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howzit,

i'm a newcomer to the boards. i'm putting out a small line of tees and it is my first real dig at the fashion industry. i'm dealing with labels at the moment so i thought i might share the options i am considering. I understand that I need to include branding, content/care instructions and sizing adn there are a number of ways these can be dealt with..

My first run of shirts will be fairly small (approx. 120-150 in total) and i will be using luckylabels.com as recommended by a couple of people on these boards.

Given the small size of the run and the 1200 minimum that lucky label imposes, options A1 and B1 are pretty much ruled out at this stage as i would required to get 1200 size small, 1200 size med etc.

A2, A3, B2, B3 are all definetely options. They all use luckylabels size tapes which can be bought in quantities of 100.

The difference being A2 and A3 don't require unstitching of the original label. Rather, the original label can be cut off (razor blade stylee) and the new label can mask the cut.

Labels B2 and B3 require unstitching but less sewing, the result would arguably look cleaner and more professional.

Labels B1, B2 have the advantage in that the content/care instructions can be on the back whereas the others need an additional content/care label. they would however be more expensive given that they are double sided.

For the others, I would use the cheap content/care synthetic labels (you get em in rolls of 1000) and would sew them on the inside side seams of the shirt...this of course requires another stitch! putting the cheap synthetic label on the neck is not really an option as I will be producing shirts aimed at the higher end of the fashion spectrum and feel a cheap visible care label will devalue the product.

I'm just wondering what people think about the options i've outlined. Which ones work better? Which ones are more expensive? I realise there are plenty of other options...if any one has any others they recommend then i'm all ears. I would like to stick to labels rather than a tagless shirt with screenprinted 'labels'.


MEEBS
 

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Meebs, Great message. thanks for all your info. Tags are currently the issue i'm dealing with as well. I'm attempting national retail distribution (in a very small, specific industry) and i'm a little afraid of getting overwhelmed with restitching so many labels for initial inventory levels.
But in answer to your question, with as little actual experience as i yet have, i think you have to go for the more expensive, double sided B2 option.

The paper tags are so irritating they really do devalue your product's clout, regardless of where they're placed, and let's face it. there are a lot of people making t's, i personally think every detail counts. of course, if you can't stitch it in consistently and well each time, that's as big a problem.

I'm curious if you just don't like the look of the screenprinted or transfer tags, or if you have a reason to want to avoid them?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Kat,

I want to avoid the screenprinted tag for several reasons. Firstly, as i'm making a high fashion garment (as high fashion as a tshirt can be anyway), I don't want the original tag to be visible - even if i razor them off, a small bit remains. Screen printing the tags means I have to unstitch the original labels, stitch them back up, then pay for the costs associated with screen printing ie. burning another screen + cost incurred per shirt printed.

The cost of getting tags made is really quite minimal, if i'm going to unstitching the orginal tag, i might as well put my own in its place when i stitch it back up.

The second reason is purely aesthetic, although you can get some good results with screen printed tags, I think extra detail adds value to the product. It's like i've gone an extra step further from merely visiting a screenprinters and have added another element to my product.

once i have a bit more capital behind me, i plan to do things like add small sleeve prints, or tags on the sleeve....such things may seem superfluous but I really believe minor details make the difference in the market that i'm aiming for
 

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I agree wholeheartedly. Sewn labels denote a higher quality brand.

While screenprinting can also look great (like in threadless) unless the orginal label is unstitched and resewn, it looks cheap with a label tuft (also like in threadless).

I've also sent you a note meebs.
 

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I just want to add here that sometimes (as the t-shirt designers), we can get caught up in details that seem very important to us, but the actual customer paying the money won't think twice about.

I honestly don't think that an average customer will look at and feel a tag in the collar, look for a patch or label on the front/sleeve or wherever.

I'm not saying folks shouldn't relabel t-shirts or make them look nice. I do it myself and I think a relabeled shirt adds something in my eyes. But I'm not the average t-shirt buyer (as much as I like to think I am). But it's good to take a step back from what you know and want as the designer and think about the big picture of the customer paying good money for the shirt and what they will actually be paying attention to (just so you don't get too caught up in details and not get the shirt out the door :) )

Again, relabeling is good :) Just wanted to throw out a little food for thought.
 

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Rodney said:
I just want to add here that sometimes (as the t-shirt designers), we can get caught up in details that seem very important to us, but the actual customer paying the money won't think twice about.
By the same token we can pay too much attention to what the customer looks at and comments on (e.g. most complaints are about the fit of the t-shirt or the quality of the print, so focus exclusively on those two issues), and overlook all the things they are indirectly taking in.

Will a customer consciously look at a tag, feel it between their fingers, notice if it's missing, etc.? Probably not. But if it's there will they subconsciously take it in and judge your brand on it? Personally I'd say yes.

Unfortunately lacking the extreme amounts of money required to do proper market research on the matter we can only go on gut instinct (and such).

I think it's important to remember though that just because a customer doesn't think they notice something, doesn't mean they didn't. They don't need to think about it in order for it to matter.
 

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I think it's important to remember though that just because a customer doesn't think they notice something, doesn't mean they didn't. They don't need to think about it in order for it to matter.
It's much easier to work from the things that are easy for the customer to see, especially from an online standpoint. A custom label is not going to be a selling point for a customer. A unique design that appeals to them is.

