Washing Symbols Might As Well be Written in Martian
They have appeared on clothes labels for four decades, each one chosen by international experts for its simplicity and clarity.
Yet for most people, washing instructions might as well be written in Martian.
According to a new poll, nine in 10 people are unable to decipher common symbols used on clothes labels.
Even those who have mastered the difference between a wool and a synthetics wash admit being baffled by the bewildering array of boxes, circles and crosses used to give advice about drying and bleaching.
The findings come from a poll of 2,000 people carried out by YouGov for Morphy Richards. A third of people surveyed said that they recognised none of the six symbols shown, while the only symbol recognised by more than half of people was the iron with a single dot. Around 70 per cent knew it meant "iron on a low heat". Just 10 per cent sign knew the sign for "do not dry clean", while only 12 per cent were familiar with "drip dry only".