(a) Any item of textile wearing apparel, without pockets, that is totally reversible (i.e., the product is designed to be used with either side as the outer part or face) is exempt from the care label requirement.
(b) Manufacturers or importers can ask for an exemption from the care label requirement for any other textile wearing apparel product or product line, if the label would harm the appearance or usefulness of the product. The request must be made in writing to the Secretary of the Commission. The request must be accompanied by a labeled sample of the product and a full statement explaining why the request should be granted.
(c) If an item is exempt from care labeling under paragraph (a) or (b), of this section the consumers still must be given the required care information for the product. However, the care information can be put on a hang tag, on the package, or in some other conspicuous place, so that consumers will be able to see the care information before buying the product.
(d) Manufacturers and importers of products covered by § 423.5 are exempt from the requirement for a permanent care label if the product can be cleaned safely under the harshest procedures. This exemption is available only if there is reliable proof that all of the following washing and drycleaning procedures can safely be used on a product:
(1) Machine washing in hot water;
(2) Machine drying at a high setting;
(3) Ironing at a hot setting;
(4) Bleaching with all commercially available bleaches;
(5) Drycleaning with all commercially available solvents. In such case, the statement “wash or dry clean, any normal method” must appear on a hang tag, on the package, or in some other conspicuous place, so that consumers will be able to see the statement before buying the product.
If a product meets the requirements outlined above, it is automatically exempt from the care label requirement. It is not necessary to file a request for this exemption.
(e) Manufacturers and importers need not provide care information with products sold to institutional buyers for commercial use.
(f) All exemption granted under § 423.1(c) (1) or (2) or the Care Labeling Rule issued on December 9, 1971, will continue to be in effect if the product still meets the standards on which the original exemption was based. Otherwise, the exemption is automatically revoked.
(g) The symbol system developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and designated as ASTM Standard D5489-96c Guide to Care Symbols for Care Instructions on Consumer Textile Products may be used on care labels or care instructions in lieu of terms so long as the symbols fulfill the requirements of this part. In addition, symbols from the symbol system designated as ASTM Standard D5489-96c may be combined with terms so long as the symbols and terms used fulfill the requirements of this part. Provided, however, that for the 18-month period beginning on July 1, 1997, such symbols may be used on care labels in lieu of terms only if an explanation of the meaning of the symbols used on the care label in terms is attached to, or provided with, the item of textile wearing apparel. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of ASTM Standard D5489-96c Guide to Care Symbols for Care Instructions on Textile Products may be obtained from the American Society for Testing and Materials, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428, or may be inspected at the Federal Trade Commission, room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.