Textile labelling: Glossary

Amount of fibre

The amount of textile fibre present in a textile fibre product must be determined according to established test methods. A number of Canadian testing laboratories exist which will verify or determine the fibre content of consumer textile articles on a commercial basis.

Both the generic name of a fibre, and the amount of fibre, must be declared for every fibre which is present in an amount of 5 percent or more by mass in a textile article. Generally, the fibres must be shown in order of predominance, with the fibre which constitutes the greater part of an article's content declared first, and the fibres which constitute lesser parts of the content declared in descending order. If the textile article consists of more than one section, the fibre content of each section must be shown. The amount of fibre in a textile article can be declared in three ways:

  1. Percentage by mass
    • When more than one fibre is contained in a textile article or is a part of the article, each fibre must be declared as a percentage of the total mass of the textile article or of the constituent part of the article. The total mass does not include findings, trimmings, ornamentation, elastic yarns, or reinforcement yarns which were not disclosed as an integral part of the article or constituent part. The percentage amount of a given fibre must be declared immediately before or following the generic name of the fibre. For example, for a fabric made from yarn of blended polyester and cotton fibres, each of which is present in the amount of 5 percent or more by mass, the disclosure might be:
    • 65% polyester/polyester
      35% cotton/coton
    • Generally, a tolerance of 5 percent is allowed on the fibre content of blends, biconstituent, multiconstituent and grafted fibres.
  2. All or pure
    • When only one fibre is contained in the article or part thereof, the words "all" or "pure" may be used in lieu of the designation, "100%". For example, a sweater composed entirely of silk might be declared:
    • Pure silk/ Soie pure
    • No tolerance is allowed on articles which are declared as "100%", "all" or "pure" or on blends of commercial down, commercial waterfowl feather, or commercial landfowl feather. However, where ornamentation and elastic or reinforcement yarns are present in the textile article in amounts of less than 5 percent, and where the fibre content is shown exclusive of such ornamentation, elastic or reinforcement, then the article may still be declared with the words, "all", "pure" or the designation "100%".
  3. Mixed or miscellaneous fibres, yarns or fabrics
    • Where an article is made up in whole or in part of materials where it is known which fibres are present, but the amounts are not, the generic name of each fibre present in an amount of 5 percent or more by mass may be stated in order of predominance following the words, "miscellaneous fibres", "miscellaneous yarns", "miscellaneous fabrics", or "mixed fibres", "mixed yarns", "mixed fabrics", depending on the constitution of the article. For example, for a patchwork placemat where the face is made from several different fabrics, some of which are 100 percent cotton, and others of various blends of cotton and polyester, and where it is virtually impossible to determine the percentage of the cotton and polyester in the finished product, an appropriate disclosure would be:
    • Face/Endroit:
100%
mixed fabrics/tissus mixtes
cotton/coton
polyester/polyester

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Bilingual requirements

Except in areas where only one official language is used in consumer transactions, the required fibre content information, that is, the generic names, as well as any information directly relating to the fibre content, must be bilingual. For example, terms required to be shown with the fibre content, such as "reclaimed" or "reprocessed", or for the identification of sections, such as "yoke" and "skirt" must be in English and in French. It is also recommended that descriptive terms used in conjunction with the fibre content be bilingual, i.e. "combed cotton 100% coton peigné". This information may be shown on two separate labels, one English and one French. For consumer textile articles requiring a permanent disclosure label, these labels must be adjoining or contiguous.

The dealer identification, as well as the country of origin (when required), need only be in one of the official languages.

The province of Quebec has additional requirements concerning the use of the French language on all products marketed within its jurisdiction. Information on these requirements may be obtained from:

Office québécois de la langue française
125 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Québec
Canada H4X 1X4

Telephone: 514-873-6565
Toll-free telephone: 1-888-873-6202
Web site: www.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca

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CA Identification Number

CA Identification Number

Carpets

Where the consumer textile is a floor covering having a backing that differs in textile fibre content from the outer surface, face or pile, the textile fibre content may be identified in either of the following ways:

  • the fibre content of the pile, face or outer surface exclusive of the backing, provided the disclosure clearly indicates it is the fibre content exclusive of the backing; or
  • the fibre content of the pile shown first, followed immediately by the fibre content of the backing, with a clear indication that it is the backing

For example a carpet could be declared as:

Pile/Poil:
100% nylon/nylon

or

100% nylon/nylon
exclusive of backing/support non compris

or

Pile/Poil:
100% nylon/nylon
Back/Support:
100% jute/jute

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Custom-made articles

If the consumer textile article is custom-made, or is a floor covering custom-cut to the consumer's specifications, the required textile disclosure information may be presented either on a label or on an invoice or other document accompanying the article. If an invoice or other document is used, the consumer must have the opportunity to examine a properly labelled sample or swatch prior to making a commitment to purchase.

