FTC Announces Public Workshop on Care Labeling Rule

Share This Page

For Your Information

The Federal Trade Commission will hold a public workshop-conference on January 29, 1999, in connection with the notice of proposed rulemaking published May 8, 1998, proposing amendments to its Trade Regulation Rule on Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods, 16 C.F.R. Part 423. The workshop-conference will focus on issues related to care labeling instructions for home laundering and professional wetcleaning of textile wearing apparel. A notice about the workshop will appear shortly in the Federal Register.

The Care Labeling Rule was promulgated by the Commission in 1971, and was amended in 1983 to require manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel to identify in greater detail the washing or dry cleaning information to be included on care labels. The Rule also requires that the manufacturer or importer possess, prior to sale, a reasonable basis for the care instructions.

As part of its continuing review of its trade regulation rules to determine their current effectiveness and impact, the Commission has previously sought written comment on various aspects of the Care Labeling Rule. The workshop-conference will provide an opportunity for interested parties to discuss their views with the Commission's staff. The discussion will focus on the following areas:


a. Should the Rule be amended to require a washing instruction for all items that can safely be washed at home, even if drycleaning would be an appropriate alternative care method?  

b. Should a washing instruction be required if the item can be successfully refurbished by washing but its useful life would be extended by drycleaning?  

c. Can criteria be identified that would assist manufacturers in determining when a home-laundering instruction, although technically feasible, should not be used because it would result in a less than ideally refurbished garment?  


a. Should the Commission amend the Rule to permit, or to require,   a "Professionally Wetclean" instruction?  

b. How should the Rule define "Professional Wetcleaning"?  

c. Should the requirement specify a type of professional wetcleaning equipment?  

d. Should the inclusion of other appropriate care methods be mandatory or optional?

The public workshop-conference will take place on Friday, January 29, 1999, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Members of the public who are interested in participating in the public workshop-conference must notify the Commission's staff in writing on or before January 14, 1999. All prospective participants are asked to identify which issues are of particular interest to them when they submit their written request to participate. Prospective participants who wish to address issues not listed above must identify in their request the issues they wish to raise. Notification of interest in participating in the public workshop-conference should be submitted in writing to: James G. Mills, Division of Enforcement, Rm. 4616, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580, or by e-mail to: jmills@ftc.gov. The public workshop-conference will take place in Room 432 of the Federal Trade Commission Headquarters Building, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.

Copies of the full text of the Federal Register notice announcing the workshop-conference and other information about the Care Labeling Rule are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-FTC-HELP (202-382-4357); TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.


(FTC File No. R511915)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Michelle Muth
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
James G. Mills
Bureau of Consumer Protection

Constance M. Vecellio
Bureau of Consumer Protection