By the same token we can pay too much attention to what the customer looks at and comments on (e.g. most complaints are about the fit of the t-shirt or the quality of the print, so focus exclusively on those two issues), and overlook all the things they are indirectly taking in.
I think the things they look at and take the time to comment on ARE the most important things that help them make a buying decision. If they take the time to comment on the design or comment on the fit of a t-shirt, that's important.

If after they bought the shirt they notice subtle niceties on the garment, that's indirect and by nature, not as important (in my opinion). Not as important as getting them to buy the t-shirt in the first place.
 

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I think an important thing to condsider is how you are selling your shirts, online or in person. Like Rodney said, noticing subtle niceties after one has purchased the shirt online is a bonus. But selling in person is a different matter. I haven't sold a single shirt online, but I've sold a couple of hundred(of my current design) in person. Paying attention to the details of a shirt(like a quality label), definitely add to the perceived value of the shirt, thereby indirectly adding to the quality of the shirt.

Most consumers probably don't even notice the things that add quality to an item, but sure would be able to tell if they were looking at something that was "cheap" as opposed to "quality".

Solmu has a good point about the things that consumers indirectly take in. I think this is what gives generic products the "cheap" look as opposed to name brand products. No one goes into the grocery store looking for certain things on their package of cookies. But once they get to the cookie isle, I'm sure the "quality" of the packing definitely influences their buying decision. And when you are selling shirts in person, how it is "packaged" can and will give the perception of quality.
 

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Solmu has a good point about the things that consumers indirectly take in.
I agree :) I just think the time and energy spent on the various aspects of a t-shirt should be relative to how important they are in the buying decision for the customer.

An indirect benefit seems like it would rate lower in the buying decision than a direct benefit, and they are both important (but not equally important).

I guess taking a "holistic" approach to the design is good, but I've seen so many times that people get frustrated with such a small aspect of the t-shirt selling process that they get discouraged. I'd hate to miss the chance to buy a supercool new design because the designer gave up because they got hung up on which label to put on the tee :D

Sorry to derail the topic here. Back to the original post. I agree that the two sided label seems to be a good choice. I'd go for the best quality over the cheapest if your concern is making a good impression.
 

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Derail away!

I think it really depends on you goal...I'm focusing on selling in stores rather than exclusively on the web so as much as i'[m selling my graphic design on the medium of a t-shirt, i'm also marketing a brand. through seeing my shirts i hope people will be left with an impression beyond the screen printed design on the front. although, i'd like to sell shirts purely on their design i think they will sell better if my brand has an associated image...

look at bathing ape for example, his whole brand is pretty much based on one logo - of a stylized ape...not a particularly great one either. that dude owns more cars than i have fingers and could probably throw up in a bag, put an ape logo on it and still flog it in a nano second...
 

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meebs said:
look at bathing ape for example, his whole brand is pretty much based on one logo - of a stylized ape...not a particularly great one either. that dude owns more cars than i have fingers and could probably throw up in a bag, put an ape logo on it and still flog it in a nano second...

Apes aren't as good as monkeys. With lanterns.
 

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monkeylantern said:
Apes aren't as good as monkeys. With lanterns.
I agree wholeheartedly! Here, here!;)

meebs,
If building a brand is your goal and if you plan to have a presence in stores, I also think the two-sided woven label is the way to go. It will not be much more expensive, but it will give your shirt the extra "quality" you want.:D
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
I also think the two-sided woven label is the way to go. It will not be much more expensive, but it will give your shirt the extra "quality" you want.:D

This may have already been messaged :)
 

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look at bathing ape for example, his whole brand is pretty much based on one logo - of a stylized ape...
Don't forget a big part of branding is marketing :) You have to be able to sell yourself and your brand if you want that type of success. Make sure people and stores know your stuff is cool. I'm sure the ape didn't get so many vehicles with just a logo and a nice tee :)
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
I agree whole-heartedly, Rodney. Lucky for me my wife has a degree in marketing and graduated at the head of her class. Nothing like free in-home marketing services!

Good on ya! Nothing like using the in house help to your advantage :)

My wife is good with numbers, so she helps organize the money stuff so we can get it to the accountant in decent shape at the end of the year.
 

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I remember seeing a post a while ago about www.imprintswholesale.com doing relabeling. I contacted the company and their prices are pretty competitive. Gildan, etc, are about $1.40 (not counting their specials), and to have a custom label sewn in is an extra .20 to .30 cents. Pretty good deal so I believe I will go with them. I plan to order my labels from Lucky and have them shipped directly to Imprints, and then order the garments from them. I am doing my own screen-printing so I wanted the shirts to get to my door step with the label already in. Take care, maybe this will help some folks in my shoes. EB
 

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garment relabeling and packaging....
I am the owner at a relabeling and packaging company in New Hampshire and I was wondering what problems if any people have had with other companies doing their relabeling. What are your likes? Dislikes?, ect....
 

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There is also the option to buy tagless blanks so avoid having to remove the original tag, whether it's sewn in or a tear-off. Then you just incur the cost of adding your tag, or screenprinting your logo on the inside.

I was in Fred Segal in LA recently, and I recall seeing many high-end t-shirts with screenprinted labels inside. You might want to consider it due to the high minimums on your labels.
 
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