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Beginning July 1, 1997, the Federal Trade Commission will permit apparel manufacturers to start using specific care symbols, in place of written instructions on permanent labels. The FTC will require manufacturers to include written instructions explaining what the symbols mean on hangtags or elsewhere for the first 18 months.

The care symbols that may be used beginning July 1, 1997 were developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) . We urge you to purchase the 1996 Annual Book of ASTM Standards for the complete standard.

THIS IS AN EXCELLENT TIME TO CONFIRM THAT ALL YOUR CARE LABELS ARE IN COMPLIANCE.

Here is an example of a common compliance issue.
When using symbols to illustrate “non-chlorine bleach?the open triangle with an “X?symbol is incorrect! When your garments are safe in some type of bleach, but not in chlorine bleach, it is incomplete and therefore in violation of the FTC rule to say...“Do Not Use Chlorine Bleach? or “No Bleach?

Your care instructions must say... “Non-chlorine bleach when needed?/I>

The FTC recognized symbol for this instruction is:

Extensive testing has shown that all washable apparel is safe in non-chlorine bleach. Therefore, machine washable apparel care instructions need to include, and/or use the care symbol for “non-chlorine bleach when needed?


NOW AVAILABLE FOR MAC OR WINDOWS:
FTC CARE LABEL RULE REVISIONS & CARE SYMBOLS ON CD
Textile Industry Affairs is making available to the trade, at an industry cost of $29, a CD that includes the complete care symbol set in BMP, EPS, TIF and PIC formats. Also included are official Federal Register notices and related documents on care label issues. Call, fax or email your request to Eric J. Essma, General Manager, Textile Industry Affairs.
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