40 Comments

  1. Fabulous tutorial! I think some of this info applies to quilts & blankets, too. I’ve been working on making mine better. I’m eager to see the rest of your info!

  2. […] my joy, I could be in trouble in ways I’m not even aware of.  Jeez, between the CPSIA, the FTC labelling, the Design copyright protection, and now this FTC blog stuff I think the corporate world I left […]

  3. Valerie

    Hi, thanks for all the info you have taken the time to provide! Do you know if this applies to hand made dog apparel? Thanks again!

  4. Asia Leone

    I read that a company can only have one RN number. However, when I look at the RN #s on Victoria’s secret lingeries, they all have a different RN #…Does anyone know why? thx!

  5. Asia Leone

    Ok, Disregard the last question because it seems like Victoria’s secret use a few different companies to manufacturer their stuff….I was going to apply for an RN number for my product, but how safe is it to use your home address? I noticed that info comes in when I did search in the RN database. Did you use your home address or a PO box?

    • Hi Asia, just use your business address and don’t worry about a PO box unless you need it for other reasons.

      And you’re right about the RN numbers…the company designing and having the items manufactured should have their own RN number, but stores often buy from those designers and put their own store label in there. If you plan to market your items to stores – you will need an RN number for that reason. If you’re selling everything on your own, you don’t need the number but it adds a little more professionalism in my opinion.

  6. Carol

    I was reading (again) about the FTC labels and found this.
    Label placement and attachment
    The label(s) with required information must be securely attached to the product until it is delivered to the consumer. However, the label(s) need not be permanently attached.
    Note: Many consumers and professional cleaners consider it important to have fiber information on a permanent label. Also, remember that garments must have care instructions on a permanent label. Therefore, it may be useful to have the two pieces of information on the same label.

    Note: Customs may require that the country of origin of imported goods be on a sewn-in label.

    Does this mean that I could just sew in the care portion label and just pin tie, provide or whatever, the other info along with the item? I am only referring to the FTC label.

    • Carol – your understanding is the same as mine and I will admit that I have provided fiber content in paper hang tags when I didn’t have time to print fabric labels. I’ve had this discussion with others, and putting fiber content in the sewn in label is really a big customer service bonus more than a legal requirement (all based on how I understand the FTC rules.) Since the care label has durability requirements, and the country of origin must be sewn in for customs in some countries, it’s minimal work to include fiber content. It also goes a long way towards making the garment look professional.

      This is just for FTC per Carol’s question. CPSIA has different requirements. I just wanted to mention that in case anybody else reading this is making children’s items – my reply does not apply to garments for those under age 12.

  7. Oh.. man Thanks but WTF… seriously!
    I understand why this is needed for big corporations that makes batch after batch.. but for me that may make 10 at the most of the same item.. UGH!!! Anyway thank you! I found your link through a thread on etsy forum about this. I am really confused about this crazyness… really confused. People cut their labels off the clothes anyway because they are uncomfortable!!

    Thank you again, dear sorry I am just frustrated.

    Hugs, Helena

    • Helena, I understand how frustrating it is. But just think of it this way – labeling your items is a BIG step in looking professional to your potential customers. Make up some cute labels to go with your cute items (or elegant, or serene – whatever your style)

      It seems overwhelming at first, but once you design and make your first set of labels you’ll wonder why you ever worried about it. It’s much easier than it sounds.

  8. Yeah, I understand. I was going to have labels in there, but was planning (already have some made for me) on having just the name on there and put everything else on a hanging tag – but you are right, making it the right way from the start is far better than having to worry about it in the long run. And I want to look professional, I am not going to sell my items for “Walmart” prices so it better look professional!

    You said that you mark your Batch number and date with a sharpie, is that ok? How long does that last?

    I have a screen printer so I am planning to make some “labels” with just printing it right on the item, but that will only be for the Name, where it comes from, and fiber content; the rest will be on the side tag.

    I am going to make both screen prints and sew my own items, for the screen prints I will buy t-shirts, creepers and so on to print on, do you know if I have to add any “tag information” after altering the original item???

    Thank you once again for a GREAT post and I am so happy I came in contact with this stuff, or I would have been making some huge mistakes!

    BIG HUG TO YOU!

    • A fine tip sharpie works really well on fabric and only fades a little after many washings. But they do bleed when you write with them, so making the fabric taught or stiff is best when writing. I’ve got a pair of jeans with sharpie all over them and they don’t wash out.

