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Copyright 2006 Cornell University. All rights reserved.


Legal Requirements

Standard procedures and customs for purchase, sale, and use of textiles are guided by the Worth Street Textile Market Rules, codified in 1926. According to these rules, it is the responsibility of

  • the buyer to determine fabric suitability to end use.
  • the fabric manufacturer to provide serviceable products and information about quality and performance.

There are several legal requirements for sewn products made from woven and knitted textiles that must be followed by the wholesaler and the sewn product producer of an apparel or home furnishing product. Here are the regulations to which you need to comply.

Textile labeling is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. The Textile Product Identification and Wool Product Identification Acts require certain fiber content and origin labeling when sewn products are ready for sale to consumers. There are certain sewn products, such as hats made of fibers other than wool, that are exempt from the requirements. Items in an intermediate stage of production must include an invoice disclosing the fiber, country of origin, manufacturer or dealer identity, and the name and address of the person or company issuing the invoice if a label is not attached. The full details are very clearly explained at The required information for sewn-in labels is:

  • Fiber Content - generic fiber names and percentages by weight of each constituent fiber over 1% must be listed in descending order of predominance.
  • Country of Origin - Imported products must identify the country where they were processed or manufactured. Check the FTC website below for details concerning products made in more than one country or made in the U.S.A. of imported materials.
  • Manufacturer or Dealer Identity - textile labels must identify EITHER the company name OR Registered Identification Number (RN) of the manufacturer, importer, or another firm marketing, distributing, or otherwise handling the product. An RN is a number issued and registered by the FTC and may be issued to any firm in the U.S. that manufactures, imports, markets, distributes, or otherwise handles textile, wool, or fur products


Care Labels

In additon, the Federal Trade Commission requires manufacturers and importers to attach care labels to textile wearing apparel. Full details of what should be labeled, what labels must contain, and how labels must be attached are available at






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