Fabric Care Made Easy

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Understanding the Language of Symbols

With so many fabrics used for apparel today it's difficult for most people to know what kind of clothing care is the right care. Easy care? Cold, warm or hot water? Do Not Iron? Dry Clean Only? Understanding fabric care symbols makes life a whole lot easier. And the right cleaning method extends the life of clothes and saves buyers money.

Fortunately for buyers, clothes come straight from the manufacturers with care instruction symbols sewn or stamped on the fabric. Once buyers understand the language of the symbols used, they find it easy to properly clean new garments. The Soap and Detergent Association of America is a representative for manufacturers of cleaning products for home, industry and institutional use. This association provides a great tool that shows basic information for describing the symbols used on clothing care labels.

Buyers can also crack the code for care labels by using the chart provided by the Textile Industry Affairs Web Info Label Talk. This is an exhaustive listing of mixes and matches for clothing care, and may be just a bit more than the average buyer really needs.

Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs has produced a simple to use Guide to Apparel and Textile Care Symbols. This guide is all inclusive as it combines the American and International Standards for Care labelling. In this new edition of the care label guide for washing, bleaching, drying, ironing and professional cleaning treatments, there are five basic symbols used to identify care.

Some clothing manufacturers may include colors on the care labels. Green means go ahead, Yellow or Amber means treat with care, and Red means not allowed to use this method.

When you learn the care symbol language, you save money and you'll enjoy wearing your clothing purchases for many more years.

Janet Chesal is an internet marketing specialist, a neurolinguistic program master practioner, and academic coach. She is the owner of CLASact (Creating Learning And Skills activation) providing academic enhancement coaching, and co-owner of Bizfare Enterprise Inc. an internet and business marketing and consulting service. She also co-owns a number of e-commerce web-sites: CoolComfortWear and MyLeatherExpressions that sell clothing and custom made leather goods respectively.

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