US FTC to Amend the Rule on Care Labeling of Textiles

On September 20, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission announced the proposed changes to the FTC Rule – 16 CFR Part 423, the Federal Care Labeling Rule on Apparel and Certain Piece Goods. Public comments are being sought and the comment period is open until November 16,12.

Online PR News – 16-October-2012 – Germany – The Care Labeling Rule requires manufacturers and importers to provide clear care instructions on labels that are legible throughout the life of the garment and are permanently attached to garments and certain piece goods. The Rule has been officially effective since 1971 and has been amended several times.

During the advanced rule making period, the Commission collected comments from the industry and consumers about the economic impact and benefit of care labels. Based on the comments collected, the FTC has determined to retain the rule with several proposed amendments such as:
• Add a definition of “wetclean” based on the definition of “professional wet cleaning” set forth in ISO 3758:2005(E). This allows manufacturers and importers to include instructions for wetcleaning on labels if the garment is able to be professionally wetcleaned (as optional).
• Permit manufacturers to use the care symbols in either the updated ASTM Standard D5489-07 “Standard Guide for Care Symbols for Care Instructions on Textile Products”, or ISO 3758:2005(E) “Textiles – Care labeling code using symbols” on labels in lieu of written terms for providing care instructions. Manufacturers or importers opting to use ISO symbols for care instructions must disclose that they are using ISO symbols.
• Clarify what constitutes a reasonable basis for care instructions by providing examples of situations where testing an entire garment may be needed to determine care instructions, as well as examples where such testing is not needed.
• Update and expand the definition of “dryclean” to reflect current practices and include new solvents in the list of examples and to cover solvents that are not organically-based.

Please refer to the Federal Register of the Proposed Rules ( for detailed content and other amendments that the Commission declined to propose.

Throughout the global network of laboratories and offices, SGS offers high quality testing for textiles, footwear and accessories (

For more information on care labeling of textiles, please feel free to contact the SGS experts-

Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services
Kris Wan
Global Softlines Development Office
SGS Hong Kong Limited
6/F, Metropole Square, 2 On Yiu Street, Siu Lek Yuen,
Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong

t.: +852 27747492

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