How to Embroider Clothing Labels


You can make your own line of clothing and label them with hand-embroidered tags to stake your creative claim. Make simple hand-embroidered labels with your name, or embellish the labels with decorative embroidered images and decals. If you have an embroidery machine, input the image or letters into the machine and make identical images for every new clothing item you make.

Things You'll Need

  • Stencils
  • Tracing paper
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Lightweight tear-away stabilizer
  • Temporary adhesive spray
  • 1 ½-inch-wide or 2-inch-wide ribbon
  • Embroidery floss
  • Small embroidery needle
  • Use stencils to trace the letters or decals for the clothing label onto tracing paper. Alternatively, write the letters onto a word-processing program on the computer and print the page onto compatible tracing paper.

  • Open an embroidery hoop and place a piece of lightweight tear-away stabilizer in the hoop. Spray a temporary adhesive onto the stabilizer. The stabilizer keeps the fabric stiff in the embroidery hoop so that you do not need to tug on it.

  • Cut a long length of 1 ½-inch-wide or 2-inch-wide ribbon. Place the ribbon in the center of the hoop, on top of the stabilizer, and smooth it along the stabilizer to join the ribbon to the adhesive. The ends of the ribbon should hang over the edges of the embroidery hoop.

  • Align the image or letters on the tracing paper over top of the ribbon on the hoop and place the tracing paper on top. Close the hoop and tighten the hoop gently. The ribbon should be held firmly in the hoop but should not be stretched.

  • Thread a strand or two of embroidery floss onto a small embroidery needle and knot the ends of the floss together. Floss generally comes wound together in strands of six, so you will need to separate the strands to obtain one or two pieces. Do not use more than this for a clothing label or the embroidery will be very thick.

  • Stitch the image or letters with the floss by inserting the needle from the stabilizer and through the ribbon and tracing paper on top. Use small stitches throughout the entire image and end the stitching on the underside of the ribbon. Knot the floss.

  • Embroider an outside edge along two long sides of the ribbon to give the edge of the label a bit of flair. Insert stitches as close to the edge as possible with the same floss or a complementary colored floss. Do not worry about the short sides because these will be sewn to the clothing item.

  • Open the hoop and cut the papers around the label. Pull on the leftover pieces to remove them from the label.

  • Cut off the right and left sides of the ribbon, beyond the decorative embroidered edging, to cut the label to proper size.

Tips & Warnings

  • Instead of using ribbon for the label, you can insert a piece of fabric of your choice into the embroidery hoop and cut off the excess fabric afterwards.

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  • Photo Credit RL Productions/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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