Choosing labels for vintage clothing
July 6, 2017 10:13 AM   Subscribe

I have a number of clothing items made by my grandmother. I'd like to buy labels for them so that future generations will know where they came from. There are many, many people on Etsy selling such labels. How can I narrow my search, and what do I need to consider when I choose? Is there somewhere besides Etsy where I should be looking?

These are mostly things like dresses that were made for me (or my doll) when I was a child in the 1960s, so they will be fine in the washing machine. I want simple labels that just say something like "Handmade by Ruth Bader Ginsburg" - though if anyone has ideas for alternative wording, I'd love to hear it. I'm just overwhelmed by all of the choices available. What do I need to think about? Where is the best place to put them? I can sew a label on, but I don't want to take the clothing apart to insert labels into a seam. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
posted by FencingGal to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total)
I would include the city/state as well (unless your grandmother is actually the notorious rbg)
posted by noloveforned at 10:34 AM on July 6, 2017

Best answer: I ordered some cheap ones and they were made of nylon and I didn't like them because I couldn't iron them and they were just cheap and scratchy. If you can get some that are printed on cotton twill that would be better.

I would choose a narrow twill tape that you can then sew in on either end using a matching thread, or you can fold and sew on just one end to a seam. Keep the wording short and simple, particularly since some are doll clothing, and so small.
posted by vunder at 10:46 AM on July 6, 2017

Best answer: Agree with cotton twill labels. If you have any clothing that is especially lightweight, you could get silk ones. I would not get iron-on or nylon labels. Having the name embroidered or woven in will be more durable than having it printed on, but since it sounds like they're unlikely to get heavy laundering I think either would be fine. Tacking the label with a stitch or two at each corner on the inside back of the neck is the most logical place to do it, or inside the back of the waistband for skirts/trousers.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 12:24 PM on July 6, 2017

You can get a yard of custom printed full color fabric from Zazzle for $23. You could do custom labels for each of the pieces of clothes if you wanted.

I've experimented with this printed fabric and the colors seems to be very fast.
posted by gregr at 1:25 PM on July 6, 2017

Best answer: You want woven, not printed, labels. I ordered some from this old German company (via etsy) and they are great!
posted by beyond_pink at 5:54 AM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

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