The variety of fibres, materials and finishes used in the production of textile articles, together with the development of cleansing and care procedures, makes it difficult and often impossible to decide on the appropriate cleansing and care treatment for each article simply by inspecting it. To help those who have to make such a decision (principally the consumer but also launderers and dry cleaners), this code of graphic symbols was established, based on the GINETEX care labelling system, for use in the permanent marking of textile articles with information on their care in use as an International Standard in 1991. In certain countries GINETEX has the intellectual property right of the 5 main symbols specified in this standard. In order to make this code "easily understandable and recognizable" for the consumer world-wide, symbols have been limited as to types and numbers as far as practicable. The first and second editions of this International Standard, published in 1991 and 2005, were a result of a compromise between two requirements: being simple enough to be understood by users in all countries, irrespective of the language they speak, yet providing as much information as possible to prevent irreversible damage being caused during care treatments. This International Standard has been made sufficiently flexible to accommodate the needs of practically all who wish to use it. This has been achieved by providing a sufficiently large selection of care treatments, from which the user may select the most suitable for any particular need. The revision was necessary to reflect current cleansing practices including technical developments, new bleach systems, and the alternative to conventional dry cleaning using aqueous systems. Furthermore, modifications in the description of care processes have been introduced in order to avoid hindering process development. The international care label used in this International Standard gives care instructions using a sequence of symbols in the order of the five main treatments washing, bleaching, drying, ironing and professional textile care. The committee responsible for this standard is NA 106-01-13 AA "Pflegekennzeichnung von Textilien; SpA zu ISO/TC 38/SC 2/WG 12 und CEN/TC 248" ("Care labelling of textiles; mirror committee to ISO/TC 38/SC 2/WG 12 and CEN/TC 248") at DIN.