Laundry Symbols….What Do They Mean?

Have you ever bought some yarn and looked at the band to see how to wash it only to see some strange symbols?  Those symbols actually tell you how to wash the yarn you just bought.  If you are like me you prefer for it just to be written out.  Some of the yarn companies will write it out just like you may see on the tag of your blouse.  Others will just simply print the symbols.  It is really important to know what each one represents.  You don’t want to spend a lot of hard earned money on expensive yarn, crochet/knit a garment and wash it incorrectly and ruin said piece.  All that hard work undone in just minutes.  I am going to show some of the most commonly seen ones.  Here are some examples of yarn bands from my yarn stash. Each symbol is numbered in the three samples I will be using.


Example 1 is a yarn band from Cascade Yarns:

Lion Brand Woolspun

Cascade Yarns

Symbol 1:  Machine wash warm, not to exceed 40°C or 105°F.  When you see this little cup with water waves it always means machine wash, there are however varieties to this.

Symbol 2:  Tumble dry, normal, medium heat. Maximum to be used it medium heat.  A circle within a square mean machine dry.  The dots within the circle represent the temperature range. 

Symbol 3:  Do not bleach.  A triangle will pertain to bleach.

Symbol 4:  Iron, medium heat.  I think the symbol is pretty self-explanatory that they are referring to an iron.  The dots also within the iron also represent the temperature range.


Example 2 is a yarn band from Lion Brand’s Woolspun:

Yarn Band 3

Lion Brand’s Woolspun















Symbol 1: Machine wash, normal

Symbol 2:  Do not bleach

Symbol 3:  Tumble dry, normal

Symbol 4: Do not iron

Symbol 5: Dryclean, any drycleaning solvent can be used except Trichloroethylene


Example 3 is a yarn band from Bernat’s Sheep(ish):

Bernat's Sheep(ish)

Bernat’s Sheep(ish)

Symbol 1:  Machine wash cold, gentle or delicate. Water temperature should not exceed 30°C or 65-85°F

Symbol 2: Do not bleach

Symbol 3: Dry flat

Symbol 4:  Do not iron

Symbol 5: Do not dryclean


So there you have it! A little decoding of the symbols for you!  I tried to pick three yarn bands that showed somewhat of a good variety.  Here is a link to a guide of common home laundering and drycleaning symbols from Textile Industry Affairs.  This is a pdf file that you can print and keep as a reference.  As always please leave any questions or comments you may have. 


Happy crocheting/knitting 🙂



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