Mislabelling of luxury fibers in woven and knit garments is an ongoing problem worldwide and is found in the United States, Japan, China, Europe and every country where these products are sold.
Many fabric suppliers and garment manufacturers misrepresent fiber content in order to unfairly trade on the image of luxury fibers such as cashmere, camel hair and superfine wool. It is important that retailers are alert to this problem, because laws hold retailers responsible for the accuracy of the label information on the garments they sell.
To help you and your buyers identify potentially mislabeled fabrics and garments before taking delivery, it is important to be familiar with the laws governing textile labeling.
The Wool Products Labelling Act in the USA, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, requires the following labelling information to be displayed on any garment containing wool or fine animal hair.
• Wool products must be labelled in order of predominance with the percentage of total fiber weight of wool, recycled wool and each fiber other than wool which is 5% or more. If a garment contains a minority percentage of a fiber such as cashmere, for example, it is unlawful to feature the word "cashmere" in such a way as to mislead the consumer by suggesting that all or a majority of the garment consists of that fiber.
• When a generic name or a fiber trademark is used on any label, complete fiber content disclosure with percentages of all fibers present must be provided on that label.
• The country of origin of the garment must be stated and, if made in the USA of imported fabric, the label must so state.
• All information must be in English.
• The word "all" or "100%" can be used with the correct fiber name when the garment is composed of one kind of fiber.
• A label must be visible and securely affixed to each wool garment and must remain on the garment until sold to the consumer.
Other laws in other area of the world prescribe the same principles with very similar rules, for example:
• The Regulation (EU) N. 1007/2011 of 27 September 2011 in the European Union
• The Household Goods Quality Labeling Law on Labeling of Textile Goods in Japan
• The FZ/T 01053 Standard Textiles - Identification of Fiber Content in China
Retailers should also be aware that deceptive use of the word "cashmere" for blends in advertising and in-store promotion is unlawful.
For more information about wool garment labelling and the issue of mislabelling of cashmere and camel hair products, contact the Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute.