Ginetex/ASTM Garment Care Symbol Chronology - UPDATED!

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Chatter - Anything and everything' started by Better Dresses Vintage, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Lady Scarletts

    Lady Scarletts Trade Member

    Liza, Thanks so much for info. Once again well done
  2. Better Dresses Vintage

    Better Dresses Vintage Trade Member

    Not quite sure if it's all that helpful, but it's the best I could do and I appreciate the appreciation, LOL!
  3. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

    I'm not sure about the triangle either... it looks to me too like it could be left out. The ratings on the chart are:
    3 = no special care needed
    2 = observe certain restrictions (you're righ Liza!)
    1= take extra care
    0= do not use
    I have no suitable vintage garment on hand that I could check right now... most of it is not commercially made, or stored away for summer.
  4. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Trade Member

    It's from this knitted waistcoat:
    Made in Korea but I think it's a british import, a label in front of the care label was cut off so I'm missing some info.
    I'm pretty sure it's 80's from the pastel colour and mixed colour yarns, but the brand label itself is a bit more retro - I tend to see the 3D fonts on 70's labels.
  5. Better Dresses Vintage

    Better Dresses Vintage Trade Member

    Ah yes, menswear. Unless an outfit resembles Thomas Jefferson or John Travolta a la Saturday Night Fever, I am entirely clueless, I'm afraid.
  6. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Trade Member

  7. Better Dresses Vintage

    Better Dresses Vintage Trade Member

    Melanie, it's a long shot, but is there any chance you took a screen grab of those tags? The listing is long gone, of course, and I neglected to grab it myself. Stupid of me. Why is it that everything on the Internet is permanent except the one thing you didn't save? LOL.
  8. bycinbyhand

    bycinbyhand Trade Member

  9. Rhea Moralez

    Rhea Moralez Registered Guest

  10. Better Dresses Vintage

    Better Dresses Vintage Trade Member

    Here is some actual, useful information for you, direct from the horse's mouth at ASTM (which is the body that oversees U.S. garment-care labeling):

    Finally, something of a timeline:


    Thank you for the explanation. Looking at the FTC website, I found this document ( that indicates the Commission issued the first care labeling rule In 1971 (effective July 3, 1972).

    The only additional historical information I can find suggests that in 1989 some D13 members proposed that the US needed to develop a symbol system that met the needs of the FTC Care Labeling Rule. That work began in 1990, and as mentioned, D5489 was first published in 1993, which includes the care symbols. In 1997, the FTC adopted D5489-96c version for the use of symbols as a conditional exemption in lieu of words on a label.

    I hope this helps.

    Best regards,


    Jennifer L. Rodgers

    Director, Technical Committee Operations

    Helping our world work better

    100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700
    West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, USA
    tel +1.610.832.9694


    So, when dating U.S. garments, the following can be used as guidelines. Not as hard and fast as an ILGWU label (which had clearer stop/start years), but a good piece of additional evidence when dating your item. Remember, this is NOT for European or Japanese garments:

    As of July 3, 1972, U.S. garments were required to have permanently-affixed care instructions, not just a hang tag that could be discarded after purchase. That is, if it's got a care label, WITHOUT symbols, and is from the U.S., it is likely (but not absolutely) from 1972 or later.

    As of 1993, U.S. market garments also had SYMBOLS (similar but not identical to the long-used symbols from Ginitex, in Europe)

    After 1997, U.S.-market garments could use care symbols ONLY, and not merely in addition to, words.

    1972-1993 --> just words
    1993-1997 --> words and symbols
    1997+ --> words and symbols OR just symbols

    If your U.S. garment has ONLY symbols, it's 1997+
    If it has NO care label (and one hasn't been cut off or lost), it's pre-1972.
    If it's got words and symbols, it's 90s

    Bonus: when reading Jennifer's address you get to say "Conshohocken," which is almost, if not quite, as much fun as "Spuyten Duyvil"
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
    Midge and themerchantsofvintage like this.
  11. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

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