The labelling of textile products harmonises the names of textile fibres and other terms used in labelling or other documents accompanying these products, in order to ensure adequate information for consumers and to promote the development of the market.

In this page

  1. What is a textile product?
  2. How should the product be labelled?
  3. What is labelling?
  4. Names that may be used for textile fibres
  5. Products that do not have to bear a fibre content

What is a textile product?

  • A raw, semi-worked or made up product exclusively composed of textile fibres, or
  • a product containing at least 80% by weight of textile fibres, or
  • the textile parts of carpets, mattresses, camping goods, furniture, umbrellas, sunshades, warm linings of gloves and mittens provided they contain at least 80% textile fibres, or
  • textiles forming a part of other products where the textile parts are specified.

How should the product be labelled?

  • All items must carry a label indicating the fibre content either on the item or the packaging. This label does not have to be permanently attached to the garment and may be removable. If the product is supplied to a wholesaler, the indication may be contained within business documents (e.g. the invoice).
  • A textile product consisting of two or more fibres accounting for 85% of the finished product should be marked with the fibre followed by a percentage, e.g. Cotton 80% Polyester 15% Nylon 5%.
  • If a product consists of two or more components with different fibre contents, e.g. a jacket with a lining, the content of each must be shown.
  • Any decorative matter that makes up 7% or less of the product is excluded from the indication of fibre content.
  • The word 'pure' should only be used where the garment is made up of only one fibre.
  • The word 'silk' cannot be used to describe the texture of any other fibre; e.g. ‘silk acetate’ is not permitted.
  • Only certain names can be used for textile fibres.

What is labelling?

LabellingTextile products must be labelled or marked whenever they are put onto the market for production or commercial purposes. Where these products are not being offered for sale to the end consumer, or when they are being delivered in performance of an order placed by the State, labelling or marking may be replaced by accompanying commercial documents. The names, descriptions and details of textile fibre content must be indicated in these commercial documents. They must also be indicated on products offered for sale to consumers.

With the exception of trade marks or the name of the undertaking, information other than that required by this Directive must be quite separate.Member States may require that their national language be used for the labelling and marking required by the Directive.
A textile product composed of two or more components which have different compositions must bear a label stating the fibre content of each component.Where two or more textile products have the same composition and form a single unit, they need bear only one label.
The Directive contains specific requirements for the labelling of:

  • corsetry articles,
  • etch-printed textiles,
  • embroidered textiles,
  • yarns consisting of a core and cover made up of different fibres,
  • velvet and plush textiles,
  • floor coverings and carpets.
    The Directive makes provision for derogations for the labelling of certain textile products.

Names that may be used for textile fibres

  • Wool, alpaca, llama, camel, cashmere, mohair, angora, vicuna, yak, guanaco, cashgora, beaver, otter, whether followed or not by the name 'wool' or 'hair'.
  • Animal or horsehair with or without an indication of the kind of animal.
  • Silk, cotton, kapok, flax or linen, hemp, jute, abaca, alfa, coir.
  • Polyurethane, vinylal, trivinyl, elastodiene, elastane, glass fibre, broom, ramie, sisal, sunn, henequen, maguey.
  • Acetate, alginate, cupro, modal, protein, triacetate, viscose.
  • Acrylic, chlorofibre, fluorofibre, modacrylic, polyamide or nylon, aramid, polyamide, lyocell, polylactide, polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, polycarbamide, elastomulltiester.
  • Name corresponding to the material from which fibres are composed, e.g. metal (metallic), asbestos, paper, followed or not by the word 'yarn' or 'fibre'.

Products that do not have to bear a fibre content

Air supported structures, animal clothing, artificial flowers, book covers, buttons and buckles, cordage, rope & string, disposable articles, egg cosies, felt hats, felts, flags and banners, funeral articles, gaiters, labels and badges, make up cases, muffs, old made up textile products, oven gloves, packagings (not new and sold as such, e.g. used potato sacks), painted canvas, pin cushions, protective prerequisites of sport, purses, pouches, bags & saddlery, safety items, sails, shoe cleaning cases, sleeve protectors, sleeve supporting arm bands, slide fasteners, spectacle, cigarette and cigar, lighter and comb cases, stuffed pan holders, table mats having several components and a surface area not exceeding 500 cm2, tapestries, tea and coffee cosies, textile parts of footwear (except warm linings), textile products for base and interlining fabrics and stiffening, tobacco pouches, toilet cases, toys, travel goods, watch straps.