that it will not become separated from the bolt until the last piece is sold.

Exemptions To The Rule
Q.  The Rule exempts products sold to institutional buyers for commercial use. Does this include rental service companies?      A.  Yes. Other examples include hospitals; nursing homes; colleges and universities; local, state, and federal institutions; hotels; motels; and other bulk purchasers of uniforms and employee work clothes.
Q.  Is there any exemption that applies to a whole product line?      A.  The only product line exemption applies to hosiery, including stockings, anklets, waist-high tights, pantyhose, and leg warmers. All hosiery items are granted an exemption from having to use a permanent care label, but they must have care instructions on a hangtag, on the package, or in some other conspicuous place. This includes sheer hosiery (50 denier or less), and bleeders. However, there are some kinds of hosiery that need no labeling - hosiery that sells at retail for $3 or less and can be washed and dried at hot settings without damage.


APPENDIX: TEXT OF THE RULE AND
GLOSSARY OF STANDARD TERMS

16 CFR  PART 423 --
CARE LABELING OF TEXTILE WEARING APPAREL
AND CERTAIN PIECE GOODS AS AMENDED

Contents
423.1 Definitions.
423.2 Terminology.
423.3 What this regulation does.
423.4 Who is covered.
423.5 Unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
423.6 Textile wearing apparel.
423.7 Certain piece goods.
423.8 Exemptions.
423.9 Conflict with flammability standards.
423.10 Stayed or invalid parts.
Appendix A to Part 423 -- Glossary of Standard Terms

Cite this rule as 16 CFR 423
Effective July 3, 1972
As Ammended Effective January 2, 1984


423.1 Definitions.

(a) Care label means a permanent label or tag, containing regular care information and instructions, that is attached or affixed in such a manner that it will not become separated from the product and will remain legible during the useful life of the product.

(b) Certain Piece Goods means textile products sold by the piece from bolts or rolls for the purpose of making home sewn textile wearing apparel. This includes remnants, the fiber content of which is known, that are cut by or for a retailer but does not include manufacturers' remnants, up to ten yards long, that are clearly and conspicuously marked pound goods or fabrics of undetermined origin (i.e., fiber content is not known and cannot be easily ascertained) and trim, up to five inches wide.

(c) Dryclean means a commercial process by which soil is removed from products or specimens in a machine which uses any common organic solvent (e.g. petroleum, perchlorethylene, fluorocarbon). The process may also include adding moisture to the solvent, up to 75% relative humidity, hot tumble drying up to 160 degrees F (71 degrees C) and restoration by steam press or steam-air finishing.

(d) Machine Wash means a process by which soil is removed from products in a specially designed machine using water, detergent or soap and agitation. When no temperature is given, e.g., warm or cold, hot water up to 150 degrees F (66 degrees C) can be regularly used.

(e) Regular Care means customary and routine care, not spot care.

(f) Textile Product means any commodity, woven, knit or otherwise made primarily of fiber, yarn or fabric and intended for sale or resale, requiring care and maintenance to effectuate ordinary use and enjoyment.

(g) Textile Wearing Apparel means any finished garment or article of clothing made from a textile product that is customarily used to cover or protect any part of the body, including hosiery, excluding footwear, gloves, hats or other articles used exclusively to cover or protect the head or hands.

423.2 Terminology.

(a) Any appropriate terms may be used on care labels or care instructions so long as they clearly and accurately describe regular care procedures and otherwise fulfill the requirements of this regulation.

(b) Any appropriate symbols may be used on care labels or care instructions, in addition to the required appropriate terms so long as the terms fulfill the requirements of this regulation.

(c) The terminology set forth in Appendix A may be used to fulfill the requirements of this regulation.

423.3 What this regulation does.

This regulation requires manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel and certain piece goods, in or affecting commerce, as "commerce" is defined in the Federal Trade Commission Act, to provide regular care instructions at the time such products are sold to purchasers through the use of care labels or other methods described in this rule.

423.4 Who is covered.

Manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel and certain piece goods are covered by this regulation. This includes any person or organization that directs or controls the manufacture or importation of covered products.

423.5 Unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

(a) Textile wearing apparel and certain piece goods. In connection with the sale, in or affecting commerce, of textile wearing apparel and certain piece goods, it is an unfair or deceptive act or practice for a manufacturer or importer:

(1) To fail to disclose to a purchaser, prior to sale, instructions which prescribe a regular care procedure necessary for the ordinary use and enjoyment of the product;

(2) To fail to warn a purchaser, prior to sale, when the product cannot be cleaned by any cleaning procedure, without being harmed;

(3) To fail to warn a purchaser, prior to sale, when any part of the prescribed regular care procedure, which a consumer or professional cleaner could reasonably be expected to use, would harm the product or others being cleaned with it;

(4) To fail to provide regular care instructions and warnings, except as to piece goods, in a form that can be referred to by the consumer throughout the useful life of the product;

(5) To fail to possess, prior to sale, a reasonable basis for all regular care information disclosed to the purchaser.

