Clothing Label Classification: Functions, Materials, Manufacturing & Sewing Methods


If you are in the clothing business, you know how important labels are. They are not only a source of information for your customers, but also a way to showcase your brand identity and values. However, choosing the right label for your clothing can be challenging. There are many factors to consider, such as the material, the design, the size, and the placement of the label. Therefore, labels play a crucial role in product marketing. Moreover, different countries have different regulations and standards for clothing labeling. This article will explore clothing labels classification from four aspects.  In this article, we will help your business choose the most appropriate type of label for your products and target customers.

Four aspects of clothing label types

Four aspects can help us differentiate 22 types of labels in garments: Functions, materials, manufacturing processes, and sewing methods.

Clothing label classification based on functions

Function determines the type of clothing label. There are 7 types of labels based on function. Each type has a specific purpose and conveys some kind of information.

1. Brand or main labels

One of the most important aspects of clothing design is the main label. This is the label that displays the brand name or logo of the company that makes and sells the clothes. The main label is usually sewn or attached inside the back collar or seam of the garment, where it is visible to the customer. The main label helps customers identify and choose clothes from their favorite brands, which they associate with quality, durability, and style such as: Puma, Lacoste, Levis, Zara,… It also helps the company to promote its brand image and reputation, and to differentiate itself from competitors. Therefore, the main label is a vital element of clothing production and marketing.

The main label allows customers to identify and pick clothes from the brands they trust

2. Size labels

Clothing labels that show the size of the garment, such as S, M, L or XL, are called size labels. They help customers choose clothes that match their body measurements. Size labels can be made of different materials, such as polyester, cotton, satin or nylon, and can be printed or woven. They can also be cut by laser or heat. When customers shop for clothes, they usually check the size labels first. Size labels are essential for clothing design and customer satisfaction.

Size clothing labels

3. Care labels

Care labels provide information about the fabric composition, care instructions and washing methods of the clothes. They have symbols that indicate how to wash, dry, clean, dry and iron the clothes. They also show the company’s logo, size and other details such as fiber contents and country of origin. Care labels are attached at the side seam. They help wearers avoid damaging the clothes during washing, drying and ironing. They also maintain the color, print, shrinkage and bleeding of the clothes.

A care label may also have some other information such as:

  • Fiber contents are also part of care labels. i.e. 40% Poly and 60% Cotton
  • Country of Origin: The name of the country that made the product is also on the care label. For example, Made in Vietnam.
Woman reading clothing label with care symbols and material content on jeans, closeup

4. Flag labels

Small labels called flag labels are sewn on the outside bottom of items like clothes, fabrics, beddings, etc. They usually have a brand logo and a company name to show the brand identity. They are mainly used as design features. Flag labels are a type of brand labels or name labels that enhance the brand image.

Flag labels

5. Manufacturer labels

This label shows the manufacturer’s code given by buyers. This code helps buyers to track the manufacturer of a product that they source from different parts of the world and distribute globally.

6. Batch mark labels

This label shows which sewing line or batch made the garment. A batch mark label is usually not required by buyers or brands. Some garment manufacturers use this label for internal quality inspection and correction. This label is usually fixed at the side seam under the wash care label.

7. Special labels

Some brands use special labels to highlight their products’ features and benefits. For example, ‘‘100% Cotton, Organic Cotton’’ shows that the garment is made of natural and eco-friendly materials. This can attract customers who care about quality and sustainability.

Clothing label classification based on materials

Clothing labels can be made of different materials, such as metal, leather, PVC, fabric, or TPU. These materials give the labels their names and characteristics.

1. Fabric labels

Fabric labels are tags made of various textile materials that can be woven or printed. They are soft and durable and can be used for different kinds of clothing, such as t-shirts, jackets, pants, and children’s wear. Some of the materials used for fabric labels are satin, nylon, polyester, cotton, non-woven fabric, and leather. Fabric labels can be personalized with text, logo, symbol, or graphic to create a unique brand identity.

Fabric labels

2. Leather labels

Leather labels are patches or tags made of leather material that can be attached to clothing, accessories, and other products. They can be made of real, faux, or suede leather. They can have different colors and designs and can be customized with printing, embossing, or hot stamping. They can be stitched on, ironed on, stuck on, or attached with Velcro or screws. Leather labels are popular for branding jeans, jackets, hats, bags, and handmade items.

Leather labels

3. PVC (rubber, silicone) labels

PVC labels are tags or patches made of soft PVC rubber material. PVC stands for Polyvinyl Chloride. PVC labels and silicone labels are both types of rubber labels. They can be used for clothing, bags, hats, outdoor products, and other items. They can have different colors and designs and can be customized with printing, embossing, or hot stamping. They can be attached by sewing, velcro, self-adhesive, soft magnet, or heat seal. PVC labels can enhance the brand image by adding a company logo or name.

