The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires garment manufacturers to attach a label providing directions for at least one safe method of care. The care label must be easy to find, permanently attached, and remain legible throughout the life of the garment. The manufacturer must have a reason for the recommended care instructions and must warn about any part of the recommended care method that would harm the garment or other garments being drycleaned or laundered with it. Labels must also warn when there is no method for cleaning without causing damage; these typically read: Do Not Wash, Do Not Dry Clean.
The Care Label Rule covers all textile clothing except hats, gloves, socks, footwear, and reversible garments. It does not cover suede and leather garments, and household items, such as linens, draperies, and upholstered furniture.
American Care Symbols
The Care Label Rule allows the use of an American care symbol system. The care symbols may appear with or in place of written instructions on the care label. Care symbols and instructions vary from country to country but the American system will at least give you a clue as to whether the item can be laundered or drycleaned.