Deciphering Vintage Clothing Labels


If you find some vintage clothing at a thrift store, its label can give valuable clues as to its history. Deciphering it requires some fashion detective work but can also be an enjoyable way of learning something about fashion! Have the Best information about custom clothing labels.

Examine fabric labels that cite significant cities; this will likely date your garment back to the 1950s or earlier. Garment care guidelines are another good indicator of an era.

Union Labels

Union labels indicate that members of a specific labor union manufactured clothing produced and can help you determine whether your vintage clothing was of high quality and produced under fair labor practices.

The most prevalent union label found on garments from the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). Since 1900, its design has evolved eight times, making it easy to date garments to an era.

FDR’s National Recovery Administration encouraged union growth during the Great Depression as part of an attempt to create jobs and stimulate the economy, so the International Ladies Garment Workers Union began using its blue eagle logo on garments to advertise that they were produced under fair working conditions by union workers.

In 1959, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union launched its “Check the Label” campaign to encourage women to buy union-made clothing. Through ads in women’s magazines and direct outreach, events with four generations of fictional union families urged to look out for union labels while purchasing clothes. This initiative saw union-made garments become more mainstream among female buyers.

ILGWU tags are easily recognizable, featuring a scalloped crest in front of a needle and thread with “UNION LABEL” printed above it and white lettering bearing their initials printed above that crest. In 1955, they began using red numbering with a circled R trademark symbol on the left side as a copyright mark, changing this later to red, white, and blue in an effort to push Americans toward buying American-made clothing.

As garment companies began outsourcing production overseas, the ILGWU’s role in fashion eventually decreased. They still use their “Check the Label” campaign to encourage consumers to support American garment workers’ rights and wages; today, though, they have changed to become UNITE HERE with their focus shifting away from fashion towards restaurant, hotel, casino/gambling industries while they still advocate for fair treatment of workers within these sectors.

Brand Labels

Brand labels are an easy and cost-effective way to showcase your company name and logo on clothing manufactured by your business. Custom shapes and colors allow them to stand out and help identify garments as being your own while providing information such as care instructions, laundry symbols, or country of manufacture – they’re usually sewn onto inner seams of garments or attached directly to leading labels for easy placement on clothes produced.

These labels use fine thread to print words and images for a subtler appearance, which makes them popular in the fashion industry. Available in an array of colors, these durable labels can withstand multiple washing and drying sessions without losing their shape – though over time, their colors may fade due to direct contact with skin, so it is wise to check their integrity regularly.

Woven labels come in many fabrics, such as cotton, silk, and wool. These labels can feature vibrant prints in vivid hues with intricate details for additional depth and texture in fabric textures; embroidery adds another depth of dimension, while they come in various sizes to suit smaller items of clothing.

Center fold labels are another type of woven label that are sealed along their center to provide additional product information. Ideal for care instructions or other details that might otherwise be difficult to fit onto standard labels, center-fold labels come in various materials like silk, nylon, and cotton for optimal use.

A hem tag is a small label sewn onto the inside of a garment to provide care and size information without spoiling its aesthetic appeal. Additionally, they’re helpful in giving instructions on how to wash and iron clothing as well as detailing their fabric content and garment content.

Hang tags are an effective and cost-efficient solution to label clothing items with ease, but there are other forms of tags available, too. Woven and printed labels may be the most commonly seen options, but there are many others as well. While hang tags may work great on apparel items like clothing, they can also be attached to other things such as furniture or other accessories to give them an individualized appearance and make them more accessible for customers to identify. You could even attach hangtags directly onto bags and backpacks to help distinguish their style and make it easier for consumers.

Garment Care Labels

Garment care labels are printed or woven into clothing to provide instructions for its proper wash and care, with symbols to communicate these processes and help maintain fabric integrity. In many countries, regulations have established these symbols; additionally, they may contain essential safety warnings such as “do not iron directly on print.”

Garments without care instructions can quickly become damaged through improper washing techniques, whether minor, such as fading the fabric, or significant, such as being torn by sharp objects. Sometimes, clothes will even shrink in response to improper care instructions – that is why consumers must read all care labels before purchasing new pieces of clothing.

When purchasing vintage clothing items, proper care may be essential to maintaining their appearance and quality. Vintage clothing often contains unique fabrics or details like embroidery or prints, which must be preserved, so having accurate washing and drying instructions will help your new purchase last longer and look better than before!

However, most people neglect reading garment care instructions carefully – but they must do! Follow these instructions to prevent your favorite shirt from losing shape, fade in the wash, or rip from wear and tear. Furthermore, when planning an adventure trip such as trekking in the Himalayas, it’s also vital that you understand whether the clothing can be machine-washed or dry-cleaned only.

Clothing labels provide helpful information beyond washing instructions for consumers when purchasing garments, such as size and origin details. This helps consumers make informed purchases while helping avoid returns or exchanges due to mismatched sizes or fitting issues. Incorporating such information helps shoppers determine whether a piece fits perfectly as well.

Lot and Style Numbers

Vintage clothes captivate fashion enthusiasts today, captivating many from both the past and present alike with their intricate details, exquisite craftsmanship, and lavish embellishments that transport us back in time to an era of elegance and sophistication that many contemporary designers strive to replicate. However, in order to fully appreciate vintage clothing, one must learn how to decipher its labels inside; these tags may contain clues as to its history as well as care instructions; decoding vintage labels can be easy. By following some basic steps, one can spot the extra details that set vintage apart from mall-bought types of denim!

Lot and style numbers are the critical aspects to consider when dating vintage apparel, indicating when your piece was manufactured. They appear as small indistinct numbers printed underneath brand labels to classify product batches; typically, these numbers contain two or three letters and numbers (LLH/NNL/NNNH/NNNLL/L). While these are helpful markers, they won’t provide exact dates.

If your garment features a “C” mark (for copyright), that’s another telling indicator of its vintage status. While this won’t give an exact year of production, it does indicate it was likely created at least ten years prior to 1970 when the Federal Trade Commission mandated garment labels include care instructions.

Dating vintage clothing can be difficult, but registered trademark (RN) marks on garments can help immensely when dating them. While these won’t pinpoint when the garment was initially purchased, they can indicate when a particular fabric became popular – for instance, RN numbers with five digits typically date to clothing made during the 1950s and 1960s, while clothing manufactured later would typically feature an RN number with six digits or later.

Sometimes, when looking for vintage items, you might come across ones with names such as Celanese or Vycron printed on their labels, which indicates they were manufactured prior to synthetic fabric’s introduction into production. Search on Pinterest or Google for vintage advertisements of said fabric type to help establish an approximate date of production.

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