Laundry care symbols you see on clothes tags can be typed or inserted into Word, Excel or PowerPoint in various different ways.
Laundry care symbols can be for laundry area signs or for fun like this t-shirt.
Or alternative symbols in a PowerPoint slide. All five symbols were black laundry care icons. As SVG graphics all five symbols were recolored in Office very easily.
Unlike many other common symbols, laundry care icons aren’t in the Unicode specification along with letters, numbers, currency, musical notes and all manner of other stuff.
There’s an ISO standard (if you’re keeping score, ISO 3758:2012 “Textiles — Care labelling code using symbols”) however the symbols are copyright in various countries. That’s probably why they’ve not been included into the Unicode standard.
To make things more confusing, laundry care symbols vary across the globe. The US, Canada, Europe and Japan all have different or overlapping symbol sets plus an International (GINTEX) standard for everyone else. Gintex has an exhaustive Technical Document if you’re interested in the details.
Coats.com has a good summary of the standards and differences.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll work with the general symbols without going into the regional specifics.
Image or Font
With most symbols of any kind, there’s a choice: as an image or a group of symbols contained in a font.
For occasional use, individual images are enough. Preferably SVG graphics but large JPG or GIF are fine.
Fonts are the better choice if you’re using the symbols regularly. The right font has all the symbols in one compact file and place ready to use.
Keep in mind that copyright can apply to laundry symbols.
SVG Laundry Care Symbols
SVG graphics are best because they can be resized and colored easily in Office 365 or Office 2019/2021 for Windows or Mac.
Happily, Wikipedia has common laundry symbols in SVG format. For example the Laundry Symbol page.
Click on an image to open the download page. Select the download button on right. Then choose a download type. Make sure it’s an SVG format (only choose JPG or GIF if there’s no SVG available).
Add an SVG graphic to any Office 365/2019 document, worksheet or presentation from Insert | Picture.
Non-SVG laundry symbols
For other versions of Office, choose a JPG, PNG or GIF version instead. The same Wikipedia page has PNG available by right-clicking on the image then choosing ‘Save image as …’ or ‘Copy Image’. The exact options depend on your browser.
Or click on the image then ‘More Details’ to open a page with all the image download options available.
Fonts with Laundry symbols
The official laundry symbol fonts are commercial and can be expensive. We found the GINTEX font for €25.
Laundry label text
Office-Watch talks separately about the font for the text on a laundry care label.