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What do the symbols on the labels of clothes mean?

All garments have a care labels showing symbols on how best to wash the garment.  Please ensure that you read this label and follow the washing instructions. Let’s see what the symbols mean and how they are related to the washing programs.

Let’s start with the basics: the label

By washing a garment correctly it will enable the fabric to last longer.  Each label has a number of different symbols that advises on how best to wash and care for the garment.  If the garment is made up of different materials, it is advise to follow the instructions for the most delicate fabric.

The main symbols

The care labels show different symbols that are associated to different washing methods.

  • Basin: Washing with water
  • Circle: Dry cleaning
  • Triangle: Bleaching
  • Square: Drying
  • Iron: Ironing

The symbols of washing with water

The following symbols indicate the hand-wash or the wash in washing machine and can be combined with each other to give information more in-depth. Important: the line always indicates the need to wash in a delicate way.

Basin with the X: Do not wash in water.
Basin: Hand-wash or wash in the washing machine.
Basin + line: The line indicates the washing at low speed, with delicate programs (rinse at low temperature and short spin).
Basin with hand: Hand-wash, normal rinse and delicate spin.
Basin + N °: Wash in the washing machine, the number indicates the maximum water temperature.

The symbols of the dry washing

The following symbols are related to dry washing and can be combined with each other to give information more in-depth.

Circle with the X: Dry washing is not allowed.
Circle: Dry washing with all types of solvent.
Circle + line: Washing carefully for the possibility of narrowing.
Circle + A:  Wash with all solvents in use.
Circle + F: Washing with hydrocarbons and triple fluorine-trichloroethane.
Circle + P: Wash with perchlorethylene, chlorinated solvents and petroleum spirits.
How Circle + P but with precautions in the wash.

The symbols of bleaching

Triangle with X: Do not bleach
Triangle: Bleaching garment with any bleaching
Triangle + Cl: Bleaching garment with chlorine products.

The drying symbols

The symbols are specified by the use of dots that may appear inside the circle: a dot indicates drying with delicate program; two dots signify normal drying.

Square: Garment which can be dried in the tumble dryer.
Square with X: Garment which can’t be dried in the tumble dryer.

Ironing symbols

The symbols are specified by the use of dots that may appear inside the iron.

  Iron: The garment can be stretched.
Iron + 1 dot: Maximum temperature 110 ° C, preferably without steam.
Iron + 2 dots: Maximum temperature 150 ° C.
Iron + 3 dots: Maximum temperature 200 ° C.
Iron + 1 dot: Do not iron

Can the symbols on the labels of clothes help us choosing the correct washing program?

Care labels on garments may indicate which settings to adjust, for example:- the rotation of the drum,  spin speed and temperature.

When washing clothes it is necessary to refer to the symbols and if there is a line under the basin symbol which will idicate the ideal program to use.

Various types of lines:

  • no line: the garment can be washed at maximum speed with the cotton program. Normal mechanical action, normal rinse and spin.
  • a line: the garment can be washed at medium speed with the synthetic program. Reduced mechanical action, decreasing temperature rinse and reduced spin.
  • two lines: the gamrnet can be washed only with the wool program at minimum speed.

For each type of fabric is good practice to avoid excessive temperatures, taking into account these simple rules:

  • colored cotton should be washed separately;
  • lined the silk clothes must need a dry wash;
  • wool must not be washed at high temperatures (never exceed 40 °); it is also essential to load fewer clothes in the drum and use a short spin and action cycle. The wool can also deform if it is hung so it is always advisable to stretch the garments of wool out and away from direct sources of heat.

By following these guidelines the fibers of the fabric will be cared for and your clothes will last longer.