Those little labels on your clothing contain a surprisingly large amount of information that is important for the consumer to know. Purchasing decisions can be made based on the apparel tags alone, depending on the customer’s needs. The four types of information that a tag typically contains are the brand, where the item was made, cleaning and care instructions and the type of fabric the garment is made from. The cleaning and care instructions are very important, because when followed correctly, clothing will last longer and look good for a longer period of time.
The apparel tags are often located in the collars of shirts, the backs of pants and skirts, and sometimes they are located along the side seams of a dress. Look for the type of material, as that may be a factor in a purchasing decision, or it can be based on the care of the item alone. Some consumers do not want dry clean only or hard to care for clothing. Knowing whether the garment is wool, cotton, or a synthetic fabric will help the consumer decide if the clothing item is appropriate for their needs and give them an idea about the kind of care it will require.
There have been changes to the way clothes are made and cared for over the past many years, so reading the labels may give you new, updated information about the care of a particular garment. Older labels may have written care instructions and are usually easy to understand and follow. More recent clothing labels have replaced written instructions with symbols. These symbols can be somewhat confusing, however, there are apparel tag guidelines on the internet that can help the consumer decipher the instructions. These symbols represent washing, drying, ironing or dry cleaning instructions, including heat settings and whether or not steam should be used while ironing.
Knowing where an item was made may also be a factor in the consumers buying choice. Many people choose to buy clothes that are manufactured strictly in their own home country, while others may be looking for something specific, such as 100% pure wool from Ireland. Often, the location of the garment’s production can speak to it’s quality, or lack thereof.
It is usually best if the care instruction tag on the clothes are left on, rather than cutting it off, as you may not be the only one washing or caring for that garment.