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Dealer name and address

The dealer identity may be disclosed by identifying the name and full postal address under which the dealer normally conducts business. Where the full name and postal address appears as the dealer identity information, the address must be identified in accordance with the Canada Post Guidelines. Information regarding these guidelines may be obtained from Canada Post:

Canada Post Corporation

General Information:
Toll-free telephone: 1-800-607-6301
Toll-free TTY: 1-800-267-2797
Web site: www.canadapost.ca

Alternatively, a dealer in Canada may use a CA identification number in place of their name and address on the label of consumer textile articles.

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Elastic yarns

An elastic yarn is an elastomer which may or may not be covered with a wrap. Where, however, any wrap is present, t is also included in the definition. Elastic yarns may be found in stretch denim and corduroy fabrics, as well as swimsuit fabrics. It should be noted, however, that elastic yarns that are added to socks in a limited area serve a functional purpose and are therefore considered as findings.

An elastic yarn that is present in an amount of less than 5 percent of the total fibre mass may be disclosed by generic name as an integral part of the fabric or as "other fibre". Alternatively, it may be disclosed as "Exclusive of elastic", provided that the total of the other fibre(s) disclosed equals 100 percent. For example, for a wool fabric which contains an elastic yarn in an amount of 2 percent, an appropriate disclosure would be:

98% wool/laine
2% spandex

or

98% wool/laine
2% other fibre/autre fibre

or

100% wool/laine
exclusive of elastic/à l'exclusion de l'élastique

An elastic yarn that is present in an amount of 5 percent or more of the total fibre mass must be disclosed as an integral part of the fabric.

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Fabric supported foams

Foams are usually made from rubber, polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane, and must be labelled sectionally when fabric-backed or supported. For example, a sofa cover consisting of a nylon fabric laminated to a polyurethane foam must be labelled as:

Face/Endroit:
100% nylon/nylon

Back/Envers:
100% polyurethane/polyuréthane

Foams, when used strictly as an adhesive or when sold without a fabric support, such as cushion forms, bags of chipped foam and foam slabs, do not require labelling.

Films, which are non-fibrous materials with no support or backing (frequently used for rain bonnets and coats, umbrellas, bibs, ground sheets, etc.), also do not require labelling.

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Findings

The term "findings" means any textile fibre product which is added to the consumer textile article for a functional purpose, differs in textile fibre content from the article to which it has been added and does not constitute a part of the outer surface of that article unless it is incorporated at or along an edge. Some examples of findings are: elastic yarns that are added in a limited area in socks (not all hosiery), interfacing, facings, buttons, zippers, fasteners, thread, gussets, leg, neck and wrist bands, concealed pockets, plackets, shoulder pads, elastic used in a casing at the waist, legs and/or wrists or used in smocking, etc. Any lining (other than a laminated or bonded lining), interlining or padding incorporated for structural purposes, and not for warmth, are also considered findings.

Findings do not have to be declared but, if disclosed, the textile fibre content must be shown separately from and following all other disclosures, with a clear indication that it is the textile fibre content of the findings that is being shown. For example, where a consumer textile article is a wool dress trimmed with nylon lace and having a rayon lining, and the dealer desires to make this known, an appropriate disclosure would be:

Dress/Robe:
100% wool/laine

Lace/Dentelle:
100% nylon/nylon

Lining/Doublure:
100% rayon/rayonne

On the other hand, the disclosure could be simply:

100% wool/laine
exclusive of trimming/garniture non comprise

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Form of a label

Labels may take a variety of forms, such as:

  • woven or printed labels that are sewn flat or along one edge;
  • printed labels applied by an adhesive or otherwise attached (e.g. stickers, hang tags);
  • printing the required information on a wrapper, package, or container; or
  • imprinting the required information directly on the article (providing the information is together in one place).

In general, generic names of textile fibres must be stated in order of predominance by mass. However, if the consumer textile article is allowed to have a non-permanent label, then the label may consist of a pre-printed alphabetical list of generic names with blank spaces beside each name for the insertion of percentages. For example:

Acetate
_____%
Acétate
Acrylic
_____%
Acrylique
Cotton
_____%
Coton
Polyester
_____%
Polyester
Silk
_____%
Soie

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Generic name for fibre content

A comprehensive list of generic names for natural fibres and man-made fibres, is available in both English and French. In labelling, abbreviations for generic names are not acceptable, with the exception of PBI. An example of a declaration where an article was composed of a combination of man-made and natural fibres, would be:

65% polyester/polyester
35% cotton/coton

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Home-crafted articles

As home-crafted consumer textile articles are usually made in very limited quantities, with each article being unique and different, it may be difficult to purchase preprinted disclosure labels in suitable quantities.

