December 23, 2020
Labelling Beyond Fashion: Unusual Places To Find A Woven Label
By: Peter Gregory
Labels aren’t just for the clothing industry! You’d be amazed at some of the places where our labels show up.
In this article we’ll take you beyond the clothing and accessories sector and show you some of the more unusual labels that we’ve been asked to make over the years.
Our woven labels have travelled the seven seas! In fact, as you read this, thousands of the labels we’ve produced are moving at high speeds on motorways all over the globe — there are probably some in the skies above us, too.
By law, any lashings used to secure cargo on its journey through international ports and distribution centres must carry a label. If a lashing strap doesn’t have a valid label, it simply can’t be used. A lashing strap label needs to state what the strap is made out of, when the strap was made and what sort of a load it can safely handle. If you have any ratchet straps in your garage (those bulky woven-polyester belts with the ratcheted tightening clips), you’ll see the label I’m talking about — it’s usually a two-tone taffeta woven label, border-stitched securely to one end of the strap.
Almost part of your car, from the seat belt to the sun visor and isofix bars, will carry a label. Most of these labels will never be seen by a consumer, but they’re an important guide for the mechanics who will have to work on the car over the years.
Cars, vans, motorbikes and other vehicles all have to meet incredibly high safety standards, which is why most of these labels exist in the first place. The batch number, safety information and technical specifications (steel gauge and so on) for almost every part of a car need to be stated on each car part. Automotive labels need to be made in such a way that they don’t fade or fray over time, and they need to be able to withstand heavy wear and chemical abrasion.
We’ve made labels for just about every soft furnishing that you can imagine!
In the UK, soft furnishings like curtains and carpets are considered ‘textiles’ in the eyes of the law. This means that carpets, for instance, must always state the fibre composition of the top surface of the carpet. If you’re making curtains, both the curtain material and the lining material you use must be stated on a label. The same labelling rules apply to everything from table runners to tent linings and mattress covers.
Fibre composition and fire safety labelling is a big area for soft furnishings, and the rules are slightly different depending on what it is that you’re selling. If you’re in the soft furnishings manufacturing business, you should take a look at this link on the Gov.uk website, which explains your legal responsibilities.
If you’re planning to give your customers a small promotional gift this year, then a custom woven keyring or fabric badge is hard to beat! Woven products have a tactile, carefully-crafted feel — in many ways they’re the perfect promotional product.
Over the years, we’ve made woven badges, zipper pulls and ribbons for a whole range of clients in different industries. We’ve worked with financial institutions, big computer game companies and local businesses. If this is something that you’re interested in, please get in touch — we love to tackle this kind of project!
In the UK, any furniture made since the 1950s must carry a fire safety label. If the fire safety label is missing, then the furniture can’t be resold or used in a rental home — it can’t even be given away.
It’s absolutely vital that furniture labels are made of tough materials and that they can be secured permanently to the piece of furniture. We’ve got some detailed information on UK furniture labelling rules in our “Labelling advice for furniture makers in the UK“ article.
If you’re making teddies, play mats, tents or other fabric-based kid’s toys, then you may need a label confirming your toy meets certain manufacturing standards. In most cases, a toy label will include at least one of the following three symbols:
The CE mark is a symbol that you’ll find on almost any factory-made products sold in Europe. Toys don’t need to pass a test to bear a CE mark — it’s effectively of a promise, made by the manufacturer to the authorities, that they have met the minimum requirements for products sold in the EU.
There are plans to replace the CE mark with an equivalent mark (UKCA) in 2022. For now we’re all still using the CE mark here in Britain, but manufacturers will need to transition from CE to UKCA over the course of 2021. To learn more, read the gov.uk guidance on the UKCA mark here.
The Lion mark was invented by the British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) in 1988 — it exists to help consumers, unlike the CE/UKCA marks, which exist to help authorities.
The Lion mark is awarded by the BTHA to toy manufacturers who make ethical, safe, sustainable toys that promote the value of play. Membership of the BTHA is voluntary, so you don’t have to include the lion mark on your goods, but in our experience, most toy manufacturers include this if they can. The BTHA’s toy safety standards are explained here on their website.
If you have ever bought a gift for a small child, chances are you’ve seen the ‘frowning baby’ symbol! This is an important safety warning — it means ‘do not allow children under 3 years to play with this toy.’
There are a number of reasons why this symbol might need to appear (it’s not just limited to whether your toy has small parts or not). If you suspect that you might need to add this label, it’s best to read the UK Government’s guidance for Toy Manufacturers, Importers & Distributors.
This article gives you a small snapshot of the unusual places where our labels have appeared, but it’s by no means a comprehensive list. Woven labels are everywhere — you just need to know where to look!
If you have an unusual labelling project and you think that a woven label might work for you, please get in touch. It doesn’t matter where your label has to go, or what conditions it has to survive: we’re label experts who love a challenge, and we’ll do our best to create a solution that works for you.
Thanks for reading!