Federal Labelling Requirements for Upholstered Furniture

Enforcement guidelines

November 1996

The Fair Business Practices Branch of Industry Canada administers the federal Textile Labelling Act which regulates the labelling, sale, importation and advertising of consumer textile articles, including upholstered furniture.

The purpose of the Textile Labelling Act and the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations is:

  • to protect consumers against misrepresentation in the labelling and advertising of textile fibre products;
  • to enable consumers to choose textiles based on factual fibre content information;
  • to foster a fair and equitable marketplace.

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Required label information

1. Fibre content

The fibre content of the outer covering fabric is required to be shown:

  • by the generic name of each fibre that is present in an amount of 5% or more by weight. Fibres present in amounts of less than 5% require disclosure as "other fibre(s)" or by their generic name. If the fibre content is not known, it may be declared as "100% unknown fibres".
  • as a percentage, in descending order by weight. Alternatively, a preprinted label may be used with fibres listed in alphabetical order and percentages inserted for fibres which are present.
  • on a label that is applied to the article so that it is readily accessible to the prospective customer (i.e., not flat on the underside of a large piece). The label may be permanently attached or non‑permanent, such as a hang tag or sticker.
  • The fibre content information is required to be bilingual unless the article is sold in an area where only one official language is used by consumers when making purchases.

Examples:

Outer Covering/ Tissu extérieur:
68 % Olefin/ Oléfine
24 % Polyester/ Polyester
8 % Acrylic/ Acrylique

or

Outer Covering/ Tissu extérieur:
Acrylic 8 % Acrylique
Cotton _ % Coton
Nylon _ % Nylon
Olefin 68 % Oléfine
Polyester 24 % Polyester

Examples:

97% Cotton/Coton
3% Polyester/Polyester

or

97 % Cotton/Coton
3 % Other fibre/Autre fibre

Refer to the Guide to the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations or to the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations for further details on ornamentation, trimming, reinforcement yarns, elastic yarns and unknown fibres.

2. Dealer identity

Dealer identity information is also required on the label. This information consists of the name and complete postal address of the manufacturer, processor, finisher, importer or retailer. Alternatively, a dealer residing in Canada may purchase a registered identification number commonly known as a CA number, and use this number as dealer identity information in lieu of the full name and address on the label. A CA number can be obtained from most Fair Business Practices Branch offices of Industry Canada.

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Manner of disclosing the fibre content of component parts

Where a piece of furniture is upholstered using fabrics which differ in fibre content, each fabric is to be identified and the fibre content disclosed separately.

If, for example, a sofa is upholstered in a 100% olefin fabric, and the matching exterior back portion of the sofa is upholstered in a 75% acrylic and 25% polyester blend fabric, the fibre content of the exterior back portion must be declared separately.

Examples:

Outer Covering/Extérieur:
100% Olefin/Oléfine

Exterior Back/Panneau arrière du dossier:
75 % Acrylic/Acrylique
25 % Polyester/Polyester

Note: The outer covering of a sofa‑bed mattress also requires fibre content disclosure.

1. Pile, coated and impregnated fabrics

If the outer covering is a pile, coated or impregnated fabric and the pile, coating or impregnator differs in fibre content from its backing, the fibre content information may be shown;

  • by indicating the pile, coating or impregnator and backing separately, or
  • in a combined manner with the pile, coating or impregnator and backing disclosed together.

Examples:

Outer Covering/Extérieur:
Pile/Poil
100% Nylon/Nylon
Backing/Support:
65% Polyester/Polyester
35% Cotton/Coton

or

Outer Covering/Extérieur:
55% Polyester/Polyester
30% Cotton/Coton
15% Nylon/Nylon

Examples:

Outer Covering/Extérieur:
Coating/ Enduit:
100% Polyvinyl Chloride/Chlorure de polyvinyle
Back/Support:
100% Polyester/Polyester

or

Outer Covering/Extérieur:
75% Polyvinyl Chloride/Chlorure de polyvinyle
25% Polyester/Polyester

2. Findings

Certain fabric parts of upholstered furniture, which are added for a functional purpose, may be considered as "findings" and do not require disclosure. However, if the fibre content is disclosed, it must be in accordance with the Regulations. Some common examples of "findings" are:

  • the underside of a cushion, which differs in fibre content from the rest of the cushion, and where it is not intended or likely that the cushion will be turned over.
  • the fabric portion of an upholstered article which supports the cushions, commonly referred to as the "deck", where the fibre content of the support fabric differs from that of the rest of the article.

