details make the difference

3D prototyping:
what you see is what you get

Labels are often overlooked. Not surprisingly, what is the added value of something that you remove as soon as possible?

Not only the product label is often forgotten, but also the brand and size labels.

Did you think about where to place the labels and what to put on them?

In this blog I’ll give you some tips and guidelines where to place your labels and what to put on them.

There are different labels, which may or may not be combined:

  • product label
  • care label
  • brand label
  • size label

NOTE: The information in this blog only applies if you are:

  • based in the EU
  • selling from a (web)shop in your home country
  • selling to consumers

If you also want to sell through international platforms such as Amazon or export to shops in multiple countries, then please seek advice from an expert.

And make sure the information you supply is correct. As the seller, you are responsible for its content.

Product label

As a manufacturer, you are obliged to add a product label with information about your product. And as long as you are selling to consumers from a (web)shop from the EU it is pretty simple.

Required information

In the EU only a label with the fiber composition is mandatory. (Standardized) care instructions are not mandatory. Neither is size or country-of-origin information.

The information has to comply with the following:

  • The labeling must be in the official language(s) of the country you sell FROM (not TO) (unless national legislation of your country states otherwise).
    • In other words, if your (web)shop is based in the Netherlands, then officially you only need to mention the fabric composition in Dutch. Stating the info in multiple languages is allowed.
  • The composition of the fabric is given in decreasing percentage order
    • Terms like “100%” or “pure” are only allowed if your garment is indeed exclusively made from one fiber type.
    • Here you find a list of the official types and names of the fibers you have to use.
    • If there are parts made from leather or fur or other animal origin, then you have to mention that with the following sentence: “Contains non-textile parts of animal origin/Bevat niet uit textiel bestaande delen van dierlijke oorsprong”.
  • If your clothes contain more than 120 ppm formaldehyde (the maximum amount that is allowed) before washing, then you have to add a “wash before wearing” warning on the label or the packaging.
    • Formaldehyde is used, for instance, to make cotton and viscose crease-resistant and wool shrink-resistant. It might wash out with each washing, but I prefer an iron over a “known human carcinogen”.
  • If you night gown (or other night wear) burns like hell (yes, you’re reading this correct, that’s allowed) you need to state this on the label with an icon (Netherlands only).
    • Another one that raises my eyebrows. Please correct me on this one and tell me that this information is outdated.
  • The text must be clear and legible, using uniform lettering (same font, size, and style).
    • However, there is no clear definition of what “legible” is. Without my glasses there is not much legible…

You find the complete text here: “EU regulation on textile labelling and fibre composition


The information has to be fixed permanently on your garment. That means that an easily removable hangtag is not sufficient. 

The label is usually attached in an easily accessible seam, like the side seam or the waistband. Depending on the manufacturing process, the label is attached directly when the seam is stitched, or the label is later on attached to the seam allowance. The last option makes it easier to remove the label completely. Your customer will thank you for not having a scratching edge…

I really like the solution from Decathlon (and probably others), they attach the label to a tab from the same (soft) material. This makes the rough label easily and completely removable without the risk of cutting into the garment. 

Another solution is to print the info directly onto the fabric as you see more and more. I don’t have experience with this, if you do then I would like to hear your experience.

Great solution

Attach the label to a tab instead of directly to the garment.

Care label

As said, in the EU care instructions are not mandatory.

Unless you are a fast fashion brand for who the turnover rate is more important than quality or sustainability, I assume that you want to inform your customers how to take care of their garment.

The care instructions should guaranty that the garment will not be damaged with the given instructions. This doesn’t mean that certain stains will be completely removed. Of coarse a milder treatment is always allowed.

Your fabric/trim supplier should be able to tell you how to take care of the fabric/trims. Always use the mildest prescribed treatment. 

Generally the instructions are given by symbols that everybody understands. The GINETEX symbols are widely used and known. 

Usually there are 5 symbols on the maintenance label. They each represent a treatment and are always given in this specific order:

  • washing (washtub symbol)
  • bleaching (triangle)
  • drying (square)
  • ironing (iron symbol)
  • professional care (circle)

Care symbols

Here you find an overview of the care symbols and their meaning.

Remember that these symbols are trademarks and cannot be used freely. If you want to use these symbols, then contact MODINT for a license (Netherlands only).

However, you can always state the info in words.


There is no specific position to place the care label. This information is often combined with the product label. In that case:

  • There must be a clear separation between the information on textile composition and other information, such as product care.

Brand label

Although not mandatory, as a brand or designer, you probably want to place your brand label somewhere. And preferably where it is visible when the garment is on a hanger.

The label can be a flat label, a tab, an embroidery, you name it. This is a very personal choice and the representation of your brand, so you should really spend some time on it. 

Obviously you decide what goes on the label. It is not my place to suggest anything.


However I can give you some suggestions where you can place your label. This list is by far not complete. Be creative and, above all, do whatever you want.

Some possible positions (on the inside or on the outside):

  • at the neck
  • at the hemline
  • at the waistband
  • at the pocket
  • on the front panel at the chest
  • on the back panel

Size label

A size label is also not mandatory, but a guide for your customer.

In the blog “What should the size label say?” I explain how to tackle the size labelling of your garments and what to put on the label. 

What should the size label say?

Read this blog to find out how to choose the best size label for your garments.


There are several option where to place the size label.

If you only sell your clothes online and the customer chooses the size from a dropdown box, then you can put the size on the product label for instance. It doesn’t matter that the product label is tucked away inside and not directly visible.

But if you sell your clothes from a hanger, then it might be wiser to place the size label at a more visible position, like the back of the neck or the back of the waist. 

You can also choose to state the size on a hang tag or the price label, like the HEMA does. 

Labels that are not attached to the garment can get lost or be switched. Not a big drama of coarse, but maybe something to take into consideration.

Types of labels

There are several types of labels and this is not the place to describe them all. For instance, you can choose between woven or printed, flat or folded (and then you have to choose which kind of fold) and the material of the label.

All have their own properties and should be chosen in line with the look and feel of your brand. 

There are many suppliers to find, I’m sure that there is a label that fits your brand and your budget.

Label sources

Looking for labels? Try some of these Google suggestions:

  • fashion labels for clothing
  • clothing labels
  • apparel labels
  • woven clothing labels
  • printed clothing labels

A company I can recommend

EE labels offers all kinds of high quality labels, including sustainable ones.

This blog has become quite a long story. And I only started this blog to tell you that I need to know the dimensions and placement of your labels when I make a tech pack…

But still I hope that this information was useful, even though it is not what I wanted to say initially. At least it shows that there is a lot more involved in starting a clothing line than you think.

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