Pop quiz: Care label icons pt.2

Thanks to everyone for being a good sport in responding to yesterday’s quiz. I enlisted Mr.Fashion-Incubator to tabulate the results and here’s what he came up with:

  • Q1: 70.6% correct answers.
  • Q2: 52.9% correct answers
  • Q3: 100% correct answers.
  • Q4: 35.3% correct answers.
  • Q5: 41.2% correct answers.

With the average score of 17 (at the time he did the sampling) respondents being 60% correct… Meaning, we did better than consumers -and we should- but still got a failing score. Shame shame. I didn’t know the answers either until I looked them up to write the entry. As I mentioned to Theresa -who used a cheat sheet and got all the answers right- it is not as important to know everything as it is to know where to find the answers. And that would be here. In the same vein, Kay sent a link to Merriam-Webster’s Visual Dictionary which has a handy reference for these things.

clothing_care_symbols_results I almost forgot, the answers to yesterday’s quiz are B, C, C, C, B. I thought my made up answer to no.3 was funny albeit lame (A. Remove buttons before washing) but no one remarked on it. Perhaps not coincidentally, that was the only question everyone got right. That will teach me.

If you study the pattern of the pictographs, the logic is clear and it is possible you’ll remember them. The crown looking icon is washing, the square is drying, the triangle is bleaching and the circle is dry cleaning. One dot means low temp, two dots is warm and hot is three dots. One line underneath the pictograph means permanent press, two lines means delicate. If you need a printable cheat sheet to post in your office, download the pdf.

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  1. LizPf says:

    It helps if you see the “crown looking icon” as a tub full of water, the top line is waves.

    I didn’t know about the line underneath, though I knew two dots is “medium”.

    And aren’t drip dry and line dry the same thing?

  2. Paul says:

    Icons are simply a means of communication, and generally are not very effective right out of the box. Problem is, the person on the sending side of the message usually thinks it’s the receiver’s fault if they don’t understand the message. WRONG.

  3. Barb Taylorr says:

    Thanks for the translation link. I had one at my old company but never thought to bring it with me when I left. Often times when I am doing laundry I regret not having saved it.
    There is another thing I am always trying to find a link to that I wonder if you might post for us. Can anyone advise where to find a comprehensive list of abbreviations for fiber content?

  4. David says:

    We’re hoping “they” come out with a symbol for “Do not use fabric softener”. Our packaging is in English only, but includes the Spanish and French translation since the products will likely find themselves north and south of the border. Our heat-set garment label uses only the symbols except for the same warning in English only, which occupies most of the space.

    Using softener inhibits the wicking properties of performance fabrics, as well as your cotton bath towels (as does the build-up of detergent from using too much).

  5. Rose says:

    Wooo! 4/5! Not bad for a generation that can’t do their own darn laundry. (I’m 23, in college, and mildly appalled at the self-care skills my peers have).

  6. Linda says:

    I did laundry this past week and can now actually read the symbols! All it took was the tiniest bit of learning on my part, prodded by you. So, thanks!

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