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Care labels enable your dry cleaner to properly clean and finish your garment. It is important for consumers to realize that care labels are not required by law in Canada. The Canadian Care Labelling Program is a voluntary system of providing garment care instructions through the use of simple symbols.
Although the program is voluntary, most reputable garment manufacturers
Will include care labels on their clothing. * But be aware that if you purchase an item without a care label the manufacturer has no liability for any damage that may occur when cleaning.
The Ontario Fabricare Association (OFA) recommends that consumers only purchase garments that have care labels attached.

When manufacturers use the Care Labelling System they must:

  • Ensure that the label is capable of withstanding the recommended care procedures and remains legible and firmly attached for at lest ten cleanings or throughout the life of the garment.
  • Indicate at least one method of garment care, but they may, if they choose, provide additional care instructions.
  • Be sure that the care procedure described works for all areas of the garment including trim, lace, buttons, beads, etc.

*Canada’s Textile Labelling Act, subsection 5(1)
“No dealer shall apply to a consumer textile article a label, or sell, import into Canada or advertise a consumer textile article that has applied to it a label containing any false or misleading representation that relates to or may be reasonably be regarded as relating to the article.”


The Canadian Care Labelling Program uses five basic symbols in three different colors. The colors of a traffic light, red, yellow and green, are used to signify the same ideas: red for “stop”, yellow for “use caution”, and green for “go”.

represents washing.
Is the symbol for bleaching.
Represents drying.
Is the pressing or ironing symbol.
Is the dry cleaning symbol.
Any symbol with a red cross through it is telling you to “stop” –using that method of cleaning will ruin your garment.