Permanent disclosure labels may be created simply and inexpensively by using blank labels purchased from a label or garment manufacturer and India Ink, indelible stamp pads or permanent ink felt pens available from stationary stores. During experiments using these methods, it was found that India Ink remained legible after ten washings or dry cleanings while the other two methods remained legible after ten washings but were illegible after ten dry cleanings.

When using any of the above mentioned methods, test the labelled article by washing and/or dry cleaning, as appropriate, to be certain that ink from the label will withstand ten cleanings and will not stain the article.

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Linings, interlinings, paddings or fillings

The fibre content of linings, interlinings, paddings or fillings added for warmth, as well as laminated or bonded linings and some textile fillings (as in bed pillows) must be disclosed separately from, and following other sections. A winter jacket consisting of a cotton shell, polyester filling and a structural nylon lining must be disclosed sectionally, for example, as:

Outer Shell/Extérieur:
100% cotton/coton

Filling/Remplissage:
100% polyester/polyester

Note that the structural nylon lining in the above example is a finding, and does not require a disclosure.

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Ornamentation

Ornamentation is a textile fibre product that is present as an integral part of the article for a decorative purpose, imparts a visible discernible overall pattern or design and differs in fibre content from the remainder of the article.

Ornamentation that is present in an amount of less than 5 percent may be disclosed:

  • exclusive of ornamentation, providing the label bears the statement "exclusive of ornamentation" and the total of the fibre(s) disclosed equals 100 percent
  • by stating the generic name of the fibre or yarn used for ornamentation, and the total of the fibres disclosed equals 100 percent
  • as "other fibre"

For example, an acceptable disclosure for a consumer textile article made from a blend of cotton and polyester, and 4 percent metallic for ornamentation, could be:

75% cotton/coton
25% polyester/polyester
exclusive of ornamentation/sans l'ornement

or

72% cotton/coton
24% polyester/polyester
4% metallic/fibre métallique

or

72% cotton/coton
24% polyester/polyester
4% other fibre/autre fibre

Ornamentation present in an amount of 5 percent or more must be disclosed as an integral part of the fabric.

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Other fibre(s)

Normally a fibre present in an amount of less than 5 percent by mass must be stated by generic name or as "other fibre". For example, for a fabric made from a blend of cotton and spandex, the disclosure might be:

97% cotton/coton
3% other fibre/autre fibre

When more than one fibre is present in an amount of less than 5 percent, they may be identified as "other fibres" accompanied by the percentage by mass of the aggregate. For example, for a fabric made up of cotton, metallic and spandex, an appropriate disclosure could be:

92% cotton/coton
8% other fibres/autres fibres

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Pile, coated and impregnated fabrics

Consumer textile articles made up from a pile, coated, or impregnated fabric that has a pile, coating or impregnator that differs in fibre content from the backing or base fabric, may be labelled in either of the following two ways:

  • sectionally, to indicate the individual composition of both components separately; or
  • as a composite, with the components indicated as percentages by mass of the total fibre mass, in this case, the total fibre mass of the face, coating or impregnator and the back or support fabric.

For example, a pile fabric could be declared sectionally as:

Pile/Poil:
100% acrylic/acrylique

Back/Support
100% cotton/coton

or as a composite:

80% acrylic/acrylique
20% cotton/coton

A coated fabric could be declared sectionally as:

Coating/Enduit:
100% polyurethane/polyuréthane

Back/Support:
100% polyester/polyester

or as a composite:

75% polyurethane/polyuréthane
25% polyester/polyester

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Prepackaged articles

When a consumer textile article is sold in a wrapper, package or container and the disclosure label attached to the article is clearly visible to the prospective purchaser, no further labelling is required. However, if the article is wrapped, packaged or contained so that the disclosure label is not visible, the information required to be shown in the label must be repeated on the wrapper, package or container in the prescribed manner.

When an article sold to the consumer in a wrapper, package or container is classified as being allowed a non-permanent label, or is enclosed in the wrapper, package or container only as a premium, and the main product being sold is not a textile fibre product (e.g. a towel in a box of detergent), the wrapper, package or container serves as the disclosure label for the consumer textile article. The textile article itself does not have to be labelled.

