What Are Clothing Labels?

If you take a look at any item of clothing or accessory that has been purchased online or from a retail store or boutique, more than likely, you will find a handful of sewn in or ironed on clothing tags or labels. Have you ever questioned where the concept of these labels started? Clothing labels were first introduced to main stream consumers in the 1970’s by the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union as a way to identify clothing or other goods that were made by American workers and made in the USA. Since that time, the practice of labeling clothing that is either manufactured or handmade has become commonplace as a way of showing brand identity. Clothing labels are also used for explaining how to care for the garment and to also give the consumer information of what materials were used in making the item. These types of clothing labels are called care labels and content labels.

What Are The Different Types Of Clothing Labels?

There are quite a few different types of clothing labels. Most clothing tags and labels are used for branding the clothing. The manufacturer or designer has put a lot of thought, preparation and money into making a piece of clothing that will appeal to his or her audience. By adding a custom woven or printed clothing label, the designer is able to give the item a unique identity that sets it apart from other similar items. This type of clothing label is called a logo label. There are also clothing labels called care and content labels. These clothing tags are intended to give the consumer valuable information on the fiber content of the item and instructions on how to care for the item. Care labels were first introduced in the US in 1971 and permanently affixed garment-care labels were required in the U.S. beginning in 1972. In the U.S. care symbols, with or without additional text, have been in use since 1997. These are some different types of tags and labels used on clothing or other items:

  • Brand or Logo Labels
  • Care Labels
  • Content Labels
  • Law Labels
  • Size Tags and Labels
  • Barcoded Tags and Labels
  • Nutrition Labels

These clothing labels and tags can be made from a variety of materials including:

  • Satin Material Labels
  • Nylon Material Labels
  • Cotton Material Labels
  • Woven Clothing Labels
  • Iron On Clothing Labels
  • TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane)
  • Silicon
  • Sew On Clothing Labels

Learn More About Custom Clothing Labels

The word textile literally means “that which has been woven”. It derives from the Latin word “texere”, which means “to weave”. Textile consists of filaments (endless threads) or fibres (short pieces of thread). Textile raw materials can be divided into natural materials, such as: cotton, linen, wool and silk, and synthetic materials, such as, for example, polyester. To make textile, you need yarns or filaments. Fabric is processed by knitting or weaving, thus creating a cloth.

The development of spinning and weaving began in ancient Egypt around 3400 B.C. The tool originally used for weaving was the loom. From 2600 B.C. onwards, silk was spun and woven into silk in China. Later in Roman times the European population was clothed in wool, leather and linen. Textile was a product of home industry. People produce textile to meet their own needs. Once production exceeded their own needs, the textiles were traded for other goods.

Around 1780 textile could be produced more cheaply and in much larger quantities thanks to the mechanically driven loom (steam engine). This was necessary because the population was growing exponentially. During the Industrial Revolution various technological inventions led to a different role for the worker in the process. The weaving process turned into a processing industry.

Here in the U.S., Samuel Slater is sometimes called the “Father of the American Industrial Revolution,” because he was responsible for the first American-built textile milling machinery in Rhode Island. Slater established his first mill in 1790 on the Blackstone River in Rhode Island. It was one of the first factories in the United States. Three years later, in Pawtucket, he built Slater Mill, the first American factory to successfully produce cotton yarn with water-powered machines. Now the mill he built is a museum dedicated to the history of textile manufacture.
By the 1970’s The Textile Products Identification Act of 1960 (TFPIC) mandated the use of fabric-content labels in the U.S. It was intended to eliminate false advertising and the information was most often presented on a disposable paper hang tag rather than on a permanently affixed label in the garment. Permanently affixed garment-care labels were required in the U.S. beginning in 1972. The ILGWU (International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union) was formed in 1900 and reminds everyone in this 1978 video the importance of buying goods that are Made in the USA.

How To Choose Clothing Labels For Your Clothing Line?

There is so much detail and work that goes into creating something from nothing. Before you can put a clothing label on your garments or accessories, it’s important to start at the beginning and make sure your product is ready to go to market.

Create a Brand: The very first thing you need to do is creating a brand identity. Name your product line and what it stands for. The title of your clothing line will represent the kind of clothes you will offer. It should be short and memorable so your customers don’t forget it.

Find Your Target Audience: Who will you be designing for? This will determine the direction your clothing line will go and it will help when it is time to choose a clothing label. What age will your target audience be? Will they be male or female? Where do they live? What do the people in your target have in common? Finding common traits is the key to marketing. Keep in mind what designs work according to fashion trends in different places.

Start Designing: Now the fun part. Buy a sketchbook. If you’re passionate about design, you probably already have a lot of ideas bobbing around in your head. Putting them down on paper will help you make modifications and get a clearer idea of how they will look when finished and the direction that your designs are going. Part of the design will be the trim items like clothing labels and hangtags. There are many different choices to consider. Woven labels, heat transfers, printed labels and custom paper hangtags will all help tailor your clothing line to the appropriate targeted customer. Even after you consider a type of clothing label, then you have to further decide what type of material to use. We offer satin printed labels, cotton clothing tags, damask woven labels and many other types.

Find a Niche: This is another important factor to consider. There is a demand for everything in the market today. Find something that makes you different and work at making that difference stand out. Your niche could be embroidery, knitting, screen prints, pop culture, geek items; etc. Your niche will also determine your target market.

Get the Materials and Start Sewing: Now all your ideas need to be put into the real world. Invest in fabrics, threads and a sewing machine. Not every design will work with the same fabric. Feel free to experiment with them and play with your designs to make them unique.
Give them a Professional Look: Once you’re done with the prototype it’s time to put all the components together. Woven clothing tags and labels or heat transfers can be added to the neckline as the main label. Additional labels can be sewn on the outside or sleeve of the garment to show your brand name. And a hangtag or joker tag with your logo and barcode to finish the product. The main idea is to remind the customer of your brand every time they put on your creations.

Start Selling: Now that you have the finished products, you need to find a way to reach out to your customers. You can either do this through a traditional brick and mortar establishment or the most common method for entrepreneurs, is selling online. This can be done through social media, a website or a third party online retailer. Whatever your choice, you need to keep your target market in mind when choosing the medium.
Shipping and packaging: The first impression is extremely important but so is the last impression. Make sure your branding elements are all in place when the product reaches the customer. Poly bags are popular for shipping with a branded color sticker. Make sure to include any promotional products along with your business card. Return business and positive word of mouth are the keys to your success.