Clothing Labeling Regulations: A Guide for Garment Makers

Clothing labels provide valuable information about products and support brand awareness and credibility

Garment labeling has been a part of clothing production for a long time, but it still requires attention. You need to comply with the local regulations and laws, such as those issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and this simple guide will show you the information that is mandatory. Moreover, we’ll tell you about some other details that you can include to enhance your customer service.


1. Why are clothing labels important?

A label not only identifies your clothing and brand, but also provides instructions that help the customer maintain the garment for a long time after buying it. The standards for care labeling are so important that consumer protection agencies in the US, Canada and other countries have strict regulations on clothing labeling. Furthermore, some independent organizations, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), have their own labeling standards that companies must adhere to if they want to get certified.

The garment label standards of different countries have a common goal of protecting consumers, but they also have some significant differences that you need to be aware of if you plan to sell clothing or household textile items internationally. A simple tag on the inside center area of a garment saying “Made in the USA” is not enough, but we’ll help you understand the complicated legal framework around garment care information labeling to help you make your company name popular all over the world.

Clothing labels provide valuable information about products and support brand awareness and credibility
Clothing labels provide valuable information about products and support brand awareness and credibility

2. Clothing labeling regulations in different regions

Clothing and textile labeling is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Different countries have different watchdogs that oversee and enforce the rules. In the United States, the FTC and the CPB call the shots. In the UK, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is the boss, but local agencies may also have a say. The European Commission lays down the law in the EU, but member nations may add their own twists. In Australia, PSA is the guardian; in New Zealand, it is the Commerce Commission.

2.1 Labeling Regulations and Requirements in the USA

Labeling standards for textile products for domestic and foreign textile manufacturers are developed by the FTC and the CPB, in the US. These standards are outlined below:

1. Fiber Content

The Textile and Wool Acts mandate that all garments sold in the US must bear labels that disclose their fiber contents. The labels must list the fibers in descending order of their percentage by weight in the garment. Non-fibrous materials are exempt from this requirement.

Fibers that impart a function to the garment must be identified, but non-functional fibers may be aggregated as “other fibers” if they constitute less than 5 percent each of the garment.

Decorative items, such as ribbons and buckles, are not required to be identified if they make up less than 15 percent of the garment. If a textile product has ornamentation that represents less than 5 percent of its composition, it may also be excluded, but the label must state “Exclusive of Ornamentation” at the bottom. The lining must be marked separately and all textile materials must be named by their generic names rather than their trade names.

2. Country of Origin

The country of origin must be disclosed on all clothing labels as per the FTC’s requirement. A textile product can only bear the label “Made in the USA” if it was manufactured in the USA and it consists of materials that were also manufactured in the United States. If a garment was manufactured in the United States from materials that originated in another country, its label must state “Made in the USA of Imported Materials.

3. Washing and Care Instructions

The FTC enforces the Care Labeling Rule, which obliges all textile manufacturers who sell products in the US to provide labels that guide consumers on how to care for their products correctly. For example, care practices that could damage the clothing must be disclosed and recommended washing temperatures are also required. These labels must be readable, clear, and durable enough to last the garment’s lifetime.

4. Manufacturer Identification

This part of the FTC’s garment labeling codes also helps you promote your brand. The registered identification number (RN) of the manufacturer, importer, or corporate entity that sells the product must appear on the garment label of a textile product sold in the US. All domestic textile companies and importers must have RNs. This number identifies the dealer, and you can further strengthen your brand identity by adding the name of the manufacturer on your garment label.

5. Label Placement

All of the FTC’s required information can be included on one label, or this information can be divided into separate labels. These labels must stay attached to the garment until it reaches the consumer, which means that this FTC-required information cannot be included on hang tags. Country of origin information must be placed on the inside center of the neck if a garment has a neck, and other labels must be located in easily visible locations.

2.2 Labeling Regulations and Requirements in the UK

Even though clothing labels are small, they must include specific information that is clear to the consumer. The following information is required on a label according to UK regulations:

1. Fiber Content

The Government’s Textile Labeling Regulations require you to display the fiber content of your garment clearly on your label. The clothing label must specify the main fiber component’s content in the garment as a percentage, such as “100% cotton”.

