ISO Care Symbols Term by Apparel Search - Terms of Interest to the Fashion Industry

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Before discussing ISO Care Symbols, lets explain what ISO means.  The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is one of the world's largest developers and publisher of International Standards.  ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 161 countries.  There is one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.  The ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government.  On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.

In summary, they develop "standards" and sell access to these standards in the form of books, CD's etc.  They also provide educational training and other services.
In regarding to apparel and textiles, the ISO has developed several international standards.  Here we will discuss one of their resources that is in regard to textile care labelling.  More specifically, the ISO Care Symbol resources. 
As stated on the ISO website in May 2009, "Care labels indicate how to clean textile articles in the best possible way. Care symbols give all the necessary information on washing, bleaching, ironing, dry cleaning and tumble drying. Without this information, the consumer may have trouble deciding on the appropriate care treatment because it does not solely depend on the main fabric of the textile article.  Indeed, all the components of the textile need be taken into account: other fibres and accessories, dyes, finishing treatments and texture."

Textile care symbols developed by the International Association for Textile Care Labelling (GINETEX) are the subject of the International Standard ISO 3758:2005 This standard is the result of an agreement between GINETEX, the owner of the trademarks, and ISO because GINETEX encourages an international use of the symbols Information on the use of the textile care symbols in ISO 3758 can be found on the GINETEX Web site.

GINETEX is the International Association for Textile Care Labelling

Learn more about GINETEX.

Textile care labelling symbols are managed by GINETEX (International Association for Textile Care Labelling).

GINETEX was established in 1963 by the professionnals of the textile-garment-care chain. Its head-office is in Paris, France.

The GINETEX care symbols are registered with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) in Geneva, Switerland as international trademarks.

To this end, care symbols must be used in respect of the use regulations of the trademarks together with the technical information on which they are based. This will help in the correct use of the symbols by the professionnals.

GINETEX has the following objectives:

  • to define symbols for textile care at an international level,
  • to define the regulations for the use of the said symbols,
  • to promote the propagation of the care symbols,
  • to acquire all markings and all rights relative to the symbols,
  • to register all marks, both national and international,
  • to insure protection for all marks and symbols as adopted in all member countries of the Association,
  • to conclude all agreements liable to the promotion of the above-mentioned objectives,
  • in general, to take all measures and carry out all actions in order to promote the above objectives, either directly or indirectly.

The GINETEX care labelling system is based on the following principles:

  • the uniform use of the symbols is basically carried out in the interest of the consumer,
  • the symbols were introduced in order to avoid any misinterpretation by the consumer,
  • the GINETEX symbols are simple enough to be understood in all countries, irrespective of the language spoken by the users, yet providing as much information as possible on the appropriate care treatments for textile articles,
  • in order to prevent irreversible damage, the professionnals are responsible for the choice of care-treatment in their articles,
  • the GINETEX care symbols cannot be used separately and shall refer to all treatments in the order: washing, bleaching, tumble drying, ironing and drycleaning,
  • the symbols of the actual care labelling code shall be adapted whenever necessary to technical and economical evolutions but the changes must be limited to essential ones in order not to create confusion for the consumer.


Learn more about Textile & Apparel Associations.

Learn more about Clothing Care Symbols.

Learn more about Care Labels.

Learn more about Ginetex.



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You can find woven label factories in our clothing manufacturers directory.  In that section you will also find care labels and other trimming components needed when producing clothing.


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