SOTEX GINETEX CZ: symbols help professionals and consumers

March 22, 2024  /  2:07 PM

We are sure you know them all - the tub, the triangle, the square, the iron and the wheel - symbols of care have become a common part of all clothing and textile products. They inform retailers, customers and then dry cleaners in a simple way about recommended maintenance methods. Read the following lines, which will introduce you to a world of images that knows no boundaries and can be found virtually anywhere in the world.

The care symbols originated in the late 1950s after several international Symposia for the marking of textile maintenance. The impulse for the creation of these small pictures was mainly the huge development in the field of chemical fibres and the associated maintenance. Up until the mid-1950s, it was common to use mainly natural fibres, so maintenance was much simpler, with two washing machine programmes in particular - 95°C for washes and 60°C for coloured linen. For other products, additional information was generally given and the products were hand washed.

With the very dynamic development of chemical fibres came the need to inform consumers about proper maintenance in order to avoid permanent damage to the product. And at the several symposia already mentioned, this need gave rise to symbols. There were only 4 symbols and they had a completely different appearance than today:

GINETEX was created at the same time as the symbols and subsequently registered the symbols as an international trademark. Since its inception in 1963, GINETEX has defined and disseminated a system of marking with treatment symbols and coordinated the technical basis at international level. GINETEX has continuously studied the symbols in terms of their use, which later led to the expansion of the symbols to the current five.

Also, the order of the symbols is not random. The symbols are arranged in sequence according to the processes that the textile undergoes during maintenance - the first is washing, then bleaching, the next is drying, the penultimate is ironing and the last circle is for the professionals in the dry cleaners. The symbols are then accompanied by either dots or numbers, or underlining, which specify the conditions of textile care. The recommended treatment is designed to avoid irreversible damage of the produc.

In the Czech Republic, treatment symbols have been used basically since their inception, but without proper authorization. This situation was rectified in 1996 when SOTEX GINETEX CZ was established as the national committee for symbols of care. Since then, this organisation has been ensuring both the legal use of treatment symbols in the Czech Republic and informing consumers about their meanings and recommending appropriate and gentle textile care practices.

The importance of care symbols lies in their simplicity and comprehensibility without language barriers. This is why their use and application is so universal and easy. If you are not familiar with them, we offer a simple tool to help you with their meanings. You can find it at Simply enter the symbols from the label on your clothing and you'll immediately have a procedure on how to take care of the product properly.

Visit or for more information. You will find there a lot of interesting information about textile care.