UK Fashion & Textile Association

About Us


CARE LABELLING - A Guide to Your Responsibilities

UKFT is the UK representative of Ginetex, the organisation that owns access to all garment care labelling symbols.
Membership of UKFT can now include your licence to reproduce the Ginetex care symbols around the world, potentially saving you hundreds of pounds!

Did you know?

  • The care symbols which are used on billions of garments a year are a registered trademark
  • To use these symbols in Europe you must pay a licence fee
  • The level of the fee varies from country to country, but it can be charged per garment, and can amount to hundreds of thousands of Euros.
  • The care symbols give consumers and retailers information on how best to wash, dry or cleanse clothes.
  • Following the correct care labelling helps to keep clothes in the best shape possible, and reduces the number of customer complaints and returns.
  • The symbols are owned by an international organisation called GINETEX* which is based in Paris (see below)
  • UKFT (UK Fashion & Textile Association) is the UK representative of GINETEX.
  • Members of UKFT can pay an annual licence fee, which gives them the right to use the GINETX care symbols throughout the World.


There are five basic symbols, but there are over 40 different permutations (including words and numbers) covering a wide variety of washing, cleansing and drying methods. The basic symbols are:

Washing Bleaching Professional Care
(Dry Cleaning)
Drying Ironing


The care symbols are protected by trade marks in the UK as well and you must have a licence to use them. For more information please contact


UKFT maintains a global database of the care labelling requirements in all other major markets throughout the world. As well as advice on care labelling, UKFT can also provide members with information on the different requirements on fibre content and country of origin labelling.


Consumer legislation in most European markets requires that the consumer be given information on the care of garments at the time of purchase.
As the care symbols are Registered Trademarks in many European markets, users must pay for the right to use the symbols in each European country in which they sell.

Join UKFT for peace of mind - Membership can now include your licence to reproduce the GINETEX care symbols throughout the World!

As a new benefit of Membership, UKFT now offers, as an add-on, the GINETEX care labelling licence. Annual Membership of UKFT is open to all UK-based designers, manufacturers, brands and suppliers of fashion and textiles, Membership subscriptions are on a sliding scale, according to annual turnover (see below).

Retailers who sell their brand/own label outside the UK can also become part of UKFT through our Retail Partner Programme (RPP). Annual Membership of the UKFT RPP gives retailers the right to use the GINETEX symbols worldwide without any further costs.

Members and Retail Partners of UKFT who pay the additional fee for the GINETEX licence benefit from:
  • The right to use the GINETEX symbols worldwide
  • The opportunity to make use of (at a fixed annual cost) a strong brand system, recognised by producers, retailers and consumers throughout the world
  • On-line access to all graphics for current labelling symbols
  • A Technical Booklet containing all specifications and conditions of use for correct care labelling
  • The latest information on changes or additions to the system, new symbols and updates
  • Access to a network providing solutions for care labelling problems
  • The opportunity to submit proposals for changes and additions to the system
Click here to download our Annual Membership Fee Chart
All prices are subject to VAT


UKFT has its own care labelling website, which provides a wide range of information on labelling issues, together with advice on textile care. UKFT receives hundreds of queries every year, ranging from needing advice on the requirement for care labelling in a vast array of countries to consumers needing specific advice on stain removal. UKFT has also given advice to publishers of several 'How to Clean' books and, under the guise of Stain Man, has appeared on several radio programmes.

UKFT provides the Secretariat to the BSI (British Standards Institution) Technical Committee on Care Labelling, Dry Cleaning, Domestic Laundering and Drying, and through this it is represented on the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Sub Committee on Care Labelling. In 2012, after discussions that lasted 10 years, this ISO Committee published a revised version of ISO 3758, the standard that deals with care labelling.

The new Standard includes a new symbol for wet cleaning (a new form of professional cleaning which uses specially formulated detergents instead of solvents), a change from a broken bar to a double underline to indicate the most gentle wash, and a new set of bleaching symbols to reflect a change in the "ingredients" of detergents. Most importantly, however, the new Standard brings one step closer the goal of a truly international labelling system.

Members of UKFT are given an opportunity to comment on any changes to ISO 3758 and perhaps more importantly are kept informed of any changes to the care labels ahead of the rest of the industry.

*Background to GINETEX

GINETEX, the International Association for Textile Care Labelling, was founded in Paris in 1963 following several international symposia for Textile Care Labelling at the end of the 1950's.

GINETEX devised an international care labelling system for textiles; based on symbols, it avoids the need for a myriad of translations. The pictograms used are registered trademarks in most countries and are the property of GINETEX. The care labelling system gives consumers and textile companies the correct information on how to clean and care for textile products. Use of the processes shown with the symbols will avoid any irreversible damage to a product.

GINETEX defines and promotes the system of care labelling and coordinates the technical background to the symbols.

GINETEX has a large membership of national organisations which represent the textile and retail industries, as well as other interested parties concerned with textile care. Organisations in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Kingdom are currently in Membership of GINETEX.

© UKFT August 2013

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