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Natural colored fabric shows two blank clothing labels sewn on as product labels for baby carriers would be.

Avoid mistakes when purchasing product labels for baby carriers and slings

Nearly every country has rules governing product labels for baby carriers, slings, and other textile products. We have collected information about some of these rules, and we are continuously adding more as our members express interest in helping us collate this information.

This article is directly addressing washable, permanently attached product labels that are sewn or otherwise affixed to your baby carrier or sling.

The rules vary from country to country (and occasionally, even city to city). They can include details such as:

  • fabric content
  • washing instructions
  • country of origin
  • padding and filling
  • brand name and contact information
  • batch tracking
  • item number
  • … and more (this list is not inclusive)

Choosing product labels for baby carriers and slings

When it comes to product labels, there are many options. Double check your local standards and regulations before choosing your labels material.

An overview of labeling options

Generally, you’ll choose from the following types of labels. Most baby carriers have multiple required labels, and it’s not uncommon to see carriers that utilize more than one style of label.

Woven labels

As the name implies, these labels are woven from threads, creating a sort of fabric label. In the US, these kinds of labels don’t require lead testing, as most fabrics are exempt. To read more about this exemption, see 16 CFR 1500.91(d)(7).

Therefore, one of the major benefits of this type of label is that it may be exempt from lead testing laws in some countries.

There are many small-batch manufacturers of woven labels. You can find them via internet search. One easy place to start searching is Etsy.

If you have a manufacturer that you particularly love and are willing to share, please reach out and let us know. In the past, we’ve been able to work out member discounts for things like labels from certain companies.

Woven labels are generally your most expensive label option, as the technique and cost of materials tend to be higher than with other types of labels.

Example of  woven fabric product labels for baby carriers or slings
Andreas Fahnenstich, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Printed product labels for baby carriers and slings

As the name implies, printed labels for baby carriers and slings utilize a printing process where words and images are transferred to fabric.

Common materials for printed labels include satin, nylon, taffeta, polyester, tape, ribbon, non-woven fabric, and cotton fabric. Cost will vary depending on a variety of factors, including your chosen material.

CMYK printing is exempt from lead testing. For more information about this, see 16 CFR 1500.91(d)(6). You’ll need to check with your labeling manufacturer and review both 16 CFR 1500.91(d)(6) and 16 CFR 1500.91(d)(7) to determine whether your label meets the criteria for exemption.

Some very small-batch manufacturers use their home printers to create their own printed labels using iron-on transfers.

The BCIA has printed warning labels for baby carriers and slings available for members to purchase both in bundles of 20 labels, and also in larger quantities. Some members purchase the label file and have their own labels printed.

When sending your printed label for ASTM or other testing, check with your test lab to ask what quantity they need in order to perform the necessary tests. They need to scrape off the printed coating and this often requires more than one label.

Printed warning labels are generally among the least expensive options for textile labeling.

Image of a printed fabric care and content level sewn into a garment
邰秉宥 from Changhua, Taiwan, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Heat transfer or screenprinted product labels for baby carriers

Another labeling option is to have the label applied directly to the product via heat transfer or screenprinting. Again, testing requirements will vary depending on the specific process used, but generally these types of labels are applied as a surface coating and require lead testing.

Costs vary based on several factors. Often, you can locate a local print shop that may be able to produce either the transfers, which you can apply yourself using a heat press, or that can apply the transfers for you. Additionally, many manufacturers can provide this service.

One benefit of this method is that you may be able to avoid having multiple product labels.

Image of permanent branding via heat transfer labels
Copyright: Emily & Katy Photography

Tyvek labels

Tyvek is a synthetic material used in many applications. You may know it from wrap for houses or for the pliable, plastic-like material that some large envelopes are made of.

You will most commonly find Tyvek labels on non-clothing items such as pillows and furniture items. It can feel irritable and scratchy against the skin, so it is infrequently used in clothing and carriers. It is, however, used occasionally, particularly for meeting Law Label requirements.

One benefit of Tyvek product labels for baby carriers is that they can be printed in your home office using a variety of thermal printers.

A tyvek law label shown, like the type used on mattresses to depict padding content., CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr

Other types of labels

There are many other types of labels, although they are used infrequently as product labels for baby carriers.

There are printed or stamped metal or leather labels, for example. These are most often used for visual impact and branding on a product’s exterior, and depending on the material, will require different kinds of testing.

Do you use a different kind of label than what’s listed here? If so, we’d love to learn more — drop us an email!

Download our FREE guide to US baby carrier compliance

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