      As far as labels after you screen print a purchased item, I’m no expert on that. I know you can remove the brand name from the garment and replace it with your own tag with similar info per FTC, but you should check on the CPSC rules for their specifics since the ink might not be exempt like the fabric is (just in case there’s lead in the ink, etc.)

  9. I will use a sharpie! why make it harder than it already is, right 😉

    I am looking into the yudu ink for my screen printing, but many people say it should be ok… but I haven’t received anything from the company. I think I will remove the tag from the company I buy the t-shirts and creepers etc from and add mine, leave their washing recommendations and add a new CPSC tag also… just to be safe.

    I also requested a RN number – might as well, and it is free…

    Thanks for all your help, I will let you know how I make out with me first labels!

  10. gloria dela garza

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I had no idea so much was involved in making clothes. “As for as the tags go.” I learned a lot from it and for that I greatly thank you again.

    Gloria from Texas

  11. I want to put a nice label in my handmade purses.
    Do these label fillers apply there too?
    Washing, the fabric origin,
    Especially, Made in USA, etc?

  12. GG – my understanding of the FTC rules is that they don’t apply to purses. You can make your labels just for brand identification and to make your purses look more professional. (If your purses are for children, different rules apply in addition to the FTC – search for CPSIA labels on google to learn more.)

    ~DuhBe

  13. I just want to Thank you for this & all that you do for us… You’re just Amazing!
    I will definitely look @ the law rules as your recommendation.

  14. Lisa

    I am so glad you wrote this blog. I have been on the FTC website researching the requirements for clothing and even though it was understandable and I could decifer what was required and wasn’t, your information was concise and easier to refer to at any needed time. Thanks again.

  15. Jillian

    First time in here. Nice information. Thanks very much. I would like to know if you can tell me if buttons being used on a womans pant have to be lead free. Where are the lines drawn for using buttons containg lead and does it matter disclosure wise to the consumer? The button manufacturer will have to certify this to me in writing but I don’t know if I have to use lead free. Childrens clothing I assume it is a huge issue. Can you help please?

    I manufacture in the US, fabric is made in US mill and am concerned about components containing lead (zippers, thread and buttons) and meeting label requirements. (CAN I say made in USA if components are from overseas) and wonder if I have to disclose since most buttons come from China as well as zippers etc. I am trying to get everything made in the USA but it is challenging.

    Thank you

  16. Lauren

    At what point do these rules apply? If I were to make purses to sell at swapmeets and online, do I HAVE to include a tag? And if I do, am I allowed to just have my name on the tag and not put type of fabric, location made, washing instructions,etc. because it’s just a purse and not an actual garment?
    Also, I’m only 16 and am not planning on making a HUGE business out of this..just local sales.

  17. Lauren

    Oh, I noticed it said “adult clothing,” so does that mean that this information doesn’t apply to handbags? Also, would I have to make tags like this for teen swimsuits?

  18. Lauren, you can check comment #22 about handbags and the adult/children issues. The FTC laws apply regardless of how large or small your company is. Just be careful about selling any items that appeal to kids age 12 and under – they have special CPSIA laws that I don’t cover in this posting.

  19. Hi Luci,

    Thank you so much for this information. It’s most helpful. I’ve only reallized that I need to do all this a few days ago. I’ve been looking all over to find out what’s required and how to do it. Lots and lots of information. Yikes!

    I’m assuming that crocheted scarves and hats fit under the apparel items as well? What about crocheted jewelry?

    I tried to read the FTP website and got totally lost. You’re very generous to share your hard work researching all this.

    Thanks again

  20. prima

    o_o are these requirements pertinent to ALL made and sold items? i’m planning on home-selling bags that i sew, and i just wanted to add in a cute little tag… do i ned to include all of this info?!

  21. Prima – purses are generally exempt since they are not clothing. Please see comment #22 above. If your purses are for children, different rules apply!

  22. Lauren

    What about upcycled clothing from vintage garments or fabric? Do you need to have the fabric content then? Sometimes they no longer have tags,…or were handmade 50 years ago and don’t have a tag. Thanks

    • Hi Lauren. The FTC has a specific blurb about recycled or unknown materials. I wrote about it in this post “labeling upcycled fabrics” along with a link to the FTC page that addresses that question. I will update this post as well, since that question is becoming more and more frequent. THanks!

  23. Hi, what about tutus? I read that headbands I do not need to label but I’m not sure about the handmade tutus. Thanks 🙂

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