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Reclaimed fibres

The term "reclaimed textile fibres" refers to fibres produced from yarn waste, fabric cuttings, rags, and used garments. Where such fibres are used, the word, "reclaimed", "reprocessed", or "reused" must be shown immediately preceding the generic name. For example, an acceptable disclosure for work socks knit from a yarn produced by reprocessing wool fabric scraps, could be:

100% reclaimed wool/laine récupérée

or

100% reprocessed wool/laine retransformée

or

100% reused wool/laine réutilisée

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Reinforcement yarns

A reinforcement yarn is a portion of a complex yarn that is either present as a core or wrap for the purpose of increasing the strength of the yarn. Binder yarns which are used in novelty-type yarns, such as bouclé yarns, to hold the loops, or in fancy/effect yarns to the core or base, are also considered as a reinforcement yarn. A reinforcement yarn that is present in an amount of less than 5 percent of the total fibre mass may be disclosed by generic name as an integral part of the fabric or yarn, or as "other fibre". As an alternative, a reinforcement yarn present in an amount of less than 5 percent, may be disclosed as "Exclusive of reinforcement", provided that the total of the other fibre(s) disclosed equals 100 percent. For example, for a wool fabric which contains a reinforcement yarn in an amount of 4 percent, an appropriate disclosure would be:

96% wool/laine
4% nylon

or

96% wool/laine
4% other fibre/autre fibre

or

100% wool/laine
exclusive of reinforcement/à l'exclusion du renforcement

A reinforcement yarn that is present in an amount of 5 percent or more of the total fibre mass must be disclosed as an integral part of the fabric.

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Sectional disclosure

Where a consumer textile article consists of different parts or sections, and when the fibre content of one section is different from that of any or all others, then separate disclosures must be made for each section. If, for example, a sweatshirt had a knit body consisting of a 65% polyester/35% cotton blend, with woven sleeves of a 50% polyester/50% cotton blend, then the fibre content of the body must be disclosed separately from the fibre content disclosure of the sleeves as:

Body/Corps:
65% polyester/polyester
35% cotton/coton

Sleeves/Manches:
50% polyester/polyester
50% cotton/coton

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Trimming

Trimming is any textile fibre product that has been added to a consumer textile article for a decorative purpose and differs in textile fibre content from the article to which it has been added, including embroidery, appliqué, braid, lace, ribbon, smocking threads, patch pockets, ruffles, piping, belts, rick rack, collars and cuffs. Trimming must be disclosed if it is present in an amount greater than 15 percent of the total outer surface area of the article. If present in an amount of 15 percent or less, it does not require disclosure, provided it is clear that the fibre content is disclosed "exclusive of trimming". For example, where a consumer textile article has nylon lace added to it, and the total area of the lace is 15 percent or less of the total area of the article, then an appropriate fibre content disclosure could be:

72% cotton/coton
24% polyester/polyester
4% other fibre/autre fibre
exclusive of trimming/garniture non comprise

or

75% cotton/coton
25% polyester/polyester
exclusive of trimming and ornamentation/garniture et ornement non comprise

or

72% cotton/coton
24% polyester/polyester
4% metallic/fibre métallique
exclusive of trimming/garniture non comprise

Should the dealer wish to disclose the fibre content of the trimming, an acceptable disclosure could be:

72% cotton/coton
24% polyester/polyester
4% metallic/fibre métallique

Trimming/Garniture:
100% nylon/nylon

or

72% cotton/coton
24% polyester/polyester
4% metallic/fibre métallique

Lace/Dentelle:
100% nylon/nylon

Trimming also includes decorative patterns or designs that are an integral part of the article but do not create an all-over pattern or design. This would include stripes knitted into the leg of a sock or an abstract design knitted into the front of a sweater. Where an article has several different trimmings, each present in amounts of less than or equal to 15 percent of the outer surface area, but which together comprise over 15 percent of the outer surface area, the trimmings may be labelled collectively, for example, as:

Trimmings/Garniture:
100% silk/soie
100% acetate/acétate
100% rayon/rayonne

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Unknown, undetermined, miscellaneous or mixed fibres

Where an article is made up in whole or in part of materials for which the fibre content is unknown and cannot be accurately determined, the terms "unknown fibres", "undetermined fibres", "miscellaneous fibres" or "mixed fibres" should be used. For example, an acceptable disclosure for a lining for warmth in a coat which is produced from fabric scraps of various fibre contents in varying amounts, could be:

100% unknown fibres/fibres inconnues

or

60% undetermined fibres/fibres indéterminées
40% reclaimed wool/laine récupérée

or

60% miscellaneous fibres/fibres diverses
40% reclaimed wool/laine récupérée

or

60% mixed fibres/fibres mixtes
40% reclaimed wool/laine récupérée

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