Garment Care for Your Workwear

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What do all those symbols mean?

This blog explains the common symbols on garment labels. Everybody has experienced it at least once in their lives – you pull out a favourite item from the washing machine only to find its either shrunk, discoloured, gone saggy or faded! You wished you’d paid more attention to the washing symbols on the clothing label. So the JUSTSO team thought we’d help explain the common washing care symbols.

When we’re approached to supply branded workwear we’re often asked about how well items will last and how easily they are to look after. Many clients want “easy care” and “non iron” products to fit in with their busy lives. Modern polyester mix fabrics and “performance ” fabrics offer solutions, but the careful choice of fabrics is not the only insurance against wear and tear – correct laundering also helps the lifespan of your branded clothing.




Garment Washing symbol
Garment bleach symbol
garment Drying symbol
ironing Symbol
Garment "Do not" symbols
Dry Clean symbol

Any “basket” image represents the washing instructions. A hand means hand washing only, and baskets with a number inside represent the temperature at which you should set your washing machine when laundering the garment.


Triangles relate to the use of bleach in cleaning. A plain triangle with nothing inside means you can use bleach as needed. If it has stripes through it then you can use non-chlorine bleach as needed, an as mentioned previously, if it has a cross through it then you do not bleach.

The square symbols with circles inside and sometimes dots, represent drying instructions. Circles but no dots means tumble dry normal, one dot means tumble dry low heat and 2 dots means tumble dry medium heat.

This symbol relates to the suitability for ironing, and the number of dots in the symbol represent the heat setting for the iron with 1 being the lowest temperature setting.

Any symbol with a cross through it is clearly telling you NOT to do something- not to wet wash, not to bleach, not to tumble dry, not to iron and not to dry clean. With the “Not to wet wash” symbol it is usually accompanied by dry cleaning instructions.

Dry clean is represented by the round symbol, and if there is an A,F OR P inside the circle, then certain dry clean chemicals should be used, whilst others avoided.

This has been a whistle stop visit to cover the main symbols to help you better care for your garments. As with most information there is plenty of easy access information online if you want to explore it all in more detail.

Happy laundering!


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