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August 4, 2021

What Makes A Great Kids Clothing Label?

By: Peter Gregory

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In childrenswear, the label is a big part of your garment’s sales pitch! Parents need proof that your designs are comfortable, safe and fit for purpose. Get the label right, and you can claim your share of this lucrative market. 

In this guide, we’ll examine the purpose of a kids clothing label (…and teach you how to make a great one!). 

Let label choice echo the function of the garment

First, consider the label format. You can choose any combination of weave, fold, textures and colours when you’re designing your label, but it’s best when the label lines up with the essential function of the product. 

  • For hygienic products like bibs or changing mats, for instance, woven or printed satin labels can work really well. Satin textiles are smooth and ‘wipe clean’. Any satin-weave label will offer consumers a fresh, clean sheen that looks great wash after wash.
  • Organic cotton products partner beautifully with a down-to-earth two-tone damask woven label. The chunky, vintage vibes of a damask weave remind buyers of a bygone era where everything was more natural. Just make sure that your label leaves enough room for organic certifications like the Soil Association mark!
  • If you’re making clothing for outdoor play, your label needs to evoke the ruggedness of your brand. If this is your sector, we’ve got some advice on labelling activewear which is worth looking at.
  • If you’re making kids fancy dress, then go for the most playful design possible! imaginative, energetic fonts and bright-coloured threads will echo the fun of fancy dress. If you want something really special, ask us about adding some glittery Lurex thread to the weave!
  • In the school uniform business, a soft, smart label design wins every time. Uniform-buying parents are looking for reliability (not adventure) when they buy school uniform, so go for a feel that’s more formal and dependable. A straightforward monochrome label, executed well, will reassure your buyers and give your clothes a sense of pedigree and accountability. 

Remember what your consumer needs to know

If you’re in childrenswear, your consumer is the parent — not the child. It’s important to remember this. Parents are the ones making the purchase decision, so your label has to serve and impress them, first and foremost. 

Generally speaking, parents are cost-conscious, sleep-deprived people who just want their boy or girl to look smart. There are three ways that your label can help them out:

  • Show them it’ll fit (clear and accurate size information)
  • Show them how to clean it (clear, uncluttered wash care information)
  • Show them how to get a new one (easy routes back to your brand and retail presence)

There are other factors to consider (safety and ‘naming space’, which we’ll cover at the end of this guide), but if you can address these three main concerns (size, care and ‘route to retail’), then you’ll have produced a first class childrenswear label!

Let’s take a closer look at each of these three concepts…

Sizing Info:

Most parents won’t know the waist or leg measurement of their children. Kids grow too quickly for the measurement to be of any use. That’s why most kids’ clothes just have an age bracket printed clearly on the label

If you’re working with blank stock (designing custom tees, for instance), there may already be a kids’ age range stitched into your product. Just bear in mind that age/size ratings will differ depending on the country you’re in. A Malaysian ‘3-4 years’ may be totally different to a UK ‘3-4 years’. The only way to be sure that the age rating is correct is to try your stock on for size. This is easy if you have kids of your own in the right age brackets (otherwise, you will need to source a niece, nephew or neighbour!). It might seem pedantic to do this, but it’s much better to double-check sizes before you start selling to the public.

The location of your age-specific label is important, too. Make it easy to see the size with just a quick glance. Our advice is to stitch your label (with clear size information) into the neck seam of tops and jackets. If you’re making trousers or dresses, put it at the waist seam. Remember that kids’ clothes spend a lot of time in storage: if your designs end up in a hand-me-down bag, parents will want to know, in a heartbeat, whether your clothes are right for the next child. 

Wash Care:

Kids get muddy and spill things, so your wash care label is going to be very important! There is a set format that you can follow with wash care labels, but if space is tight, you can focus on a few of the most important symbols. 

Typically, parents just need to know two things: how hot they can wash the garment, and whether it can be tumble dried.  They are less interested in whether an item can be ironed, bleached or dry cleaned. To learn more about wash care labelling symbols and standards, see our ultimate guide to wash care labels.

Buying Again:

When a small child falls in love with an item of clothing, they fall head over heels in love! It can be hard to get them out of a set of fairy wings, a cartoon-themed t-shirt or even just a favourite pair of jeans. If-and-when that favourite garment gets damaged or outgrown, parents will move mountains to buy a replacement … so make your clothes easy to find and buy!

If there’s room, put the domain name of your online shop on the label. If you don’t have an online shop (for instance if you just sell directly to third-party retailers), then make sure you at least include the product code or SKU for your item. Many childrenswear brands will at least put a ‘stockists’ page on their website to help their customers out.

Other Things To Consider:

Get the size, wash care and re-purchase routes right and you’ll have made an effective kidswear label … but you can still take it two steps further! 

Add Space For A Name

Your product’s going to be hanging on a coat hook in school for most of its life, so allow enough space for the owner to write their name. We often get orders for a ‘this coat belongs to…’-type label. These extra labels are great, but if your budget is tight, consider just leaving one face of a printed satin label blank. 

A little naming space is a big help to parents, but it’s important for your own brand, too. If you don’t put enough room on your label for a child’s name, then most parents will be forced to stitch a name tape on top of your brand (…or worse, they’ll deface it with a laundry pen or sticky label!) You’ve gone to all the trouble of designing a fantastic childrenswear brand, so defend it! Give your consumer enough space to add their own child’s branding without wrecking yours in the process.

Use Child-Safe Label Folds

Every loop-fold label should be securely fastened, and the loop should be big enough that a finger or thumb won’t get caught in it. This might seem like health and safety gone mad, but kids have tiny, inquisitive hands, and all you really need to do is to increase the fold size ever so slightly. Border-stitched labels are another good option to avoid digits getting caught, but they can add some stiffness to the fabric. You can learn more about the various label folds available to you on our guide to woven label folds.

If in doubt, get in touch

Whatever you’re trying to do with your childrenswear label, feel free to run the idea past us! We’re narrow fabrics weaving specialists — we can show you what’s possible and even send you some samples so you can see what works well. 

If you just want some inspiration, then we have the perfect guide for you! Covering everything from laundry to safety, our 9 vital points to consider when designing childrenswear will help you design something truly unique.

Thanks for reading!


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