(b) Violations of this regulation. The Commission has adopted this regulation to prevent the unfair or deceptive acts or practices, defined in paragraph (a) of this Section. Each manufacturer or importer covered by this regulation must comply with the requirements in 423.2 and 423.6 through 423.8 of this regulation. Any manufacturer or importer who complies with the requirements of 423.2 and 423.6 through 423.8 does not violate this regulation.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3084 - 0046)

423.6 Textile wearing apparel.

This section applies to textile wearing apparel.

(a) Manufacturers and importers must attach care labels so that they can be seen or easily found when the product is offered for sale to consumers. If the product is packaged, displayed, or folded so that customers cannot see or easily find the label, the care information must also appear on the outside of the package or on a hang tag fastened to the product.

(b) Care labels must state what regular care is needed for the ordinary use of the product. In general, labels for textile wearing apparel must have either a washing instruction or a drycleaning instruction. If a washing instruction is included, it must comply with the requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. If a drycleaning instruction is included, it must comply with the requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. If either washing or drycleaning can be used on the product, the label need have only one of these instructions. If the product cannot be cleaned by any available cleaning method without being harmed, the label must so state. [For example, if a product would be harmed both by washing and by drycleaning, the label might say "Do not wash -- do not dryclean," or "Cannot be successfully cleaned."] The instructions for washing and drycleaning are as follows:

(1) Washing, drying, ironing, bleaching and warning instructions must follow these requirements:

(i) Washing. The label must state whether the product should be washed by hand or machine. The label must also state a water temperature that may be used. However, if the regular use of hot water will not harm the product, the label need not mention any water temperature. [For example, "Machine wash" means hot, warm or cold water can be used.]

(ii) Drying. The label must state whether the product should be dried by machine or by some other method. If machine drying is called for, the label must also state a drying temperature that may be used. However, if the regular use of a high temperature will not harm the product, the label need not mention any drying temperature. [For example, "Tumble dry" means that a high, medium, or low temperature setting can be used.]

(iii) Ironing. Ironing must be mentioned on a label only if it will be needed on a regular basis to preserve the appearance of the product, or if it is required under paragraph (b)(1)(v) of this section, Warnings. If ironing is mentioned, the label must also state an ironing temperature that may be used. However, if the regular use of a hot iron will not harm the product, the label need not mention any ironing temperature.

(iv) Bleaching. (A) If all commercially available bleaches can safely be used on a regular basis, the label need not mention bleaching.

(B) If all commercially available bleaches would harm the product when used on a regular basis, the label must say "No bleach" or "Do not bleach."

(C) If regular use of chlorine bleach would harm the product, but regular use of a non-chlorine bleach would not, the label must say "Only non-chlorine bleach, when needed."

(v) Warnings. (A) If there is any part of the prescribed washing procedure which consumers can reasonably be expected to use that would harm the product or others being washed with it in one or more washings, the label must contain a warning to this effect. The warning must use words "Do not," "No," "Only," or some other clear wording. [For example, if a shirt is not colorfast, its label should state "Wash with like colors" or "Wash separately." If a pair of pants will be harmed by ironing, its label should state "Do not iron."]

(B) Warnings are not necessary for any procedure that is an alternative to the procedure prescribed on the label. [For example, if an instruction states "Dry flat," it is not necessary to give the warning "Do not tumble dry."]

(2) Drycleaning. -- (i) General. If a drycleaning instruction is included on the label, it must also state at least one type of solvent that may be used. However, if all commercially available types of solvent can be used, the label need not mention any types of solvent. The terms "Drycleanable" or "Commercially Dryclean" may not be used in an instruction. [For example, if drycleaning in perchlorethylene would harm a coat, the label might say "Professionally dryclean: fluorocarbon or petroleum."]

(ii) Warnings. (A) If there is any part of the drycleaning procedure which consumers or drycleaners can reasonably be expected to use that would harm the product or others being cleaned with it, the label must contain a warning to this effect. The warning must use the words "Do not," "No," "Only," or some other clear wording. [For example, the drycleaning process normally includes moisture addition to solvent up to 75% relative humidity, hot tumble drying up to 160 degrees F and restoration by steam press or steam-air finish. If a product can be drycleaned in all solvents but steam should not be used, its label should state "Professionally dryclean. No steam."]

(B) Warnings are not necessary to any procedure which is an alternative to the procedure prescribed on the label. [For example, if an instruction states "Professionally dryclean, fluorocarbon," it is not necessary to give the warning "Do not use perchlorethylene."]

