Textiles must withstand many demands. They need to look good and be practical, durable and hard-wearing. They also need to fulfil physiological requirements so that certain properties that protect against heat, cold, moisture, chemicals or radiation, for example, are preserved. Through the use of a wide range of different materials, garment constructions and finishes such as functional materials, material bonds or waterproofing, these functions can be fulfilled. In this regard, it is important that these functional mechanisms remain intact even after washing. If the textile is not properly cared for, irreparable damages can be caused to the textile, resulting in limited or even complete loss of functionality.
To ensure the proper care of textiles, an international system of “care labels” was introduced. These labels are regulated by the international agreements of GINETEX. They consist of symbols and are independent of language. The GINETEX symbols are trademark-protected and should only be considered as a recommendation or used for informational purposes. GINETEX is promoting the more widespread use of the GINETEX symbols. The main purpose of this effort is to establish an international standard for care labelling.
Below we explain to you the five basic symbols of textile care labelling, which according to the GINETEX directive have to be used in the following order:
The “washing” symbol refers to both, hand and machine washing and should be followed for household laundry. If the tub is crossed out, this means that the textile should be hand washed only. If there is a hand in the tub, this marks hand washing.The numbers in the wash tub indicate the maximum washing temperature that should not be exceeded in degrees Celsius. A bar under the tub symbolizes a gentle treatment, a double bar indicates a particularly gentle treatment.
The “bleach” symbol is a triangle. The symbol indicates whether the use of products containing bleach laundry additives is possible during washing or not. An empty triangle means that chlorine and oxygen bleach can be used. If there are two oblique bars in the triangle, only oxygen bleaching is permitted, but no chlorine bleach. If the triangle is crossed out, the garment should not be bleached.
The “tumble dry” symbol is a square. If there is a circle inside, the symbol indicates that the garment is suitable for drying in a tumble drier. The dots inside the drier’s drum indicate the drying level or rather the corresponding temperature. If the care label symbol is crossed out, this means that machine drying in a tumble dryer is generally not permitted. Bars within the square indicate that natural drying processes should be used.
The “iron” symbol is an iron. If there are dots inside the “iron” symbol, these indicate the maximum temperature range that should be used when ironing. If the “iron” symbol is crossed out, this means that the product should not be ironed.
The “dry clean” symbol is a circle. Dry cleaning involves the use of both organic solvents and special water-based processes. For this reason, the care label distinguishes between dry cleaning and wet cleaning. The letters inside the circle indicate information about the solvent concerned. P and F stand for the organic solvents of the dry cleaning and W for the wet cleaning. A bar underneath the circle means that the mechanical stress must be reduced or that a milder process must be used. If the empty circle is crossed out, professional textile care in organic solvent is not possible and would only harm the textile. If the W in the circle is crossed out, it is not recommended to maintain the textile by wet cleaning.
We also keep our end users and industrial clients regularly informed about how to care for our products properly. For example, you can find the GINETEX care labels online on our product description pages in the “Care Instructions” section. Do you have any other questions about how to care for a particular A&E Gütermann product? We’re there for you! Contact us at: email@example.com
How to take proper care of textiles