New European Union rules on textile fibre names and related fibre content and textile labelling came into force yesterday (8 May) which combine three existing laws into one unified piece of legislation.

The new 'Textile Products (Labelling and Fibre Composition) Regulations 2012' allows for the addition of new textile fibre names and is designed to make it easier for companies to launch new fibres.

It also becomes mandatory to indicate the fibre composition in all stages of industrial processing and commercial distribution of a product containing at least 80% by weight of textile fibres.

Another change that will impact on retailers and suppliers is a need to label animal inputs such as leather and fur. Any animal-derived materials will have to be clearly stated on textile product labels with the words "contains non-textile parts of animal origin."

While the regulation means any goods placed on the market now need to comply with the new rules, there will also be a transition period which will last until 9 November 2014.

Click here to see the full text of the regulation.