A couple of weeks ago I bought a sweater for my husband at Costco. It quickly became one of his favorites. :-) So when it came time to wash it he wanted to make sure he followed the “instructions” on the label hoping to avoid repeating a recent “shirt shrinking” episode.
He showed me some symbols on the label of the sweater and asked me what they meant. I HAD NO IDEA! To be honest, I haven’t really ever looked at any of the laundry symbols to figure out what they meant. But guess what? I have now! And now I can explain them to you. :-)
(Trust me…you’re going to be glad to know this stuff!)
Way back in 1971 the FTC started requiring manufacturers to tag their clothing with at least one safe cleaning method. In 1997 they came up with SYMBOLS that could be used in place of words on labels. The universal symbols were developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and are used by the detergent, textile, apparel, and appliance industries around the world.
What does this mean to you and me? It means we better know what these symbols mean if we want to get the most “life” out of our clothing…or at least avoid their early demise!
While I was thoroughly confused when I first tried to decipher the symbols on Dave’s shirt label…I have since realized it’s a very simple system if you just take a minute to actually LEARN it. OR if you have a couple of “Cheat Sheets” like the ones I made up for MY laundry room that I want to share with you today! :-) The information comes from Textile Affairs.com which also has lots of other good information about caring for clothes.
I hope you all find these as helpful as I did! I feel like I “cracked the code” and now I am no longer intimidated by those cryptic-looking symbols on my clothes! Time to go buy some more to celebrate! ;-)