Cotton Standards Websites

The purpose of standards is to create a universal system for measuring cotton fiber and product quality. Standards are a business tool, and in many cases, standards are a strategic for developing new global markets. Standards ensure trade by eliminating trade barriers, saving companies money, and by accelerating research. There are standard ways that value is measured and assessed to products. Many inspection, certification and approval systems are based on global standards. When we say global standardization, we are after measurement transparency: how we measure it and units that are understood globally. Some of the organizations in which Cotton Incorporated participates are listed below. Also listed are regulatory agencies which have textile-specific rules that must be followed.

Standards Organizations

AATCC is the world’s leading not-for-profit association serving textile professionals since 1921. AATCC is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., USA, providing test method development, quality control materials, and professional networking for thousands of members in 60 countries throughout the world.

AATCC test methods are developed by research committees through extensive investigations and interlaboratory comparisons, often taking several years of work. Simplicity, reproducibility, applicability, cost of performing the test, and the time required to perform the test are all important considerations in each development. The content of many AATCC methods form the basis of equivalent ISO methods.

As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers is an educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems. Founded in 1907 and headquartered in St. Joseph, Michigan, ASABE comprises 9,000 members in more than 100 countries.

ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.

ASTM Committee D13 on Textiles was formed in 1914. D13 meets twice a year, in January and June, with approximately 200 members attending three days of technical meetings. The Committee has 561 members and currently has jurisdiction of 364 standards, published in the Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Volumes 7.01 and 7.02.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 160 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system. ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.

Standardization of:

  • fibers, yarns, threads, cords, rope, cloth and other fabricated textile materials; and the methods of test, terminology and definitions relating thereto;
  • textile industry raw materials, auxiliaries and chemical products required for processing and testing;
  • specifications for textile products.
Regulatory Agencies

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

On May 14, 1973, the responsibilities of the Federal Trade Commission for enforcement of the Flammable Fabrics Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. 1191–1204), were transferred to the Consumer Product Safety Commission pursuant to section 30(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (Pub. L. 92–573), 86 Stat. 1231 (15 U.S.C. 2079(b)).  

An act to establish consumer product safety standards and other safety requirements for children’s products and to reauthorize and modernize the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Textile, wool, fur, apparel, and leather matters

Care label means a permanent label or tag, containing regular care information and instructions, that is attached or affixed in such a manner that it will not become separated from the product and will remain legible during the useful life of the product.

The term Act means the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (approved September 2, 1958, 85th Congress, 2d Sess.; 15 U.S.C. 70, 72 Stat. 1717). (b) The terms rule, rules, regulations, and rules and regulations mean the rules and regulations prescribed by the Commission pursuant to section 7(c) of the Act.

Industry Groups

This Restricted Substances List (RSL) was created by a special working group of the American Apparel & Footwear Association’s (AAFA) Environmental Task Force. The RSL is intended to provide apparel and footwear companies with information related to regulations and laws that restrict or ban certain chemicals and substances in finished home textile, apparel, and footwear products around the world.

Approved by the Joint Cotton Industry Bale Packaging Committee (JCIBPC), these specifications are intended for use as manufacturing guidelines, and are designed to improve the quality and protection of the cotton bale and to improve the appearance and marketability of the American cotton bale in domestic and foreign markets.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is a group of global apparel and footwear companies, associated members of the supply chain, academics, and environmental and social non-profit organizations who recognized that addressing the industry's current social and environmental challenges are both a business imperative and an opportunity. The Coalition seeks to lead a shared vision of industry supply chain sustainability through the creation and use of the Higg Index. In measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability performance through the Higg Index, the Coalition aims to spotlight priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation.

The Sustainability Consortium is an organization of diverse global participants working to make the world more sustainable through better products, services and consumption. We develop and promote science and integrated tools so that together we can improve informed decision making for product sustainability throughout the entire product lifecycle across all relevant consumer goods sectors.


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