6 Ways to Label Clothes for Camp College or Assisted Living

Clothing label
Photo illustration by MML

There are lots of reasons that clothes and other gear need labels. Kid's head to school or camp or join a sports team. Or, they head to college and have to share a communal laundry. Then, when senior citizens go to an assisted living facility, most require that all of the washable clothes be labeled before heading to the laundry room. Learn more about the various ways to label clothes and hopefully bring them back to the place they belong.

6 Ways to Label Clothes

There is no single best way to label clothes due to different designs and types of fabrics. Labeling options vary in expense and you must decide if the label will be permanent or may need to be removed in the future. This guide will help you decide which type of labeling works best for you and your budget.

Laundry Markers

The easiest and least expensive way to label clothing is with a permanent ink laundry marker. The indelible ink lasts through many washings and is quick to use. The downside is that the ink can bleed through to the outside of a garment. And, once it does, the stain is permanent.  If you use a marker, always write the name on the care tag or on an inside seam. Protect the outside of the garment by placing some cardboard under the area to catch any bleeding ink.

Another downside is you may also have some unhappy hand-me-down recipients if an older sibling's name is in the shirt.

Most items that are marked with indelible ink are not usable by charities that distribute used clothing since the name is visible.

Shop for Laundry Markers on Amazon.com

Laundry Stamps

There are now self-inking stamps that can be used to mark clothing. Again, they are quick and easy to use and but have the same limitations as a permanent ink laundry marker.

Shop for Laundry Stamps on Amazon.com

Iron-On Labels

Plenty of websites sell customized iron-on fabric labels. These are convenient, not too expensive and will usually last through the life of the garment. And, if the garment is handed down a new label can be ironed over the last one.

You can make your own iron-on labels using twill tape, a laundry marker and some fusible web (available online or at any craft store). This is particularly helpful to know if your child springs the need for labels on you at the last minute.

Shop for Iron-On Clothing Labels on Amazon.com

Stick-On Fabric Labels

If you don't even own an iron but still need to label clothes, there are also peel and stick fabric labels for clothes. These are not quite as durable as iron-on labels and you may see them come off after multiple washings. However, they are easier to remove than iron-on labels if you plan to pass along the clothes or equipment. To remove, just follow the guidelines for getting rid of any sticky residue.

Shop for Peel and Stick Fabric Clothing Labels on Amazon.com

Sew-In Labels

There are beautiful custom woven labels that can be ordered to both identify and enhance your garments. They can be designed to showcase the seamstress or knitter who made the garment or with your name or monogram.

These are lovely but sewing them in is time-consuming and they are the most expensive type of label. You must allow several weeks to place and receive your order.

Shop for Customized Sew-In Labels on Amazon.com

Plastic Tags

One of the newest ways to label clothes is with a plastic tag similar to a price tag that can be attached to a seam, hem or care label. The tag does not fade, is resistant to high temperatures and can be removed. You must order in advance and use a custom device to attach and remove the tags.

Shop for Plastic Tag Labels on Amazon.com