Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Fabric Labels

I have been trying to work out the best way to add a fabric label to my bags and thought I would share the things I have tried. 

I bought these many years ago for putting on knitted items which I had made, they work fine but I wanted something with a bit more impact.

 I got these ones from an ebay sellar, they work really well as they can be folded over to sew into the seam, but you have to use a stock image and I wanted something more personal.

I found loads of differant ideas on Pinterest and saved them all to this Board so you can see all the directions, so I won't go over them again.

I first tried using rubber stamps and Stazon ink on Cotton Webbing which took ages to do and it was quite hard not to get the ink from the edge of the stamp on the webbing as you can see above.

Next I tried some iron-on transfer paper and made my own design in Word - it was quite a simple design and worked ok on both webbing and gosgrain ribbon. The main thing is to remember to reverse the image before printing. 

I then got my new logo and wanted to use this for labels, again I printed it off the computer using transfer paper from crafty computer paper who have a fantastic range of transfer papers, again you need to remember to reverse the image before printing as above. I then cut the page into lots of individual squares and tried to iron them on !

As you can see the image is quite dense and doesn't work very well on the cotton webbing as it has too much texture so it was difficult to get an even label.

Next I tried gosgrain ribbon which was a little better but still not as even.

Finally I tried satin ribbon and found this much easier to get an effect - I have tried it on narrower and wider ribbon and both work well.

The wider ribbon can be folded over and sewn into the seam as above, this one is a little close to the seam so I just need to get the hang of spacing. I've also played with sewing the narrower ones on in differant ways, it tends to pucker a little and catch on the transfer if I use zig zag all the way round, but if I just straight stitch across each end it seems to look a little better.

I plan to try another couple of the ideas on the pinterest board - there is an interesting idea which lets you print direct onto fabric using freezer paper, I also plan to order some fabric from Spoonflower and will get some labels printed from there too - I will update you when I have tried these methods.


  1. Very cool post! I have always wondered about different ways to make labels. It isn't in my budget to order several hundred, so I like your idea of just printing on transfer paper and ironing them! Thanks for the thoughts!

  2. TFS!! This information is very helpful. I have printed on fabric for my nephews gifts and will soon be trying your way. I will be following you on Pinterest too. I'm stopping by from Craft Gossip who featured you.

    Here is my blog:

  3. AppliKays@etsy.com20 July 2012 at 13:08

    I've been making these same labels for a while now. Three things to note (1) Colors fade quicker than black. I now use a black image and it stays fast longer (2) don't EVER iron over the label, the image will melt. So don't put it in an area that the end user will EVER want to a collar. (3) You can save some ribbon by heat sealing the ends of the label with a lighter. You don't have to fold the label over and sew into a seam then. Just one straight stitch across the top will stitch it onto the item.

    1. Thanks - I have tried the heat sealing too, I found it easier with a candle, but quite like the effect of sewing it into a seam. I wonder if the dark blue colour will last as long as Black will have to experiment and let you know !

  4. Hi - I have been using the iron on transfer method as well which can be really affective but there is a limit to the ribbon colour you can use. Also, its important to get a good quality transfer paper. I've tried some cheap ones and it's just not worth the bother. I used some wide, slightly transparent ribbon which i really liked the effect of - you can see some of the labels on my website
    Also, thanks for the links - Loving Spoonflower especially :)

    1. Thanks I like the look of the ribbon you have used - may have to try that too. I agree about the transfer paper, am trying a few but liking the crafty computer one so far

  5. AH, the last labels do look much better, very cool!

  6. thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi this is very interesting. I use my sewing machine and embroider my labels. I use the selvedge of the fabric I am using or make up batches. Curtain fabric, the heavier cotton works best. I then sew around the label with a blanket stitch to attach it. It looks rustic and handmade and I have had a lots of good comments from people about them. I just put my first name and a heart on the label. regards Joan of