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Labelled with care

by Admin
1 comment

Have you ever been perplexed by the symbols on a clothing or linen tag? A standardized set of fabric care symbols is used by manufacturers to let the consumer know what is necessary to wash, dry, bleach, iron or dry-clean a particular fabric. Care label means a permanent label or a tag containing regular care information and instructions that is attached or affixed in such a manner that it will not be separated from the product and will remain legible during the useful life of the product. Care labels indicate how to clean textile in the best possible way. The symbols give all the necessary information on washing, bleaching, ironing, dry cleaning and tumble drying. Indeed, all the components of the textile need be taken into account like fibres, accessories, dyes, finishing treatments and texture.

For many consumers, the information on the care label is vitally important. So important, that the care label influences the purchase decision. These labels provide important information for processing of garments/linen. They can save time and money for processing of garments. If labels are missing, every garment has to be tested to find out proper cleaning process of the garment. “Fabric care label is like heart & lung for Laundry, ”explains Kiran Raj Singh, Laundry Manager of Shangri-la’s – Eros Hotel

Importance of Fabric care-labels

Care labels are very important for both buyers as well as for cleaners. The buyers can decide looking at the care labels whether they want to buy washable or dry-cleanable garment. For the laundry cleaner, the care-labels are of utmost important because they help him identify garment processing method and even the precautionary measures. Fabric care label serves as a guideline for the cleaner while processing garments. Some of the examples are:

• Hand wash symbols for delicate cloths

• Symbols for ‘No tumble dry delicate/shrinkable/

fancy cloths’

• No dry-clean symbols for rubber/plastic coated jacket, oil dissolvable print items

• No bleach sign, do not iron or dry flat.

“The fabric will be ruined if the launderer does not follow the instructions carefully. For instance: Instead of flat dry, when the launderer squeezes the fabric, it will loose the fabric strength and forms a crush appearance which will be never rectified,” informs Sachin Kapse, Laundry Manager, Renaissance Hotel Mumbai & Marriott Executive Apartment.

If a garment does not have care label, it has to be tested for type of processing like colour bleeding, bleach, wash and even shrink. Otherwise the launderer must confirm with garment owner for any doubt before processing, to save from damage liability in the future.

“Care label for fabrics is not mandatory in India. But one cannot sell garments abroad without care label,” said Kiran Raj. As most of the fabrics available in the market are blended, it would be difficult to judge the form/texture of the fabric. Apart from identifying the proportion of fabric used in garment, it would be difficult to maintain the fabric without knowing the ideal temperature for washing and whether it has to be bleached or unbleached.

Repeated cleaning treatments and correct care process can assure cleaner and fresher clothes, good appearance, longer life and most important, fit and quality of garment. Damage to garments from incorrect cleaning methods can only lead to complaints. As Kiran concludes, “If the launderer is careless or does not adhere to care label instructions, he might end up creating damage to garments like shrinking, colour fading, colour bleeding, etc. One shall have to compensate for the damage which is usually very high compared to cleaning charges.”

Information a launderer should look for in the care label

• Machine wash/Hand wash/Gentle wash/No wash • Wash Temperature

• Use of Chlorine bleach

• Care for any accessories like lining, buttons, trims, etc.

• Dry-clean/Professional dry-clan/No dry-clean

• Tumble dry/No tumble dry/Hang dry

• Cool iron/No iron/Iron inside out

• Composition of fabric (outer/inner/attachment, etc.)

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