Clothing Tag Basics for Designer Newbies

Updated: October 21, 2010

Fashion clothing Labels: The Basic Definitions

There are two major types of custom sewing labels: Printed and woven.

Printed apparel tags are made of several types of ribbons that are printed, hot-cut, and folded. The most common materials used are satin, cotton, and tyvek.


  • Depending on the fabric labels provider, a decreased turnaround time. Oftentimes, printed tags are domestically produced.
  • With the breakthroughs in sewing labels technology, manufacturers are able to print photographs, shading and shadow, extremely fine writing, and color gradients. In other words, the technology in place has the capacity of printing Michelangelo on your clothes tags!
  • Highly elaborate elements of your logo can be captured.
  • Smooth to the touch.
  • 48 Hour rush production assistance available with some suppliers


  • Artwork willfade over time with repeated laundering.
  • Background colors normally are required to be either pastel or white shades, unless your supplier has colored ribbon printing capacities ---though textile innovation is constantly advancing
  • Woven garment tags are woven yarns with a woven structure according to your specifications for the artwork. A loom manufactures your image as part of the cloth. The labels are then hot-cut and/or folded.


  • Durable through frequent use, such as washing and dryer use.
  • Damask woven fabric tagsare a denser materialand have a very upscale appeal


  • Typically a longer production time to completion. This is because most woven fabrics have to be shipped in from overseas, and numerous logistical factors with production and transport have to be taken into consideration. If the designer is short on production time, then woven labels are not the suggested option for clothing labels.
  • Artwork restrictions: All designs and lettering needs to have a well defined, smooth two-dimensional line drawing appearance. There can be no color gradients, shadows, or very small intricate lettering. Remember, the loom is weaving a compact section of cloth, and the artwork woven is required to adapt to weaving loom patterns. Thus if you have an elaborate logo, it is ideal to stay with printed clothes labels.
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