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)
- 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.