The symbols are protected by trademarks. Their use is dependent on a contract with GINETEX.
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Until the mid-fifties, textiles consisted almost entirely of natural fibres. The new washing machines were generally used to wash white and coloured cotton and linen textiles. Two washing programs were therefore sufficient: 95° C for boiling and 60° C for non-colourfast dyed materials.
In the early sixties, chemical fibres were developed on a wide scale. At the same time, modern finishing techniques (easy care etc.) were introduced for natural fibres. New manufacturing techniques for the production of garments such as front fixing, bonding and welding of seams etc. also made their appearance. Fashion developed at a remarkable rate. New sophisticated washing machines were launched on the market. Textile care, once easy and straightforward, became increasingly complex. Neither the consumers concerned nor the best trained textile cleaning professionals were able to gain an overview of the situation, so as to care for textiles efficiently and avoid damage at all times.
In parallel with the ongoing technological developments, trade relations became far more international. Verbal care information was no longer sufficient; the use of symbols to avoid different languages became vital!
That is why in 1963, the international textile care labelling grouping GINETEX (Groupement Internationale d’Etiquetage pour l’Entretien des Textiles) with head office in Paris was founded following several International Symposiums for Textile Care Labelling at the end of the 1950`s. The care symbols became registered trademarks in most countries. The founder members were the Benelux countries, the Federal Republic of Germany, France and Switzerland. The principles of GINETEX defined at that time remain largely valid today. However, the care labelling system is constantly being brought into line with the latest technical and ecological developments.