Information content of textile labels in the United States, Canada, and Europe Conference

Houck, MM, Reubush, K. (2001). Information content of textile labels in the United States, Canada, and Europe . 46 222-229.

cited authors

  • Houck, MM; Reubush, K

fiu authors

abstract

  • While often overlooked, textile labels are an important source of information regarding the manufacture, location and distribution of textiles such as garments, carpets and upholsteries. Three main public laws govern the labelling of textiles in the United States: The Wool Products Labeling (WPL) Act of 1939, The Textile Fiber Products Identification Act of 1960 (TFPIA), and the Federal Trade Commission rule titled "Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods" of 1972. Additional rules also affect the information content of textile labels, such as the Fur Products Labeling Act of 1951. These laws apply to all domestic and imported textiles. Canada and Europe have similar laws but wary in their requirements for information content. The three US federal laws require five specific items of information to be contained on garment and piece good labels: Fibre content by name, fibre composition by percent of total fabric weight, manufacturer's name, country of origin, and care instructions. The first four of these must also appear on other textile products. The generic name of the fibre types present in quantities greater than 5% must be listed on a label; the definitions for these generic names are specified in the TFPIA. The coding of manufacturers through their WPL or Registered Numbers (RN) can be important in tracking down the distribution and manufacturing characteristics of a garment. Understanding the differences between phrases such as "Made in the USA" and "Made in the USA of imported yarn" can greatly affect the success of tracing a garment. Variations between US, Canadian, and European label content can be important in determining the country of origin and understanding the textile's composition. An example label is shown below.

publication date

  • January 1, 2001

start page

  • 222

end page

  • 229

volume

  • 46