Friday, August 6, 2010

Labeling Handmade Garment

by Lyudmila Klebansky (WoolSolution)

When I started selling my knitwear on Etsy two things bothered me:

How to label my knitwear? and What info to put on the labels?

In my research I found that according FTC rules all handmade garment has to be labeled using general industry standards. I don’t know how strict the FTC rules are and I don’t want to find out.

So, Here is a summary:

The FTC requires your labels permanently attached to the garment and include 4 things:

1. Name of the company or RN number
I decided to use my Etsy userId and plan to brand my business under this name;

2. Fiber content in descending order by percentage
That’s why I use yarn from well known manufacturer like Zegna Baruffa. I can always go to it’s website and verify technical spec using manufacturer’s label.
“But I don’t know the fiber content!” You might say. Let me just say this – if you are selling garments you made, it is now your job to write down the fiber content when you buy yarn or fabrics. Writing it on the receipt (which you will keep) is a good idea.

3. Country of Origin
That’s the tricky one. Most people do not realize that “made in USA” cannot be used by most of us sewing/knitting in the USA. Even if you handmade the garment in USA, your fabric/yarn was most likely imported because very few mills operate in the USA today. Once again, it is your job to write down the country of origin info when you buy yarn or fabric. And if you don’t really know the origin of the material just put on your labels “made in USA of imported fabric/yarn” .

4. Care instructions or how to wash it
You are not allowed to just say “dry clean only” when the garment is really machine washable. You really should find out the best way to wash your garments and list just one washing method. For most of my knitwear I usually say something like this: “Hand wash warm, dry flat”

In my next post I'll share with you what I've learned from Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC ) website and Etsy forums with this topic.


  1. Very informative Luda! Looking foward to second installment.

  2. Interesting, Luda. I don't make clothing, but I was surprised to see that "made in U.S." is not sufficient if the yarns were imported.

  3. This is a great post Luda! Thanks for sharing!

  4. That is a good post, too bad I just ordered labels for my purses, without fabric content, washing instructions and where it was made. maybe a second pre printed label for that info.