How to Design Custom Labels

on May 19 | in Products & Books, Small Business Ideas | by | with 9 Comments

Vanessa from wovenlabelhk has lots of tips for designing your own clothing labels. Her Hong Kong-based shop also sells labels on Etsy. Have you ever ordered custom labels for your designs? We’d love to hear about your experiences and tips!

Hi, Everyone! I’m Vanessa from wovenlabelhk. I know that many sewists are interested in making their own labels but they might not know where to start. Here are some of our best tips!

Choose the Right Type of Label (Woven vs. Printed):
Woven and printed labels are the two most common types of clothing labels. Printed labels are normally sewn inside clothing, and tend to be used for washing instructions. (These are also known as care labels.) If it’s professional impact you’re after, woven labels pack a much more visual punch.

Woven labels are mostly woven from polyester thread and there are not many choices for other materials.

Printed labels are different; there are three common types of material for printed labels: silk, cotton and matte. Be sure to tell your manufacturer which material you would like to use for your printed labels.

Know Your Fold:
There are many different ways to fold your label. Here’s a quick run-through for the most common types.

  • Flat labels. As the name suggests, these lie flat against the clothing, creating a smooth, seamless effect. This is most common with woven labels.
  • End-fold labels. These are similar to flat labels, but they have an extra 7 mm seam allowance at both edges, which creates a smart, clean finish. These are commonly seen on both woven and printed labels.
  • Center-fold labels. Center-fold labels fold across the center with a seam allowance, and provide extra space (two sides instead of one) to add care instructions etc. This fold is commonly seen on both woven– and particularly in printed– care labels.
  • Book-fold labels (hem tags). Book-fold labels are similar to center-fold, but the seam allowance is folded inwards instead. It’s mostly seen on T-shirt sleeves.

In the world of labels, size really does matter! A larger label gives the advantage of better visibility for your logo, but it could annoy your customers. Think about how much information you need to include on your label and, also, where it will be placed. Sizes are normally between 20 mm to 70 mm, depending on your personal preference. 12 x 50 mm, 15 x 50 mm and 20 x 50 mm are the most common sizes for labels.

This is the really creative bit– deciding on a design! When you’re planning your label, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • Logo/brand name. This is a key element, as it gives your brand good visibility. In some instances, it’s better to just feature your logo while at other times you may want to include the name of your business too.
  • Color. Here’s an important thing to bear in mind when deciding on color. Contrasting colors are bold and eye-catching. They’re also immediately readable. Similar color tones, on the other hand, are not. They can be confusing to look at, which means your logo won’t stand out. For example, a black background with white text is good. A dark grey background with slightly lighter grey text is not.
  • Size. If it’s only a small label, don’t try to jam too much information on your label. Keep your design as clean and easy-to-read as possible.
  • Content. You may want to include additional information on your label apart from your logo. This might include:
    – Your website
    – A tagline
    – Clothing size (e.g. S, M, L, XL)
    – Year you were established
    – Care instructions
    – Product material
    – Where your product was made
    – Your clothing style

Less is More:
Although there are is so much information you can put on the labels, most clothing labels are simply designed; sometimes there is just the logo or brand name. Simple designs can make your brand easy to catch!

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9 Responses to How to Design Custom Labels

  1. Bob Roberts says:

    Wouldn’t the petite fox be upside down when that label’s sewn into a seam?

    • Vanessa says:

      Hey Bob, yes you’re right if they will be sewn in t-shirt but some of the customers my would like them to see by the side 🙂

  2. Nico says:

    Hi Vanessa!
    I’m planning on doing my labels soon and was wondering how many mm do I need to leave open so as to sew it to the t-shirt. Would 5mm be enough?
    Thanks! 🙂

    • Vanessa says:

      Hi Nico, I would say at least 5 – 7 mm 🙂 This will allow you to have enough space to sew them in ! If there is not really not enough space, you company will contact you and discuss about it !

      However, It’s always good to send the exact artwork to the manufacture as this can avoid the forth and back! Thus , leading to quicker turn around time !

  3. kg says:

    what kind of label are the cut out bears?

    • Vanessa says:

      Hi KG 🙂 They are die cut woven labels. So they are just like woven labels but die cut in bear shape. They can also be done with iron on backing which means you can attach them easily with home iron !!

  4. Vanessa says:

    Thanks for posting 🙂
    I am around here to answer all the questions you have about clothing labels.

  5. Marguerite says:

    It should be pointed out that there are also legal requirements for what to put on your tags if you’re manufacturing for US sale. “Made in the USA” by itself doesn’t cut it anymore (you have to say where in the USA); you can’t put that example washing instructions unless machine washing *hot* and using bleach is fine; you need some amount of tracking/batch/date/contact info… and it’s better to learn what all that is before you place your big labels order rather than finding it out after! (Speaking from experience…)

    • Vanessa says:

      Hi Marguerite, thanks for your comment. I think you are right ! This information would definitely help customers before placing their order ! I will plan to write a post about this issue.

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