Updated on September 5, 2022 by Sarina

clothing labels

Clothing labels give that final professional finishing touch to your sewn garment. They are a necessity if you are selling the sewn articles to others. I sometimes make these labels with my kids’ names on them as a sort of identification on their clothes. They also proudly mark the clothes sewn by me as my own. 

With the methods described in this post, you can easily make these labels at a minimal cost. It would help if you had an inkjet printer which I assume you have. (Do not worry if you don’t have an inkjet printer; there are other options like embroidering the letters as a beautiful (but labor intensive) way of personalizing your clothes)

Related post : Applique letters ; Different ways to embroider letters ; How to design letters for embroidery

How to make your own easy clothing labels

The first step to make the clothing labels is to design the art work.

PowerPoint is my preferred program for creating logos and wordings for clothing labels, name tags and for embroidering letters and initials. The steps involved in creating the wordings are as follows:

  • Create a new power point file
  • Go to the insert tab and select text box or word art under the format tab. Refer picture below.
  • Type in the wordings you want on the clothing label; style it the way you want. The program has readymade shapes like circle rectangle etc into which you can insert your wordings. You can insert your logo as a picture as well. Initially make this big then you can reduce the size so that it does not pixelate and lose clarity. A 300 ppi (pixels per inch) is a good standard resolution. 
  • Save the final image as a picture. Now you can use it for printing

If you are using word program – Go to insert ; make the shape of outline you want; go to format and add other design elements. You can fill the shape with colour you want; Add texture. You can add a picture also. Then add your logo inside or you can type any sayings or your business name in the font you want.

If you are planning to make a lot of clothing labels or name tags it makes utter  sense to print the whole page with your designs together at once closely together and cut them out one by one.

To print directly on to the fabric using the method 1 using a freezer paper you should design the logo as above and print it as it is. But if you are using the second method you will have to flip the design ( for a mirror image)horizontally so that when you press it on to the fabric it will look straight rather than reversed.This is a very important step to consider.

To reverse  the wordings do the following

In some printers this property is inbuilt. Checkout Printer Properties link, you are lucky if you find a mirror image or rotation option. 

In word, select the text box and choose Format Shape.You will have to adjust the 3-D rotation setting to 180. You will get a mirror image of the text.

If it is a picture, go to Format, then select Rotate , the picture will Flip horizontal

By using the program Paint you can reverse images. 

Copy the formatted text to Windows Paint.Select the text in Paint.Choose Flip/Rotate from the Image menu. Select Flip Horizontal.Now you can copy this reversed text to your word or power point document. You may have to adjust the image size.

how to make a clothing label

Method 1. Using the  Freezer paper

You need the following things for this method of making clothing labels

  • Freezer paper
  • sew in Interfacing cloth or plain muslin cloth
  • Good sharp scissors
  • Printer paper A4 size
  • Inkjet printer ( Some inkjet printers maynot be suitable for this. Check the manual)
  • Iron (Do not use steam setting)
  • Glue

Step 1

Apply glue on the non shiny side of the freezer paper.Keep the freezer paper on the  printer paper so that shiny side is facing you. Attach it to the paper on the middle.

Step 2

Keep the fabric on which you want to print your label on a pressing surface.
Keep the freezer paper on it, shiny side down (touching the cloth) and press. Press with mildly hot iron gently for 15- 20 seconds. Now the fabric will stick to the paper.

Step 3

Keep the prepared fabric on the printer so that the cloth is on the face where your printer will print (this is different for different printers so make sure that it is correctly placed on your printer. The fabric side is to be printed)

Step 4

Print out the design ;Take out and press on the back side with the mildly hot iron to set the ink.

Now you can attach it anywhere you need your own clothing label.

YouTube video

Method 2  – Using heat transfer paper

Materials needed for this method

  • Iron on transfer paper / heat transfer paper
  • Plain muslin cloth or ribbon ( 1/2 inch works well)
  • Good sharp scissors
  • Printer paper A4 size
  • Inkjet printer ( Some inkjet printers maynot be suitable for this. Check the manual)
  • Iron(Do not use steam setting)
  • Ironing surface – better not to use the regular ironing board. You need a hard, smooth and heat resistant surface for pressing.

The general idea of iron on heat transfer paper is that when you  iron it on a fabric, face down, it will transfer the print on to the fabric .

You can use muslin cloth or ribbon to make clothing labels with this method. I prefer using ribbon for this work but you can use regular muslin cloth as well. With muslin cloth you will have to finish the 4 edges where as for a ribbon you will have to finish the two edges only.

When using ribbon ensure that the height of the design is smaller than the width of the ribbon.It may be a prudent step to try a test printing to ensure that the design fits your ribbon.

Step 1

Print the design on the heat transfer paper/ iron on transfer paper
Check which is the right side and wrong side of the paper. Your printer may have different settings for loading the paper, so be aware of that. Your printers settings may have options to print on heat resistant paper. Select that.

Cut out the design to appropriate size.Trim the design, so that  you have a 1/4 inch edge around the image. Cut off everything else other than the image you want on the clothing label. 

If you are using ribbon, you need individual cut outs transferred one at a time, but if you are using a big piece of muslin, you can transfer the whole sheet at a time and then cut each one out individually. 

make clothing labels

Step 2
Keep the design on the ribbon/ fabric face down on your heat-resistant surface. Preheat the iron so that it is sufficiently hot. Press with the hot iron for 15-20 seconds, hardly. You will have to press really hard to transfer the image onto the fabric. Press hard as well as evenly so that edges also get the image.

Cut your label with some 1 inch on either side. If it is a woven fabric, you will need to leave 1/4 -1/2  inches. You can topstitch the edges by turning under the sides or using a fray preventer. You will have professional-looking clothing labels.

If you use a wide ribbon and cut out the label such that you can fold it in half, the long edges can be inserted into the seam thus taking care of the frayed ends. 


YouTube video

The cheap Ink in your inkjet printer may not be reliable to last a long time on your fabric; the print will eventually wash out, especially if you are sewing it onto a frequently washed garment. Watch out for dye-based Ink; pigment ink is the apt choice as they are best suited for printing on fabric.

The cheap Ink in your inkjet printer maynot be reliable to last a long time on your fabric; the print will eventually wash out especially if your are sewing it on to a frequently washed garment. Watch out for dye based ink; pigment ink is the apt choice as they are best suited for printing on fabric.

A permanent option  is to screen print it like this lady at lilblueboo.com who also teaches us to do it beautifully

Method 3

Using twill tape and an ink pad ( with fabric ink) is another easy option to make your own clothing labels. You will also need the stamp in your design. Letter stamps in the initials you want also work great for an informal label.

Materials needed

Fabric Ink ( ink suitable for fabric which will become permanent when heat set) and pad
Twill tape or twill ribbon or other ribbon ( 3/4 inch and wider)
Rubber stamps (Get a custom rubber stamp in your logo or name of the shop or whatever you want on that will fit your ribbon)


Step 1
Cut the twill tape to the label length like about 2 – 4 inches
Step 2
Get ink on the stamp from the pad and press on the tape
Step 3
Press the label for about 30 seconds with a hot iron.

Related posts : Different types of textile printing ; How to print on fabric with inkjet printer; How to use iron on transfer stickers; Fabric care labels

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