FTC Approves Final Amendments to Wool Products Labeling Rules

Washington, DC - The Federal Trade Commission has approved final changes to its Wool Products Labeling Rules (Wool Rules) that clarify and update the Rules, provide more flexibility to industry, and align several provisions with recent amendments to the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act Rules (Textile Rules).

The Wool Rules require that labels on wool products disclose the manufacturer’s or marketer’s name, the country where the product was processed or manufactured, and information about the fiber content. The FTC issued the Rules under the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 (Wool Act). The agency completed its last review of the Wool Rules in 1998 and modified the Rules in 1998 and 2000. In 2006, the Wool Act was amended by the Wool Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness and International Standards Conforming Act, which provides that wool products identified as cashmere or as containing very fine wools are misbranded unless they have no more than the average fiber diameter specified in the Act.

In January 2012, the FTC sought comment on the Wool Rules as part of its systematic review of all FTC rules and guides. In response to the comments received, the Commission proposed changes to the Rules in September 2013 and sought public comment.

The agency now has amended the Rules to conform with the 2006 amendments to the Wool Act and the amended Textile Rules. The changes include incorporating the Wool Act’s new definitions for cashmere and very fine wools, clarifying descriptions of products containing virgin or new wool, and allowing certain hang-tags disclosing fiber trademarks and performance even if they do not disclose the product’s full fiber content.

The Commission vote approving the Notice amending the Wool Rules was 5-0. The changes will become effective 30 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. (FTC File No. P124201; the staff contact is Robert M. Frisby, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2098)

For more information, read Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts and Cachet of Cashmere: Complying with the Wool Products Labeling Act.

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