The regulations define some materials and how to label them such as “pure” or “100%”, etc. They also describe the general terms and how to verify the clothing ingredients.

If you are selling to other locations outside of the UK, you will have to follow different regulations and labeling rules.


2. Country of Origin Label

This information is not mandatory in garment production in the UK. However, as part of trading regulations, it is vital to state the country the product was made. This is required so that brands don’t deceive customers about where the item was created. For instance: Clothing with a UK design but a Chinese production must clearly indicate “Made in China” on the label.

Received message. Here is a possible rewrite of your message in a different way but still in the same style: This information is not mandatory in garment production in the UK. However, as part of trading regulations, it is vital to state the country the product was made. This is required so that brands don’t deceive customers about where the item was created. For example, if your clothing is designed in the UK but manufactured in China, “Made in China” has to be clearly displayed.

3. Washing and Care Instructions

Care and washing instructions on clothing are not a mandatory part of clothing labels in the UK, but they are highly recommended to help the customer in prolonging the life of the garment. Washing and care instructions for the garment are considered as standard practice by most manufacturers during the manufacturing process. You should work with your supplier to ensure the information is helpful and clear to your customers.

Depending on your target consumer audience, you can include brief, catchy care instructions such as:

  • Wash inside out
  • Dry flat 
  • Iron on reverse 
  • Wash similar colors together 
  • Reshape while damp 
  • Dry-clean only

There is also a set of universal symbols used in Europe named GINETEX that indicate specific wash and care requirements. The main types of symbols are five in total:

  • Washing temperature and type 
  • Drying
  • Ironing temperatures 
  • Bleaching options 
  • Dry cleaning only
Clothing labels must include information on proper washing and care methods in compliance with local standards and regulations
Clothing labels must include information on proper washing and care methods in compliance with local standards and regulations

4. Flammable Garments

Your clothing label must show that you meet BS-5722, the British Standard for flammability, if you make specific types of clothing like children’s clothing, baby clothing, and nightwear.

You have to state on the label, “KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE.” if clothing does not meet these standards. This wording must have some specific font and character requirements to ensure it can be seen clearly. It must be in bold and red Arial font and in capital letters of at least size 10pt. This is a mandatory labeling standard that cannot be violated. non-compliance with the regulations may result in severe harm to consumers.

5. Label Placement

You should clearly indicate the position of your label when you finish your tech pack. Most clothing manufacturers will put a label on the inside seam of the garment for convenience. This way it is easy to locate but hidden from the outside.

The length of the label will depend on the amount of information you need to include. Make sure all information is clearly visible by thinking about the label’s placement in the design and talking to your clothing manufacturer.

6. Brand Information and Style Numbers

Clothing production relies heavily on branding, and a tiny label can have a huge impact. The label is the first thing they look at especially if they’ve had the garment for a while, when many consumers get questions like “Where did you buy that?” or “What size is that?” from others. 

A logo is enough since you have limited space. You can normally place it on the top or bottom of the small satin label that is stitched into the side of your garment. This also matches the main inside neck branding and size information.

7. Other Information

For brands that have unique qualifications or prizes, this information can be shown on the garment label. Details such as eco-friendly production or natural fiber content can also be displayed here.

Displaying awards or eco-friendly materials on the label will enhance your brand’s appeal and customer base.
Displaying awards or eco-friendly materials on the label will enhance your brand’s appeal and customer base.

2.3 Labeling Regulations and Requirements in the EU

Textile products that are sold in the member countries of the EU must follow a set of rules that the EU has created for their labeling. These textile labels must be given in the local language of the member state where the garments are sold, and they must also contain the following information:

1. Fiber Content

The fiber content of textile products marketed within the European Union must be plainly labeled in a reachable area. The label containing this information must be firmly attached and lasting, and this information should not include abbreviations except for internationally standardized automated processing codes.

