Everything you need to know about Canadian and US clothing label requirements

Are you confused about what you’re required to put on your clothing labels? I get it.

There are suggestions, requirements and different options depending on what country you’re in. In this post I break down what you really need to know about Canadian and US clothing label requirements so that you can check this sticky item off your list.

Since most of my readers are in Canada and the US, I’m including these two countries clothing label requirements only. If you’re in another country and want some help identifying what you need, drop me a comment below.



In order to keep this information manageable, I have simplified the requirements.

Depending on your product type (eg. swim, underwear, outerwear) and material (eg. fur, animal hair, synthetics) some of the requirements are slightly different.

Either way, you will want to check out all of the links below to makes sure you’re totally covered for your specific product type.

Let’s get into it!

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Canada Clothing Label Requirements

These items MUST be included on your clothing label if you are a selling in Canada


#1 | Fiber Content

  • Fiber content (in both English and French)

    • What fiber is your fabric made out of?

    • This should be using the generic industry term for the fiber. Since Canadians are so helpful, you can get the list of generic terms.

    • Generic Terms for Natural Fibers

    • Generic Terms for Man Made Fibers

    • What percentage (by weight) are each of the fibers

    • Fibers should be listed in order showing the highest percentage first.

  • Placement of fabric in both English and French

    • For example, if you’re using a different fabric for the sleeve than the body and it is a different fabric content, you must call out the fabric content of the main body and the sleeve AND ensure that the name of both placements (main body and sleeve) are both in English and French.

    • This also includes lining and fills/insulation. Both the placement and fiber content need to be called out in English and French.

#2 | Dealer Identity

You must included EITHER

  • “the name and full postal address under which the dealer normally carries out his business”


  • A CA Number which you can get from the Competition Bureau here

I would strongly recommend getting a CA number so that you don’t have to put your address on everything you make.

#3 | Country of Origin

The country where your product was made needs to also be included on your label. In order to determine how this is called out for NAFTA goods you can refer here. For non NAFTA good, please refer here.

#4 | Permanence

All of the above information should be contained on a permanent label. This means that the label can withstand ten washes and still be attached and legible.

#5| Form

In the Canadian requirements, they specifically call out that the label needs to be accessible and legible. It does not specify which font or what size you must use so use common sense. I would recommend going with a standard sans serif font for the easiest readability. Avoid script fonts for anything other than non required content.

US Clothing Label Requirements

#1 | Fiber Content

The requirements are the same for the US as they are for Canada except that you only need to provide this information in English. You can get full details on how to write the fiber content requirements here.

#2 | Dealer Identity

You must included EITHER

  • the name of your business


  • an RN Number which you can learn more about on the FTC website.

#3 | Country of Origin

In the US requirements, the COO (country of origin), should be called out on a label at the center back neck of the garment (if there is a neck).

If your product is fully reversible, you are exempt and you can also apply for an exemption if attaching the label impacts the look of the garment.

You can learn more about the COO exemptions here.

You can also learn more about the details of how to label NAFTA product, produced in Canada, the US or Mexico, here.

#4 | Care Instructions

Care instructions are not a requirement in Canada but they are in the US. The intention is to provide consumers with the knowledge to properly care for their product. You can find standards on how to write out care instructions here.

#5 | Form

The US requirements are basically the same as the Canadian. All required content needs to be accessible and legible.

So that sums it up for the required elements that need to be included on your label but there are a couple of things that I would add to save your own sanity.

Bonus Items To Add To Your Labels

Again, these are not required but in order to support your own business needs, I would include:

1. Sizing | NOT A Clothing Label Requirement

This is kind of obvious but since it’s not “required” I wanted to make sure that you don’t forget it. Obviously this is super important for you to be able to effectively manage your inventory and for your customer to know that they’re getting something that will fit them.

2. Care Instructions in Canada | NOT A Clothing Label Requirement

This will help your customer give your product the right care so that it lasts. It will also reduce the number of returns you get since people are more likely to care for their product correctly if you tell them how to do it.

3. Style Name or Number | NOT A Clothing Label Requirement

This is the unique identifier that you use for a given style. Some people just use names when they are starting out but as you grow, you will want this to be a unique number so that it is easier to track. This will help you track your inventory.

It can also support you in customer service. If a customer can easily tell you the style number of a product they are using, you can get specific feedback about what’s working and what’s not and use that to inform future designs.

4. Colour Name or Number | NOT A Clothing Label Requirement

Same as style number, having a unique colour name or number will help you track your inventory and support your customers. As your business grows over time, it can be hard to distinguish between the blue from Winter 2017 and the Blue from Winter 2019. Putting something unique right on the label will help you immediately recognize which one you are looking at.

If you want to check out a recording of the Facebook Live video on you can view it below.


Label Supplier Links:

And, since you stuck around to the end!

That’s it! Is there anything you are including on your labels that is really helping you out? I’d love it if you shared it in the comments below.

And if you found this post helpful, I’d love it if you shared it on Pinterest.

Lisa MacCarthyLabels