If all signs and symbols disappeared tomorrow, we’d all be pretty screwed. Imagine driving on the motorway without knowing where the next services are (snacks are important), having no idea that a road is one way or where to expect a hidden dip. But it isn’t all about being on the road.
Picture this, you’ve just been paid and you’ve treated yourself to a new cardigan. That burger at lunch was messier than you thought and now there’s ketchup all down the front – how the hell are you going to get that out? Well, you’d look at the label right? Unless you wanted your new favourite knitwear to come out a size perfect for your neighbour’s new pug.
Those little laundry symbols – or pictograms – give us all the information we need to know to (hopefully) avoid shrinking or ruining our favourite attire. We take them for granted, but they must have come from somewhere? Well, they do. In the early 1960s, chemical fibers were produced on a wide scale, taking straight forward textile care to a whole new confusing level. Verbal care information was no longer enough and with so many languages to cater for, those symbols we now know and understand were developed.