Ever wonder what those strange symbols mean on the care tags affixed to your imported linens? Well have no fear, Allo Laverie will help you decipher their meaning making your wash day a little easier. Please click the topic that matches your query:
One common question we are asked by our customers is "can I disregard the care labels on my linens"? This is a tricky question as there are many factors that go into the production of fine linens and bedding which only the vendor and maker really know. Rather than attempt to write laundry instructions covering every possible situation, most linen manufacturers issue care information designed to be easily followed and will not cause damage.
For instance, both cotton and linen fibers can withstand very high temperatures, but frequently one will see "wash in cold or warm water" on the care label. Obviously the maker knows something about the construction and fibers which causes them to suggest only cold water washing.
The International Fabricare Institute (IFI), has set down the following guideline for member professional dry cleaners and laundries: If an item is laundered in accordance with the makers instructions and damage occurs, (shrinkage, fading, etc..), it is the fault of the maker. However if the laundering instructions are disregarded by whomever is cleaning the item, then they are at fault. Therefore while it is possible to disregard laundering instructions, doing so exposes one to the risk and liability of damaging an item.
Most American washing machines will simply have "hot, warm and cold", water settings. But many European front loading washing machines, such as those made by Miele, Bosch, Asko and AEG will have "boil wash" settings. It is not advisable to launder your fine linens in very hot water unless the care tag recommends it. Routine use of "boil washing" can weaken fabric and or cause shrinking. When in doubt contact your linen dealer for advice.
A bar under the wash tub indicates "gentle or delicate" cycle, while no bar means wash in the "normal" cycle.
A clear circle indicates tumble drying, while an "X" through the circle means do not tumble dry.
When possible line drying is best for fine linens. If you choose to tumble dry, use medium or low heat setting and remove your linens before they are bone dry. Remember excess heat is public enemy #1 of fine linens.
Dots recommend the proper heat setting for your iron. Usually you can use the heat settings on your iron (linen, cotton, wool, silk, polyester, etc..) but take time to get to know your iron. Some irons are hotter than others, and too much heat can cause scorching.
Always make sure your iron's soleplate is clean and free of any residue. If using a steam iron test to see if it is spitting (usually means too much water and or high heat setting), or spitting mineral discolored water.
A triangle with "cl" means the article is safe for bleaching with chlorine bleach, or oxygen bleach. If the triangle is crossed out, this means do not use any type of bleach including oxygen or "color safe" bleaches. Some linens are safe to bleach on occasion, if in doubt consult with your linen dealer or professional hand laundry.
This information is for the dry cleaning professional. It provides directions for chemical use, mechanical action, solvent, and how much to "charge" the bath.