Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Washing Care Instruction Labels

Since I had a three-day weekend, I had time to do some chores. One of those chores was of course to do the laundry, including the hand washables. This led to the debate about the proper method for washing several items. I poked around inside the garments in search of the ubiquitous washing instructions only to discover that I had no idea what all those little symbols were supposed to mean. What exactly is a triangle symbolize? How embarrassing! As a designer, the kind of person who might have been responsible for creating symbols like this in the first place, I felt lik I should be able to discern their archaic meaning. Alas, no. I had to go to Google and look it up. Is there some way these symbols could be easier to understand? Isn't this the quintessential design problem?

In the meantime, I thought I'd share my research. Textile Affairs has a document (and a printable PDF to post near your washing machine) to explain what all those symbols mean. On Wikipedia, you can get information about washing instructions for several other countries as well. Until there is a better solution, these sites should keep you from damaging anymore sweaters.

1 comment:

John said...

i had the exact same thing happen. i was like "wha? that triangle with the x through means no bleach?" i had to google it too!