What is Tagless Label Printing?

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Tagless label printing is the process of placing a care label or logo directly onto a garment rather than utilizing a fabric that is sewn into a garment (tearaway tag). Traditionally, tearaway labels would have to be ordered and then sewn into the apparel, making the process long and dependent on many variables. Companies would have to closely monitor inventories to ensure all sizes were appropriately ordered. Additionally, tearaway tags are known to be itchy and irritating to infants, kids and adults. Many times, important care labels are torn out of clothing by frustrated consumers. Overall, the process, consumables and costs of tearaway labels made apparel manufacturers yearn for a new solution.

Many of the top apparel companies have decided to ditch the itchy tags and switch to a more cost effective, sustainable and comfortable solution. Tagless label printing enables manufacturers to reduce their waste, lead times and inventory by providing an easy and fast solution. Currently, most of the small, medium and large apparel companies are utilizing tagless label printing in their production lines. It is a method that can be easily adopted all over the world and has a relatively low start-up cost and learning curve.



Tagless labels can either be applied using heat transfers, pad printing, or screen printing.

When first discovered, tagless label printing utilized heat transfer labels to apply to apparel. This process starts by digitally printing the care label onto heat transfer paper. Once the labels are printed, the operator has to use a number of additives as well as heat to adhere the label onto the garments. The cost of the transfer material in addition to the quality has turned apparel manufacturers to other methods.

See how heat transfers stack up to pad printing: The Benefits of a Tag Printing Machine for Clothes

Screen printing utilizes a mesh screen, a squeegee and specialized ink to directly print the care label onto the piece of apparel. Overall, this method is more cost effective than heat transfer labels but requires drying, a step that is frustrating to most apparel label printers. Once the piece has dried, the end result is a thick, rough label. In general, screen printing provides some of the benefits of tagless label printing, but other methods prove to be more effective and efficient.

Pad printing, like screen printing, uses special solvent-based inks to print labels directly onto apparel. Unlike screen printing, pad printing provides a “soft touch” effect meaning, it doesn’t feel as if there is anything on the shirt. The reason for this is because pad printing applies a very thin layer of ink onto the shirt, which is somewhat absorbed by the fabric.

Learn more about pad printing- the Inkcups way.



Although there are numerous benefits of pad printing labels, the five primary benefits are the relatively low start-up costs, the continued low operating costs, the flexibility of the method, pad printed labels dry instantly and the overall durability.








Heat-Transfer Labels Create a Clean, Finished Look on the Fabric

Looks means everything in fashion. Every stripe, every pattern, and every colour choice determines how your garment will connect with its audience. This is true of the label as well. Heat-transfer labels present a sleeker, more polished look that better engages consumers than a tag tucked into the back of the collar or waist. Heat transfer labels can be produced in a variety of colours and sizes to meet your customer’s needs and wants. Given their durability and clean, finished look, these types of labels are ideal for strong garments like denim.


Heat-Transfer Labels Maintains Brand Image

You know how important branding becomes when trying to differentiate yourself in the fashion industry. Incorporating tagless labels shows a level of design sophistication that is not possible with a tag. When customers see that your label is essentially another design element, they are given the impression that you truly do care about every detail.


Durable Heat-Transfer Labels Never Fade or Crack

Quality is always a premier, custom, tagless labels will never fade or crack. In fact, the ink of the durable heat transfers bonds directly into the fiber of the fabric, which means it won’t peel or crack off. This makes the tag appear as though it was created as part of the original design.


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