Textiles 101: 5 key takeaways on labeling regulations

Following the first in our new series of 101-level product compliance webinars, learn how textile labeling is crucial for market access. 

5 key takeaways for labeling regulations

Textile businesses face complex and increasingly stringent labeling regulations, making it ever-more challenging to ensure compliance and gain market access. In Textiles 101: beyond chemicals, the first in our 101-level series of webinars, Global Product Compliance Manager Stacey Bowers explored labeling in detail. Read on for a summary. 

1. Understanding local regulations is essential 

Regulations for textiles labeling vary significantly across jurisdictions. In the US, manufacturers and importers are required to provide detailed care instructions, including whether they will cause any substantial harm to the material and warning consumers about procedures that could potentially harm or damage the product.  

While the US has complex requirements, other regions like Canada have voluntary standards only.  


2. Transparency in material composition matters 

Most countries require apparel and home textiles to contain fiber identity and content labels, with information on the different percentages of each fiber present, listed by weight and in descending order of predominance. For example, a t-shirt label may require the following breakdown: 45% acrylic, 30% wool, 25% nylon. Some fibers may not need to be on the label, such as that used in the trimming or lining of the clothing. 

Generic fiber names are used, as opposed to those used in manufacturing, so that consumers can easily understand the product content. Again, the US law is among the most stringent, requiring a high level of detail. 


3. Clarity in fur labeling is key 

Fur and faux fur face stringent labeling requirements, especially in the US. Federal regulations require any garments made either entirely or partly with fur to specify on the label certain details including the name of the animal, name or registered ID of the manufacturer, importer, seller, marketer of distributor, country of origin, any treatments of fur and fiber content.  

Some states like New York enforce additional labeling laws, requiring both fur and faux fur to be clearly labeled. The requirements aim to prevent consumer deception, especially when faux convincingly mimics real fur.  

For further details on fur and faux labeling, view the webcast.  


4. Differentiating real from synthetic applies to articles and advertising 

Like with fur and faux fur disclosure, regulations exist to help consumers differentiate between real and faux leather. The US Federal Trade Commission maintains the Leather Guides, which detail material aspects of leather such as grade, quality, finish, origin and more to help producers label accurately.  

In many cases, faux leather made from PVC can convincingly imitate real leather. US regulations aim to ensure consumers aren’t deceived or manipulated into unwittingly over-paying for faux products. Disclosures must be displayed as a stamping directly on the product or as a tag or label attached to it. They should also appear in all related product advertising.  

Countries including Austria, France, Mexico and Spain have similar leather and faux leather expectations. 


5. Use of digital textile labeling is gathering pace 

QR codes are becoming increasingly popular methods to make information more accessible and improve data reporting, used in compliance through digital or electronic labeling 

Initiatives, such as Russia’s ‘Honest Sign’, encourage QR codes to be used on apparel and footwear products to mitigate against counterfeiting and illegal products. Through NOM-004-SE-2021, Mexico also permits the voluntary use of QR codes to provide additional labels for care, country of origin, fiber identity, name of manufacturer and size. 

Unlock textiles product compliance insights

Discover more about textiles product compliance issues worldwide, including footwear and general product labeling standards, safety requirements, takeback and waste. Watch the full webcast now to learn more.

Watch the recording