a guide to design clothing labels and woven labels


What you need to know before designing clothing labels or woven labels.

Showing your work to the world is exciting! After designing your own garments you may want to add a special touch of class to your clothes. However, how exactly can you achieve this? Here is a quick guide to help you design your first ever clothing labels for your brand.

Top Tips to Design Great Clothing Labels

  1. Know the basics – Types of labels and their textures

Woven labels, printed labels and heat press labels are the most common types that are used in clothing. Woven labels give the premium touch to your brand, and they are the most common type of label used on clothing, garment products or even furniture.

Printed labels are mostly sewn inside the clothing, and feature details such as care instructions. Some big brands may print different languages on the same labels. This helps them to save on printing costs, because the label is costed per design, not the total quantity of labels.

Heat press is commonly used on T-shirt and sportswear, to minimise the friction between the labels and the skin. This is because heat press labels are printed directly on the clothing so no friction is made. However, the colour may come off easily when used over an extended period of time.

2. Position

After knowing the basics of the labels, you will need to decide where you would like to place them on your products. It could be the front of the clothing, on the sleeves, neck, hem, seam, back of the jeans or trousers, inside backpacks, on the back of the jacket, or edge of the scarves! In short, there are many different options.

3. Types of fold

If you are choosing woven labels, you will need to consider which type of fold is best for your position and products. Options include:

  • Flat labels: These lie flat on your products, creating a sharp, crisp edge.
  • End fold labels: These are similar to flat labels, but feature an extra 7mm seam allowance, which is added to both edges, creating a clean finish.
  • Centre fold labels: These are folded across the centre with the seam allowance, which gives you space to add extra information e.g. care instructions.
  • Book fold labels (hem tags): These are similar to centre fold, but the seam allowance is folded inward. They are commonly placed on sleeves.
  • Mitre fold labels – These feature ends that have been turned over and up at a 90˚ angle.

4. Size

Size is another factor that you need to consider. For example, for labels that are placed on the front of products, you may need a larger size than if you want to place it on the hem. On the hem, smaller labels are needed. Standard label sizes normally range from 20mm – 70mm, depending on your needs.

5. Design

Now we come to the most exciting step – DESIGN! Design may not as easy as you thought, there are some details you need to address to make a truly great label.

  • Logo and brand name. There is no way you should ever leave your logo or your brand, as this is the best way to ensure your customers recognise your brand! However, you may not be able to place both on the labels at the same time, due to size restrictions. So select the right one, when needed.
  • Colour. To create good labels, we always recommend using contrasting colours e.g. black background with white text and logo, black on red, white on red, white on deep blue, or deep brown on orange. Please do not use similar colour tones, such as deep grey on light grey, light grey on light green, white on light yellow and so on. This is because the logo and text might not show up clearly on backgrounds of a similar colour.
  • Size. Don’t put too much information on small labels, as it might make it difficult to read. For example, if you are designing a hem-tag to put on a sleeve. This would be a small label, so only put your logo and brand name, as anything else is unlikely to be seen clearly. If you try to put any other extra information at the same time, the labels will not look great, and sometimes we even cannot make them. If you need to add more information you will need a bigger label.
  • Website. You may also want to add your website to the label, in order to show the link clearly. It’s a good idea to keep the website link as short as possible, especially on a small clothing label. You might remove the ‘www.’ on the front to shorten the length. For example, instead of www.thelabeling.com, try to put thelabeling.com.
  • Content. What can you put on your labels besides the logo and brand name? There are several things that you can consider putting on the labels. These include:
    – Clothing size. E.g. S, M, L or 12, 14, 16.
    – Subtitle. You can add a subtitle (small text) under your brand name, telling people about your company.
    – Established year. When your company was established.
    – Care instructions, and the laundry symbol
    – Product material, such as cotton, polyester etc.
    – Origin of your products. Where was it made?
    – Slogan, add a slogan of your company when you have extra space
    – Your clothing style Remember to design labels that relate to your clothing style. A vintage style of label should be created for vintage clothing, but may look weird if attached to a formal suit

6. Finding a manufacturer

Here is the last step to get the ball rolling!

There are many clothing labels manufacturers online. Clothing labels are generally made for bulk orders, so for small orders, the price may not be so good. Indeed, many manufacturers may not be willing to take a very small order.

Quality is another important issue. Some companies sell very cheap labels, but the quality may not be very good. Bad labels are weaved using only a very thin layer. A good woven labels should be high density, weaved with good quality yarn. Damask woven labels are the most common type of woven label.