Friday 30 June 2017

Caring for clothes - care symbol labels

When I found I was pregnant with my first born I was very eager to start buying little baby clothes ready for my little bundle of love. After my first scan at 12 weeks Lee and I bought our little unborn baby’s first ever outfit. Then once we reached the halfway mark and had the 20 week scan where we were reassured that all was okay with baby we slowly started buying clothes ready for his arrival.

During the last few weeks of pregnancy I went into full on nesting mode. The house was cleaned from top to bottom in a whirlwind, spring cleaning blitz. The nursery was re-decorated with a jungle theme and furniture assembled all ready and perfect for baby. The tiny baby clothes were washed, dried, ironed and folded neatly into the baby’s wardrobe and drawers.

I fondly remember sitting at home with my big bump proudly on display as I sat ironing and gently folding my unborn baby’s clothes. Thoughts of soon having my baby in my arms wearing the gorgeous little baby clothes I was lovingly looking after filled my head.

As caring for my baby and his little baby clothes meant so much to me I took great care on making sure to wash them correctly. I used non-bio sensitive washing liquid to be kind to his newborn skin and I double checked the clothing care labels to make sure I was washing everything correctly so nothing got damaged or shrunk!

Thankfully I did not come across any tricky unknown care labels and all of the clothing was washed without any issues. Whilst I have not personally had any problems with clothing care labels then or at any other time (thanks to my mum for diligently teaching me about what the symbols mean when I was taught how to use the washing machine to do my own laundry chores) over half of people find clothing care labels confusing.

A recent survey by Data Label, an online label company, looked at whether people find care symbols on clothing labels difficult to understand. Surveying 500 people from the UK they asked “Do you find the symbols on clothing care labels to be confusing?”

The findings revealed that 56% of the people surveyed do not always understand the symbols on clothing care labels.

Speaking of the results, Philip Carlyn at Data Label said -
I wasn’t surprised to see that other people are as confused as we are by clothing care labels. Who hasn’t put an item of clothing to wash, only to find out when unloading the machine that the colour has run or that it’s half the size it used to be?”

As many clothes get damaged due to incorrect washing which can stem from confusion surrounding the care label advice, Philip Carlyn believes that labels should be made simpler -
If only the symbols on clothing were more similar to the instruction they were trying to advise or if it simply stated in words any specific care advice, many items of clothing might be safer!”

With there being a minimum 22 basic care symbols connected to washing, hand washing, ironing, tumble drying and dry cleaning an item of clothing it no surprise that many people get confused. 

If you are one of the group of people who find clothing care labels a minefield take a look at this informative clothing care labels article where the results of the survey are discussed in more detail. The article also provides helpful advice from Data Label who are shining a light on what a few of the clothing care symbols actually mean to help people wash correctly for clean, undamaged clothing results!

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