Textile Fibre Content Labelling Regulations for the EU Market

The EU Textile and Apparel industries are giants in both domestic and global production. Collectively, EU Member States account for one-third of the world's textile and apparel products, in part because the continent features a very complete supply chain infrastructure. The intra-regional textile trade is strong, making the market for would-be importers that much fiercer competitively.

Adding to the challenges for textile importers are the EU's considerably rigorous regulations standards, particularly for chemical substance restrictions and fibre content labelling. But the global market is proving that such high standards serve to breed higher global demand. Through the EU's efforts to reach foreign markets, textile products are gaining popularity around the world.

Between 2000 and 2017, European textile and apparel exports have increased in China by 221%; in South Korea by 143%; in Hong Kong by 95%; in Mexico by 71%; and in Canada by 73%.

Here we will look at key points of the EU Regulation 1007/2011: "Textile Products Labelling and Fibre Composition," a regulation that is meant to protect consumer interests and reduce the risk of fraudulent composition claims.

The EU's Definition of Textile Product

A textile product is "any raw, semi-worked, worked, semi-manufactured, manufactured, semi-made-up or made-up product which is exclusively composed of textile fibres, regardless of the mixing or assembly process employed.” (Article 3(1)(a))

Additionally, an article will be classified as a textile product if the product or its components contain at least 80% by weight of textile fibres. Examples of these include furniture, umbrellas, tents and mattress covers.

The EU Textile Labelling Regulations: Location and Characteristics

  • All textile products must carry a durable, legible, easily visible and accessible fibre content label, either on the product or on its packaging.
  • For finished textile products made from two or more fibres, the fibre contents should be itemized and followed by their percentage of the total product (ie. "cotton 80%, polyester 15%, nylon 5%")
  • For finished textile products with two or more distinct textile components (i.e. a jacket with a separate lining), textile labelling should be made separately for each component
  • Under the EU 1007/2011 regulations, your textile product label can only carry permitted fibre names, which are listed in Annex I of the regulations.

Specifications for Use of Terms: "100%", "Pure" and "All"

  • These descriptions can only be used if the textile product is made up exclusively of one fibre type.
  • A product with such description can contain no more than 2% of a separate fibre type (either collected through inadvertent production impurities or through the carding process).

Information Pertaining to the Use of Fur and Animal Parts

The regulation requires that consumers are made aware of any animal parts associated with your textile products, such as fur, leather, bone or down feathers. The use of non-textile parts of animal origins must be labelled with the phrase "contains non-textile parts of animal origin."

Methods for Analyzing Fibre Contents

Determining the composition of a textile product must be carried out by representative sampling and testing methods described in Annex VIII and IX of the EU 1007/2011 Regulations. Without valid testing standards or sampling methods that adequately represent your batch as a whole, you can never be sure that your composition claims are accurate, and thus, compliant.

Reliable lab testing is important for compositional certainty, and it is essential for companies that manufacture textile products using factories outside of Europe, where the EU’s strict standards may not be fully understood or taken seriously. False labelling claims (or even substandard label production), can result in your product making a quick exit from the market, negating the months or even years of product development work. The cost of losing compliance in a market with the world’s toughest standards will likely be too great to bounce back from.

QIMA's product testing and inspection services act as leaders in the textile and apparel regulations industry, because we:

  • Employ the most skilled and qualified testers and factory inspectors;
  • Maintain fully accredited laboratories and a network of preferred partners close to manufacturing hotspots around the world;
  • Provide industry-leading turnaround time on lab results, as well as real-time mobile updates which helps you stay on top of your product line.

Good reputations are built on reliability, and reliability is what you strive to bring to your chosen market. We strive to ensure that your quality and compliance standards are being met -- product by product, batch by batch.

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