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Labelling of upholstered furniture consisting of both leather and fabric

Leather is not considered a textile fibre and is exempt from the labelling requirements of the Textile Labelling Act and its Regulations. When an upholstered article is produced of both leather and textile components, only the fabric portions require disclosure in accordance with the Regulations. However, some dealers may want to disclose the presence of leather on the label.

A leather chair with the exterior back, exterior sides and cushion sides consisting of a 100% polyester fabric coated with 100% polyvinyl chloride could be labelled as follows:

Examples:

Leather With/ Cuir avec
Exterior Back, Exterior Sides, Cushion Sides/
Panneau arrière du dossier, Panneaux extérieurs des côtés,
Côtés des coussins:
Coating/Enduit:
100% Polyvinyl Chloride /Chlorure de polyvinyle
Backing/Support:
100% Polyester/Polyester

or

Exterior Back, Exterior Sides, Cushion Sides/
Panneau arrière du dossier, Panneaux extérieurs des côtés,
Côtés des coussins
:
80% Polyvinyl Chloride /Chlorure de polyvinyle
20% Polyester/Polyester

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Custom‑made upholstered articles

When furniture is offered for sale in a "white state" (not upholstered) and will be upholstered for an individual, the required information may be presented on an invoice or other document accompanying the article when it is delivered, rather than on the article itself. However, in these circumstances, the customer must have the opportunity to examine a correctly labelled fabric swatch or a sample, such as a floor model, prior to committing to the purchase.

Provincial labelling requirements for filling or stuffing materials

The fibre content of the filling or stuffing material used in upholstered furniture is not required to be disclosed under the federal Textile Labelling Act and Regulations. However, it should be noted that the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba have provincial legislation regarding such labelling. Manufacturers, importers and distributors selling articles in these provinces should contact the appropriate provincial government office for more information.

Telephone

Quebec: 514‑499‑2176
Ontario: 416‑325‑4088
Manitoba: 204‑945‑3800

Upholstered Furniture Action Council (UFAC) Program

The voluntary industry UFAC Program is an upholstered furniture flammability program for household upholstered furniture sold, advertised or imported into Canada. Additional information about the labelling requirements under the program may be obtained from:

Canadian Council of Furniture Manufacturers
c/o Furniture West
1873 Inkster Blvd.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2R 2A6
Telephone: 204‑632‑5529
Facsimile: 204‑694‑1281

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Quality control

All dealers (manufacturers, importers, wholesalers/distributors and retailers) are responsible for the accuracy of fibre content declarations. Manufacturers are encouraged to include in their quality control systems the following checks:

  • Confirm the fibre content information with suppliers when purchasing fabric.
  • Ensure that suppliers provide written confirmation of the fibre content with your order.
  • Check that the fibre content identified on the invoice or fabric bolt matches the fibre content on your order.
  • Have a reliable system for transferring the fibre content information to the label. Maintain records of the source of the fibre content information.
  • Establish a system for verifying the accuracy of fibre content declarations with in‑house screening tests or laboratory analyses.

Importers, wholesalers/distributors and retailers will better meet their responsibility if they;

  • are knowledgeable about Canadian labelling requirements;
  • ask their supplier to ship only correctly labelled articles;
  • ensure that all shipments are labelled in accordance with their order;
  • discuss quality control measures with their suppliers to ensure their methods provide adequate safeguards for accuracy;
  • monitor the accuracy of the fibre content periodically through in‑house screening tests or laboratory analyses.

Further assistance

Dealers are responsible for ensuring that the consumer textile articles they manufacture, import, or sell comply with the requirements of the Textile Labelling Act and Regulations.

For further information on the federal labelling requirements for upholstered furniture, please contact the Information Centre of the Competition Bureau.

Information Centre
Competition Bureau
Industry Canada
50 Victoria Street
Gatineau, QC K1A 0C9

Tel.: 819‑997‑4282
Toll free: 1‑800‑348‑5358
TTY (hearing impaired): 1‑866‑694‑8389
Fax: 819‑997‑0324
Fax on demand: 819‑997‑2869

Web site: www.competitionbureau.gc.ca
Enquiries/Complaints

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