(c) A manufacturer or importer must establish a reasonable basis for care information by processing prior to sale:

(1) Reliable evidence that the product was not harmed when cleaned reasonably often according to the instructions on the label, including instructions when silence has a meaning. [For example, if a shirt is labeled "Machine wash. Tumble dry. Cool iron.," the manufacturer or importer must have reliable proof that the shirt is not harmed when cleaned by machine washing (in hot water), with any type of bleach, tumble dried (at a high setting), and ironed with a cool iron]; or

(2) Reliable evidence that the product or a fair sample of the product was harmed when cleaned by methods warned against on the label. However, the manufacturer or importer need not have proof of harm when silence does not constitute a warning. [For example, if a shirt is labeled "Machine wash warm. Tumble dry medium", the manufacturer need not have proof that the shirt would be harmed if washed in hot water or dried on high setting]; or

(3) Reliable evidence, like that described in paragraph (c) (1) or (2) of this section, for each component part of the product; or

(4) Reliable evidence that the product or a fair sample of the product was successfully tested. The tests may simulate the care suggested or warned against on the label; or

(5) Reliable evidence of current technical literature, past experience, or the industry expertise supporting the care information on the label; or

(6) Other reliable evidence.

423.7 Certain piece goods.

This section applies to certain piece goods.

(a) Manufacturers and importers of certain piece goods must provide care information clearly and conspicuously on the end of each bolt or roll.

(b) Care information must say what regular care is needed for the ordinary use of the product, pursuant to the instructions set forth in 423.6. Care information on the end of the bolt need only address information applicable to the fabric.

423.8 Exemptions.

(a) Any item of textile wearing apparel, without pockets, that is totally reversible (i.e., the product is designed to be used with either side as the outer part or face) is exempt from the care label requirement.

(b) Manufacturers or importers can ask for an exemption from the care label requirement for any other textile wearing apparel product or product line, if the label would harm the appearance or usefulness of the product. The request must be made in writing to the Secretary of the Commission. The request must be accompanied by a labeled sample of the product and a full statement explaining why the request should be granted.

(c) If an item is exempt from care labeling under paragraph (a) or (b), of this section the consumers still must be given the required care information for the product. However, the care information can be put on a hang tag, on the package, or in some other conspicuous place, so that consumers will be able to see the care information before buying the product.

(d) Manufacturers and importers of products covered by 423.5 are exempt from the requirement for a permanent care label if the product can be cleaned safely under the harshest procedures. This exemption is available only if there is reliable proof that all of the following washing and drycleaning procedures can safely be used on a product:

(1) Machine washing in hot water;

(2) Machine drying at a high setting;

(3) Ironing at a hot setting;

(4) Bleaching with all commercially available bleaches;

(5) Drycleaning with all commercially available solvents. In such case, the statement "wash or dry clean, any normal method" must appear on a hang tag, on the package, or in some other conspicuous place, so that consumers will be able to see the statement before buying the product.

If a product meets the requirements outlined above, it is automatically exempt from the care label requirement. It is not necessary to file a request for this exemption.

(e) Manufacturers and importers need not provide care information with products sold to institutional buyers for commercial use.

(f) All exemption granted under 423.1(c) (1) or (2) or the Care Labeling Rule issued on December 9, 1971, will continue to be in effect if the product still meets the standards on which the original exemption was based. Otherwise, the exemption is automatically revoked.

423.9 Conflict with flammability standards.

If there is a conflict between this regulation and any regulations issued under the Flammable Fabrics Act, the Flammable Fabics regulation govern over this one.

423.10 Stayed or invalid parts.

If any part of this regulation is stayed or held invalid, the rest of it will stay in force.


16 CFR Part 423, Appexdix A -- Glossary of Standard Terms

1. Washing, Machine Methods:

a. Machine wash -- a process by which soil may be removed from products or specimens through the use of water, detergent or soap, agitation and a machine designed for this purpose. When no temperature is given, e.g., warm or cold, hot water up to 150°C) can be regularly used.

b. Warm -- initial water temperature setting 90°F (32°C) (hand comfortable).

c. Cold -- initial water temperature setting same as cold water tap up to 85°C).

d. Do not have commercially laundered -- do not employ a laundry which uses special formulations, sour rinses, extermely large loads or extermely high temperatures or which otherwise is employed for commercial, industrial or institutional use. Employ laundering methods designed for residential use or use in a self-service establishment.

e. Small load -- smaller than normal washing load.

f. Delicate cycle or gentle cycle -- slow agitation and reduced time.

g. Durable press cycle or permanent press cycle -- cool down rinse or cold rinse before reduced spinning.

h. Separately -- alone.

i. With like colors -- with colors of similar hue and intensity.

j. Wash inside out -- turn product inside out to protect face of fabric.

k. Warm rinse -- initial water temperature setting 90°F (32°C).

l. Cold rinse -- initial water temperature setting same as cold water tap up to 85°C).

m. Rinse thoroughly -- rinse several times to remove detergent, soap, and bleach.

n. No spin or Do not spin -- remove material start of final spin cycle.

o. No wring or Do not wring -- do not use roller wringer, nor wring by hand.