PVC (silicone) labels

4. Metal labels

Metal labels are metal pieces that show brand logos on clothes, caps, or luggage. They can be made of different metals like aluminum, steel, silver, copper, brass, or zinc alloy. They can also be made by different methods like stamping, printing, or laser cutting.

Metal labels

5. TPU labels

TPU labels are flexible and thin labels that have logos printed on a rubber-like material. They are made of TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) material, which is more environmentally friendly than silicone and PVC.

We use different techniques such as screen printing, matte, frosted, bronzing, etc to create the labels. They have a clear, transparent, or translucent effect. They are ideal for swimwear, underwear, and other clothing items.

TPU labels

Clothing label classification based on manufacturing processes

We categorize labels based on how they are made. Some of the common types are woven, printed, hot-stamped leather, casting metal & PVC, embroidered, and high-frequency labels.

1. Woven labels

Woven labels are fabric labels for clothing brands that use different materials and techniques. Some common types are cotton, denim, damask, satin, crochet, and iron-on woven labels.

Woven labels

2. Printed labels

Printed labels are usually found inside garments and use printing methods to display logos, product details, business names, contact information, or website links to enhance brand image. They are made of various materials such as TPU, ribbons, cotton, satin, nylon, polyester, taffeta, canvas, tape, leather. They also come in different types such as care or wash label, size label, etc.

Printed labels

3. Embroidered labels

An embroidered label is a kind of garment design made by stitching threads together. Some common types of embroidery labels are flat, 3D, towel, sequins, cloth, toothbrush, hand-beaded, mixed embroidery labels, etc.

Embroidered labels can be attached to items using these 3 methods:

  • Iron-on backing: for items like bags, hats, jackets, etc;
  • Sewing: sewing by machine to clothes for long-lasting use;
  • Adhesive backing: for temporary uses of garments; Velcro(hook and loop) backing: for easy on-off items like down jackets, coats, etc.

4. Hot-stamped leather labels

Hot-stamped leather labels are labels for jeans, bags, shoes, and hats that use high-temperature ironing and other methods to make them. They are made of different kinds of leather and can be attached to items by using glue, Velcro, punching, piercing, etc. They are suitable for garments and home furnishings.

Hot-stamped leather labels

5. Casting metal & PVC labels

Metal labels and some PVC labels are made by stamping and die-casting. They are durable and smooth labels. They can also have diamonds, paint, punch, and dripped on them. Plating and sealing glaze can prevent them from oxidation and fading.

Casting metal & PVC labels

6. High-frequency labels

A high-frequency label is a label that uses high-frequency skill to fuse silicone/PVC material on the felt fabric. It is also known as the felt label. High frequency means the electromagnetic wave frequency above 100 kHz. The label has many uses for items like clothes, gifts, toys, shoes, bows, decorating ribbons, etc.

High-frequency labels

Based on sewing methods

Labels are classified into four types based on their stitching methods:

1. Iron-on labels

Iron-on labels are labels that can be attached to fabrics with an iron. They have a heat-sensitive glue that sticks to the material. They are durable, waterproof, and skin-friendly. Iron-on labels can be used for various types of clothing and can have different designs and information on them.

Iron-on labels

2. Heat transfer labels

Heat transfer labels are labels that can be printed on special paper, synthetic material, or plastic film with heat. They can be removed from the film and placed on the clothing fabric. Heat transfer labels are also known as tagless or thermal transfer labels. This is an ideal label for the T-shirt.

Heat transfer labels

3. Sewing labels

Sewing labels are labels that can be stitched to fabrics with a sewing machine. They have edges that create grooves or holes that can be sewn. They come in different types such as woven, printed, leather, fabric, PVC, or metal.

Sewing labels

4. Metal labels with rivets & bendable leg

Metal tags and labels can be attached in two ways. They can be fixed with rivets or a bendable leg. These are the common choices for customers who want to customize metal labels for clothes, hats, bags, etc.

Metal labels with rivets & bendable leg

In conclusion, clothing label classification based on functions; materials, manufacturing processes and attachment ways. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and can be customized to suit different needs and preferences. If you are looking for high-quality clothing labels for your brand, you can contact us today and get a free quote. We offer a wide range of options and designs for your clothing labels, and we guarantee fast delivery and customer satisfaction.

GM Label & Packaging

GM CORP. is proud to be a leading company specializing in providing solutions for design, production, and sourcing development for Labels -Packaging – Accessories specialized for Apparel/ Footwear/Handbags.

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