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22 Jan 16

What do the Fabric Care Symbols Mean?

Fabric laundry symbols have been in practice for over 40 years now, the symbols are a pictogram design to provide valuable advice on how to wash and dry your garments. With this knowledge, you will never shrink or damage another piece of clothing again! Oh, if it was that easy!

The reality is, a large percentage of people don’t bother to look at the labels and the large number that do, don’t understand what all the symbols mean, they are not alone! A few of us here are also guilty of ignoring labels resulting in clothes suitable for a doll.

So, what do the symbols mean? Some are quite obvious, but others are a bit harder to work out.  The First main symbol group will be for your Machine wash, A stylized washtub is shown, and the number in the tub means the maximum wash temperature (degrees Celsius). A bar under the tub signifies a gentler treatment in the washing machine. A double bar signifies very gentle handling. A hand in the tub signifies that only (gentle) hand washing (not above 40°C) is allowed. A cross through washtub means that the textile may not be washed under normal household conditions.

(Please see our chart for the explanation of each symbol)

The second group will be your drying instructions, the square with the circle in is the dryer, not the washing machine. The dryer symbols can be the difference between the garment not turning into one for a doll! When you see dots in the middle, this is a guide to how hot the dryer cycle needs to be, If the circle is BLACK, this means no heat! If the label has just a square, this is an instruction to line/drip dry.

The third group is instruction on how to iron your clothes. The dots come into play again, 1 being a low heat. If there is a cross over the iron, do not iron!

If you see a circle on it’s own (no square around it) this mean take the garment to a dry cleaner!  There are also symbols for instructions on bleaching. The bleach symbol is a triangle. If you see diagonal lines in the triangle, this is asking for a non chlorine bleach… now we are getting complicated again!

To cater for the variety of care needed for items of clothing, we have introduced a delicate non bio laundry wash to our range. It is suitable for hand and machine washing and it is very gentle on clothes but strong enough to clean very well!

The bottom line is, please check your labels before you wash, this is also a must because if you need to take an item back to the store, if you have followed the advice on the label, then you have followed the manufacturers instructions and you won’t have broken the warranty.


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