2. Washing, Hand Methods:

a. Hand wash -- a process by which soil may be manually removed from products or specimens through the use of water, detergent or soap, and gentle squeezing action. When no temperature is given, e.g., warm or cold, hot water up to 150°C) can be regularly used.

b. Warm -- initial water temperature 90°F (32°C) (hand comfortable).

c. Cold -- initial water temperature same as cold water tap up to 85°C).

d. Separately -- alone.

e. With like colors -- with colors of similar hue and intensity.

f. No wring or twist -- handle to avoid wrinkles and distortion.

g. Rinse thoroughly -- rinse several times to remove detergent, soap, and bleach.

h. Damp wipe only -- surface clean with damp cloth or sponge.


3. Drying, All Methods:

a. Tumble dry -- use machine dryer. When no temperature setting is given, machine drying at a hot setting may be regularly used.

b. Medium -- set dryer at medium heat.

c. Low -- set dryer at low heat.

d. Durable press or Permanent press -- set dryer at permanent press setting.

e. No heat -- set dryer to operate without heat.

f. Remove promptly -- when items are dry, remove immediately to prevent wrinkling.

g. Drip dry -- hang dripping wet with or without hand shaping and smoothing.

h. Line dry -- hang damp from line or bar in or out of doors.

i. Line dry in shade -- dry away from sun.

j. Line dry away from heat -- dry away from heat.

k. Dry flat -- lay out horizontally for drying.

l. Block to dry -- reshape to original dimensions while drying.

m. Smooth by hand -- by hand, while wet, remove wrinkles, straighten seams and facings.


4. Ironing and Pressing:

a. Iron -- Ironing is needed. When no temperature is given iron at the highest temperature setting may be regularly used.

b. Warm iron -- medium temperature setting.

c. Cool iron -- lowest temperature setting.

d. Do not iron -- item not to be smoothed or finished with an iron.

e. Iron wrong side only -- article turned inside out for ironing or pressing.

f. No steam or Do not steam -- steam in any form not to be used.

g. Steam only -- steaming without contact pressure.

h. Steam press or Steam iron -- use iron at steam setting.

i. Iron damp -- articles to be ironed should feel moist.

j. Use press cloth -- use a dry or a damp cloth between iron and fabric.


5. Bleaching:

a. Bleach when needed -- all bleaches may be used when necessary.

b. No bleach or Do not bleach -- no bleaches may be used.

c. Only non-chlorine bleach, when needed -- only the bleach specified may be used when necessary. Chlorine bleach may not be used.


6. Washing or Drycleaning:

a. Wash or dryclean, any normal method -- can be machine washed in hot water, can be machine dried at a high setting, can be ironed at a hot setting, can be bleached with all commercially available bleaches and can be drycleaned with all commercially available solvents.


7. Drycleaning, All Procedures:

a. Dryclean -- a process by which soil may be removed from products or specimens in a machine which uses any common organic solvent (for example, petroleum, perchlorethylene, fluorocarbon) located in any commercial establishment. The process may include moisture addition to solvent up to 75% relative humidity, hot tumble drying up to 160°F (71°C) and restoration by steam press or steam-air finishing.

b. Professionally dryclean -- use the drycleaning process but modified to ensure optimum results either by a drycleaning attendant or through the use of a drycleaning machine which permits such modifications or both. Such modifications or special warnings must be included in the care instruction.

c. Petroleum, Fluorocarbon, or Perchlorethylene -- employ solvent(s) specified to dryclean the item.

d. Short cycle -- reduced or minimum cleaning time, depending upon solvent used.

e. Minimum extraction -- least possible extraction time.

f. Reduced moisture or Low moisture -- decreased relative humidity.

g. No tumble or Do not tumble -- do not tumble dry.

h. Tumble warm -- tumble dry up to 120°C).

i. Tumble cool -- tumble dry at room temperature.

j. Cabinet dry warm -- cabinet dry up to 120°C).

k. Cabinet dry cool -- cabinet dry at room temperature.

l. Steam only -- employ no contact pressure when steaming.

m. No steam or Do not steam -- do not use steam in pressing, finishing, steam cabinets or wands.


8. Leather and Suede Cleaning:

a. Leather clean -- have cleaned only by a professional cleaner who uses special leather or suede care methods.


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