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By Wunderlabel on 06/04/2024

Clothing Label Requirements, USA- Textile Labeling

Clothing Label Requirements in the United States - Textile Labeling

Clothing label requirements play an important role in the apparel industry. They require manufacturers to clearly state important details such as fiber content, country of origin and manufacturer information. As a renowned manufacturer of textile and apparel labels, Wunderlabel is committed to informing its customers about labeling regulations. Read on for our brief and easy to understand overview of garment label requirements.

The FTC and Key Labeling Regulations and Label Requirements

In the USA, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates and monitors textile labeling requirements. It ensures that the information on clothing tags is accurate and easy to understand. Apparel labeling requirements have a long history. The government passed two very important textile and wool acts: The Textile Products Identification Act (TFPIA) in 1958 and the Wool Products Labeling Act (WPLA) in 1939. The FTC is also responsible for taking legal action if someone violates the laws.

US Requirements for Garment Labels in General

Garment labels must be conspicuous and clearly legible. The manufacturer must affix them in such a way that they adhere to the clothing at least until the product has been delivered to the consumer. Clothing and textile labels are not expected to last the entire life of the garment or product. 

Specific Requirements Concerning Content - Apparel and Textile Products

The content requirements for textile and wool products include information on the material composition, country of origin and the identity of the manufacturer. 

Material composition:

The components of the material must be listed in descending order, e.g: "65% viscose, 35% polyester". Only fibers that make up 5% or more of the total fiber weight can be listed. As a general rule, anything less than 5% must be listed as "other fibers". If a garment is made of only one fabric, such as cotton, you can use the phrase "All cotton" instead of "100% cotton". If part of a garment is made of a non-fiber material, such as metal, plastic or leather, it does not need to be labeled. This can include zips, buttons or beads. 

Country of Origin:

The country in which an imported product is processed or manufactured is considered the country of origin. The term "Made in the U.S.A." is a strict one: Only if a whole product is made in the U.S.A. with materials that also come from the U.S.A. can the textile goods be labeled as such. 

If the clothing products are not made in the United States, a DIY clothing label such as "Made in Malaysia, finished in the U.S.A." is a good solution. The manufacturer must provide the country of origin information in English.

Name of the Manufacturer:

The identity of the manufacturer must also be displayed on clothing labels. This can be either the company name or a registered identification number. These identification numbers are issued by the FTC, but are not required to open a business in the US. Please note that the name given must be the name under which the company operates. It is not the designer of the garment.

Guidelines for Clothing Label Placement

The FTC also specifies where manufacturers should place labels on garments. For example, the country of origin of garments with collars must be sewn inside center of the neck, i.e. between the shoulder seams. Information about the composition of the material and the identity of the manufacturer must be clearly visible. It does not matter whether it's a label attached to the inside or outside of the garment as long as it is accessible to the consumer. Placing it on the inside of the elbow, for example, would be inappropriate because the consumer would not be able to see it well there.

Size Labels: Optional or Mandatory?

In the USA, there is no nationwide textile labeling laws or legislation for size labels. Although size labeling is not required, it has become a practical aid for customers and an industry standard. However, some states may have specific size label requirements. Manufacturers should therefore check local laws and regulations.

Non-compliance with Regulations and Requirements

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regularly monitors compliance. If they find a violation of the Textile, Wool and Fur Act, it can be costly: each instance of mislabeling is considered a separate violation and can cost the manufacturer up to $51,744. Proper labeling and adhering to the rather stringent requirements is definitely in the best interest of the manufacturer.