5 Questions Every Designer Has About Clothing Labels

Remember those labels on the inside of your clothes on the back of your neck? Or the scratchy nylon label on the inside bottom of your shirt that keeps annoying you until you finally rip it out? Don’t forget about them!

1. Do you think Woven or Satin labels are nicer?

Well it depends on your standards of nice. Woven labels can feel quite soft actually and can come in most colors depending on your brand. The price is reasonable, and you don’t have to pay for an additional plate. (Obviously the more colors, the higher the cost.) The great thing I love about woven labels is that they withstand a lot of wear and tear (as long as your customer doesn’t cut it out). No matter how many washes, that darn logo will never change (maybe the color of the thread), but you will always know where it came from.

Satin on the other hand is very very soft–elegant, actually. It has a beautiful shine to it that states, “this garment is high end.” (The cost is a bit more expensive.) It won’t scratch a customer’s skin the way a woven label will, so it probably has a higher chance of staying attached to the garment, BUT the logo will eventually fade. It’s printed on, which means it’s not permanent. The logo won’t come off after a handful of washes, but, in time, it’s inevitable. Take a look through your closet and notice if any satin labels have started slowly fading away.

2. Should I heat transfer?

My answer is NO! Heat transfer labels are a pain! But they feel nice on the skin☺ So if it is something you really need to do, then do it. Not only do you have to pay for the actual heat transfer, (which is around the same cost as a printed satin label) but you also have to find somebody to adhere them onto your fabric (and pay them for it). I’ve been quoted anywhere from $.50 to $1.50 per heat transfer.

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The more annoying part aside from a high label cost would be the logistics of getting this thing adhered. Most of the time you’ll find that your manufacturer won’t have a heat press so you will have to take your garments to another company to apply the labels (usually a screen printing company can do this). Then after they are applied either bring it back to the manufacturer to finish up on packing or find another company to help with that (or do it yourself! But who wants to do that?) So should you heat transfer? Easy answer is NO, but it can be done!

3. What is required on a care label?

Content of all fabric (self, combo, lining), washing instructions, washing symbols, RN #, and where it’s manufactured.

• Content of all fabric (self, combo, lining): Your fabric vendor will be able to provide you the fabric content with the exact percentages. Name the content in order of usage so your self-fabric will go first, then combo, and, last, any linings.
• Washing instructions: You can also ask your fabric vendor if they have any recommendations on how to clean the fabric. If they say to machine wash cold and tumble dry low, test it. Always test it.
• Washing symbols: If you don’t happen to have the symbols for the care just let your label company know which ones you need and they should be able to provide it onto the artwork.
• RN #: Include the RN# so it’s clear to read. (Description on what a RN# is below).
• Where it’s manufactured: Last but not least, you need to state in which country your garment was manufactured (cut and sewn). Hopefully it’s domestic!

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4. What is a RN#?

A RN number is a Registration Number. It’s required by law to be placed on your care labels. It’s there so your customers can identify you if something happens. (Worst case scenario is they have an allergic reaction to the fabric and want to sue you; best case scenario is a button falls off and your customer wants to contact you for a replacement.) A lot of new designers have absolutely no idea that this is needed, so don’t freak out if you don’t have one and have already been selling! Hopefully you included your company name on the care label, so there would be some sort of way to identify you. If you glance at the care label on the shirt or garment you happen to be wearing at the moment, you will notice a tiny RN # somewhere on there.

It’s easy to apply for. (Helpful hint: you would be considered a manufacturer). Did I mention it’s free?

5. Do I need a hangtag?

Completely depends on how you are selling. Usually you do/should have a hangtag. If you happen to be selling from your own website direct to consumer, then I would say it’s not absolutely necessary, but if you are selling wholesale, retail at a tradeshow, or have a booth at a craft show, then having a hangtag is a nice addition.

You don’t have to go crazy with the hangtag artwork! It doesn’t have to be this fancy thing that costs a bazillion bucks. A lot of the time you’ll notice that the hangtag is a very simple shape with the logo on the front, and that’s about it. I always recommend including your website but not necessary if you don’t want it. Hangtags are an excellent surface for any additional information you want your customer to know about you. A hangtag could include a paragraph explaining how the company started, sketches showing how to use a complicated piece, a barcode to offer a customer a discount, etc, etc.

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Now that your garments are labeled correctly, get out there and sell!

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