Labelling your weaving

I don't like the way I've been labelling my weaving.  I've been making individual labels on the computer for each piece, printing on cardstock, and pinning to the piece with a small brass safety pin & the price tag.  The good thing about them is that they can contain all the relevant info about each piece (although I recently learned I am not FTC compliant and need to change them); my shoppers can see fiber content, care instructions, size, and price on each piece.  The bad news is that I don't think they look great.

I've considered having tags professionally printed, but then I think I'd have to have a whole bunch of check boxes or something to identify the specific fiber content of each piece.

In addition to the tag itself is the means of attaching it to the scarf or shawl.  Hanging them (vs. pinning) would, I think look better, but that creates issues when I have to pack them up to bring to a show - tags getting tangled and ending up pulling the fabric or ripping.

So I'm looking for ideas from the rest of you professonal weavers, specifically those who make scarves and shawls - garments that require 'permanent' labels are a whole different animal, as are non-wearables like rugs, totes, and pillows.

Addendum - most of my weaving is with 8/2 rayon/bamboo/Tencel, 10/2 or finer cotton, 10/2 or finer silk, and rayon chenille.  This info may have an impact on your suggestions.

Thanks for your input!

Comments

Posted on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 03:58

Let me make sure I am hearing you correctly:

You have all the information you need and the tags are functional, but you want them to be more attractive and enhance the salability of your pieces. Correct? It sounds to me like you are just dealing with a design issue. Disclaimer, I do graphic design work, so I tend to see solutions in design :)

Maybe you could post an image of your tags, and then we could do the fun game of "have you seen this". Also- Pinterest! Go look at tags there.

Posted on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 04:03

I use a stem gun with one inch plastic stems to attach my care tags to my textiles. They don't hang below the textile but are within the edges which helps prevent damage to the tag and tangling.

I have my tags professionally printed then print out small Avery labels with fibre content etc which get stuck to the back.

Cheers
Laura

Posted on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 10:54

Thanks for the link, Michael.  The FTC requirements are different for things like scarves that are totally reversible - the label need not be affixed.  Because I (now) know that the label is to state both the percentage of each fiber and the source of the fiber (country), in addition to care instructions which I've always included, I can't imagine how many different labels I'd have to have woven....seems like an unending list of possibilities given my work.

Posted on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 13:00

Somehow I only saw Michael's response when I posted my last reply. 

Good idea, Laura - have the tag professionally printed (I did see your recent blog post), then use a small label for the specifics of that piece.  When you say 'plastic stems' do you mean the kind that often attach labels to clothing and other items at the store?  This has no impact on fine fibers?  

Sarah - You are correct - it's all about design and professionalism.  Here's a photo of one of my tags - be aware I know this particular tag does not follow all the FTC requirements - I'm working on improving them to get all the required data.  (It's also not the sharpest focus.)  It also says press with cool iron for cotton, which is wrong.  But it is an example of my tags - you can see I've removed the safety pin & price tag.

shawl tag

 

Posted on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 16:23

There is a difference between 'brand' type labels and care/fibre content labels. If you want, you can have generic 'handwoven by' labels woven to sew onto all your textiles and care tags attached separately.

I have found that the plastic stems cause fewer problems than the tiny brass safety pins but YMMV.

You can now buy stem guns quite cheaply from quilting suppliers. Quilters use them to tack their layers together.

Cheers
Laura

Posted on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 16:25

You can get tags drilled with holes at the printers. Even Staples will do it although be very clear where you want the hole. Too close to the edge and the tag will rip.

Cheers
Laura

Posted on Mon, 07/08/2013 - 18:24

Have you looked at all the labels offered through Etsy.com sellers? Just type in "labels" and see all the choices. Working with a small creator could allow you order small batches of different information on the same or similar labels. If you order hang tags from a large company, something like gotprint.com (which I have ordered business cards from), you would basically have to use one style only for a larger group, but it would cost less.

Also, I wonder if those die cut machines that scrapbookers use might do the trick. I don't know how many labels you need to make, but if you want to control the creative process, that is another option.

Posted on Tue, 07/09/2013 - 14:26

I work with a professional designer, which really means that we sit at the computer and work together until we get it right.  It then gets sent to 48hrprint.com, which is great and you can order them with the hole already in place.  I have two main designs that cover 95% of my work.  For work that doesn't fall in those categories, I cut up old postcards of my work and handwrite a tag (they've got lovely photos of my work on the backside). 

I used to photocopy onto card stock, but a number of years ago I stepped back from my booth and took a good hard look at it and realized that the tags stood out and detracted from the overall display.  So...also think about how the tags work into your display.  My booth walls are black so I ended up getting my tags printed with a black background, which has worked well. 

The other thing to keep in mind is that the tag is also part of your overall marketing.  At a fair, a customer that might feel shy about talking to you at first, will look at your tags first to get information and possibly to get more comfortable talking to you or give them a place to figure out what question to ask first or how to relate to you.  In a gallery, it's what they're getting about you that the gallery owner might not be able to give.  I included a sentence or two about how I make what I make and why it is special.

Posted on Tue, 07/09/2013 - 15:16

You are both so right that branding is different than meeting FTC requirements.  I'm not happy with my branding on the tags at this point.  My tags definitely need a whole new look and I 'just' need to figure out how I want them to look and what message I want to send, and then work the whole FTC thing into that.  Not decisions I'll make overnight, and I'll likely go through a few iterations over time.

Dena - how do you 'hang' your tags on your handwovens?  Safety pins?  Plastic stems?  Other?

Thanks so much for your input!