If you're planning to sell textile products in the EU, they must comply with EU labelling requirements. In general, they must carry a label clearly identifying the composition of all textile fibres used and indicating any non-textile parts of animal origin.
What is a textile label?
Every textile product must be labelled or marked to show its fibre composition whenever the product is marketed in the EU. These labels must be firmly attached to the product, for example, sewn in.
This requirement concerns all products made up of at least 80% of textile fibres, calculated by weight, such as:
- furniture coverings
- mattress coverings
- camping tents
Are textile labels mandatory?
Textile labels are mandatory in the EU for textiles intended for sale to the end consumer. In the case of business-to-business sales, textile labels may be replaced or supplemented by accompanying commercial documents.
National authorities can check textile products for conformity with the information displayed on the label at any stage of the marketing chain, such as:
- when requesting customs clearance
- at distributor's warehouses
- at wholesale or retail outlets
What should be written on the label?
The label must:
- explain the composition of the fabric – written in decreasing percentage order
- use clear and legible text, including uniform lettering (same font, size, and style)
- contain a clear separation between the information on textile composition and other information, such as product care
If you plan to sell your products in one or more EU countries, you must translate the text in all the official national languages where the textile products are made available to the consumer.
You can only describe a textile product as "100%", "pure", or "all" if it is composed exclusively of one fibre type. You can choose whether to use those terms or to refer, for example, to a 100% cotton shirt simply as "cotton".
The types and names of textile fibres you can use is limited to the list in Annex I of the EU Regulation on textile names and related labelling. If your product contains a textile fibre that is not among those enlisted in the Regulation, you can apply for the new fibre type to be added. Find out more about this procedure on the European Commission page on textiles and clothing legislation.
If you want to give your textile products a recognised sign of environmental excellence, check if you can also apply for an EU Ecolabel.