Only textile products that are made entirely of one fiber can be labeled as “100 percent ,” and ornamental fibers present in concentrations of less than 7 percent need not be labeled. Moreover, it is not necessary to label antistatic substances that are present in concentrations of less than 2 percent, but any non-textile components of animal origin must be indicated.

2. Country of Origin

Regulation regarding disclosure of country of origin is not standardized within the EU. Some member countries may demand this type of labeling, but others may not.

3. Washing and Care Instructions

Care labeling is not mandatory under EU law, but some member countries, such as Austria, may require this labeling. The EU can make manufacturers liable for defective products under the 1985 Product Liability Directive if they fail to provide this information, so it is strongly recommended to include care labeling with textile products that are sold in the European Union.

4. Manufacturer Identification

Manufacturer identification is not obligatory under EU law. However, you are strongly encouraged to include your branding information with items marketed in the European Union to enhance your brand visibility.

5. Other Factors

Regulation regarding specific label placement is not standardized within the EU. However, exporters to this bloc should be aware of the significance of the European “Ecolabel,” which is available for both food and natural textile products.

To obtain an Ecolabel, manufacturers must apply for certification from the European Ecolabeling Board. In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that the EU has highly strict requirements for the safety of textile products, and if your products are not in accordance with these requirements, they will not be permitted inside the European Union.

Ecolabel in EU
Ecolabel in EU

2.4 Labeling Regulations and Requirements in Australia

To sell their products in Australia, textile makers need to comply with these labeling rules:

1. Fiber Content

Fiber content labeling is no longer compulsory in Australia. This type of labeling was mandatory until 2010, but it expired in 2011 when the Australian Consumer Law came into effect. However, listing the percentage of each fiber in descending order is still considered the best practice in this country.

However, the state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia still has fiber content labeling rules. To sell textile products in this state, it is necessary to follow these rules. It is required to adhere to these regulations to sell textile products in this state.

2. Country of Origin

Items that are made entirely in Australia, partly in Australia, or entirely imported have different labeling requirements. 

The Competition and Consumer Act 2010, Commerce Act 1905, and Customs Act 1901 specify these requirements.

3. Washing and Care Instructions

Australia has strict care labeling laws that are implemented by the ACCC. Care labels in Australia must give consumers information on how to:

  • Look after textile products
  • Know cleaning costs, such as dry cleaning, related to the purchase of a textile product
  • Use the right water temperature to wash products
  • Extend the usable life of textile products
  • Avoid damage to other clothing during washing.

4. Manufacturer Identification

Manufacturer identification labeling is not clearly required in Australia. However, it is essential to properly label your products if you want to boost your brand awareness.

5. Other Factors

Australian law used to mandate clothing to follow rigid size standardization rules. However, this regulation was repealed in 2009.

3. What happens if you don’t follow the clothing labeling regulations

Each country has its own labeling regulations and penalties for non-compliance with these laws. In the United States, there are no fixed fines for violating labeling laws, but the FTC has pursued textile companies vigorously when they do not label their products properly.

For example, this regulatory body hit both Tommy Hilfiger and Jones Apparel with $300,000 fines when these companies failed to provide proper labeling, and other companies, such as Mohl Fur Company, have paid out similarly high fines for failing to disclose the countries of origin of their products. Regulatory bodies in other nations are equally likely to prosecute any failures to comply with their labeling laws, so strict compliance with the relevant legislation is highly advised.

4. The Differences Between Adult and Children’s Clothing Labeling Requirements

Both adults and children have the same apparel labeling requirements in the United States. The EU has specific safety requirements for textile products made for children, but not different labeling requirements. The UK requires flammability labels for some childrenswear, but Australia does not have separate labeling requirements for adults and children.

5. The Benefits of Partnering with Reliable Clothing Manufacturers for Labeling

Labeling practices for garments are often established by garment factories. However, you can collaborate with your selected manufacturing partner to create your label for your brand. This process is easy, and with expert help, you will comply with local and international regulations without difficulty.

GM CORP. is a reputable manufacturer and supplier of custom clothing labels. We offer labeling solutions that help you comply with national labeling regulations and enhance your brand image in the market.

If you need custom clothing labeling, please get in touch with us by the information below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *