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October 19, 2020

Which Label Does Your Garment Need? Specific Labelling Advice For Different Textiles

By: Peter Gregory

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Textiles change how fashion products are labelled. There’s no getting around it. Clothes aren’t just washed differently according to the textile they’re made from — they’re also sold differently. And your labelling strategy needs to plan for this.

In this guide, we’ll explain how the content and placement of your labels should change depending on the materials you’re using and the garments you’re making. We’ll talk you through some specific examples, and we’ll give you a handy cheat-sheet for your next wash care label!

Branding & Retail Label Advice

First, let’s look at the label types you’ll need before your customer has actually bought and worn your garment. The branding and retail labels should help you to sell more products, which is what the next few tips are all about…

Always Start with a Swing Tag

Almost every type of garment you see in the shops will have a swing tag attached to it. The swing tag is the card that hangs from the garment, either at the sleeve, the neck or the hem. It includes retail-specific information like the price and the barcode, but it can also contain brand information, registered address details and more. 

Swing tags are very versatile labels that work for almost every type of clothing. If you’re selling one-off pieces, you can emphasise the quality of your garments with steel reinforced eyelets, thick embossed card and miniature safety pin. If you’re in fast fashion, you can go for a lightweight die-cut card attached with a kimble tag. The choices are endless. 

We’ve sold literally millions of swing tags over the years for a broad range of garments and we’re happy to give you some tips. See our swing ticket options here.

Jeans Need Jacron!

Jacron is that dense leather-like paper that you find at the back of a pair of jeans. Jacron labels are usually embossed with an intricate logo and border-stitched onto the back waist of the trouser, between the belt loops. 

The jacron patch is part of the language of denim. You can add it to denim aprons, jackets and dungarees, as well as jeans. Jacron is a vegan-friendly material, too. You can find out more about jacron labels here.

Go Premium With A Sweater Hem Tag

Whether it’s a chunky knit woollen jumper or a sleek cotton hoodie, every pullover needs something to help it stand out from the crowd. The addition of a hem tag (a simple woven label that wraps around the hem of the garment) can give your sweater a premium flavour that helps it stand out from everything else on the retailer’s rack.

Hem tags don’t have to be very elaborate— a two-colour woven damask hem tag can look great if you get the size and colour right. If you’re new to hem tags, just order a sample pack from us. We’ll send you a few examples that you can stitch on to one of your products. 

Border Label Your Bags

Handbags, clutch purses and weekend bags deserve more than the standard swing ticket. When someone buys a bag, they’re buying a uniquely personal item (usually with a hefty price tag), so it’s important that they’re reminded of just how special the product is every time they use it

You’ll usually see a woven border label attached flat to the inside of a purse or bag, where only the owner can see it. These labels are great. They’re intimate, and reassuring, and they serve as a constant reminder of your brand. You can border-stitch this kind of inner border label in place, but if you’re working with heavy PVC or leather that can’t be stitched, an iron-on or self-adhesive backing will work, too. 

Woven border labels are a popular choice for bag makers. We can use lots of different-coloured thread on these labels, because the messy back face of the label will never be seen. Many of our bag designer customers have used Woven Badges, Metal Labels and even Jacron Labels, too. It all depends on the look you’re going for.

Online Only? Try Ribbons.

Some of our customers don’t sell their goods in physical stores — they make 100% of their sales through their own website. These startup fashion designers don’t technically need to attach a swing ticket (their customer has already bought the garment before they see it on a hanger), but they still invest a huge amount of time into how their product is presented to the buyer.

The leading online fashion startups recognise that they have to make an excellent first impression, because they’re not focused on winning one product sale — they’re focused on winning a life-long customer. A customer who is impressed by your brand and who regularly visits your online shop can keep buying from you and earn you money for years to come. 

When selling online, think of ways to elevate the unwrapping experience. When your customer gets your product through the post, they should feel as much pleasure and pride as possible when they open up the parcel. Your budget might not stretch to a branded gift box, but there are other things you can do. A woven ribbon can add a touch of luxury to even the smallest parcel!

Wash Care Label Instructions for Different Textiles

Do you know what temperatures and treatments are safe for the garments you’re making? Top Tip: start with the textiles!

Look up your fabric type on this handy table:

FabricWashDryIronDry Clean
CottonMachine Wash 40°CTumble Dry (Low)Iron (Medium)Do Not Dry Clean
PolyesterMachine Wash 40°CTumble Dry (Low)Iron (Low)Can Be Dry Cleaned
WoolMachine Wash (Delicate), 30°CDo Not Tumble DryIron (Low)Can Be Dry Cleaned
DenimMachine Wash 30°CTumble Dry (Low)Iron (Medium)Do Not Dry Clean
LeatherDo Not WashDo Not Tumble DryDo Not IronDo Not Dry Clean
SilkMachine Wash (Delicate), 30°CDo Not Tumble DryIron (Low)Can Be Dry Cleaned
NylonMachine Wash 30°CTumble Dry (Low)Do Not IronDo Not Dry Clean
Gore-TexMachine Wash 40°CTumble Dry (Low)Iron (Low)Dry Clean (F)
RayonHand Wash OnlyDry Flat OnlyDo Not IronCan Be Dry Cleaned

Disclaimer: This wash care labelling advice is meant for colour-fast garments made of a single fabric. You should always conduct your own tests on your own products,  and seek advice from your textile supplier before making final decisions on wash care instructions. 

The table above just shows the most common choices our customers make when ordering their care labels. If you’re working with a blended textile or if your garment uses two or more materials, you might need to take advice from your suppliers before placing your label order.

Want to learn more? Try our ultimate guide to wash care labels!

There’s A Label For Every Project

There’s so much you can do with the humble garment label! By all means get creative, but just remember that your customer looks to the labels for information and reassurance. As long as your label offers both of those things, you’re free to do what you like! 

Whatever you’re trying to do with your labels, we can help you to make it special. Just give us a call and talk us through your project — we’ll be delighted to help.


– Pete

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