The beginning of the development of new, technical fibres

The introduction of synthetic fibres and new finishing procedures required a transparent declaration of raw textile materials.

A mandatory task in the European Union for a number of decades now

Raw material labelling was introduced on a broad scale in Europe on a uniform basis in 1972 and has continuously been developed since then.

In the meantime, various changes have been made with regard to how the system is implemented as a result of technological developments on the fibre market and experience gained along the way. The implementation of the European Single Market resulted in the text on labels being simplified in a logical way (numbering, sequence). In 1977, a document entitled “Directive 96/74/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on textile names” was published for this purpose. In addition to an increased level of transparency, changes and clarifications were required and the number of new EU/European Economic Area languages needed to be increased.


Ongoing further development

The provisions determining the analysis methods were reorganised to form a legal act concerning the specific methods to use for performing a quantitative analysis of binary textile fibre mixtures.

With the enactment of another European Directive (97/37/EC), the designation of raw materials was adapted to the current state of development on the textile fibre market at that time. The new designations came into force in the EU on 1 June 1998. The most important changes include incorporating a sequence of new fibres (cashgora, lyocell, polyimide and aramid). As a result of this, the numbers for the raw materials also changed. In addition, the descriptions were modified to make a clear distinction between polyamide/nylon and modal. In 2004, polylactide was included in the list of category names and the corresponding technical annexes were also added.

The applicable directives are periodically adapted in line with amended EU regulations – this last happened in 2011 (Regulation No. 1007/2011).