How To Iron On Labels

Posted by Keely Smith on

I thought I should do some instructions to help with ironing on name labels. Hopefully if it's done right they will last and not peel after washing. If you're reading this and haven't seen my labels, click here to open the product page.

Firstly, you should check the care label for the item you're ironing on to. The jumper I've used for this example actually says none iron. However, I'm quite sure that's to appeal to parents that hate ironing (like me), rather than the material being too delicate. So I'm going for it anyway. 

Set your iron so the steam is OFF. We don't want any moisture during the process as the label won't attach. I put the setting in between medium and hot, or between the 2 and 3 setting. Every iron is different but generally they correspond to care labels, 3 being for cottons and 2 for wools and silks. You can always set it a little cooler but would need to press for longer. Use the care label as your guidance.

I generally do this on a hard surface like the floor or worktop or a stool. Pressure is so important for this to work and I find whenever I use the ironing board for this, it can peel after the first wash. The ironing board will give when you put a lot of pressure on it.  So for this example, I had a little wooden stool. I put a tea towel on it and under that a little bit of brown baking paper protect it. I do the same on my wooden work top. Use a thin towel or something to protect your surfaces. Nothing too thick.

So here is how to do it. 

Cut one of your labels off the strip along a clear patch of the clear film. Pop it in place on the garment. The film is only sticky to stop it moving so if it's not sticky anymore it's not a problem. 

Cover with the brown greaseproof baking paper. This protects everything.

You then need to press your iron onto the brown paper where the label is. Try not to move your iron at all. Press down firmly for about 10 - 15 seconds.  

Lift off the brown paper and see if the clear film peels and leaves the label on the garment. (If not try again, make sure you really press down and apply pressure. You can use the tip of the iron on the label area if that helps with pressure.)

Once the film is peeled off, I'd go for another press with just the brown paper covering. Don't iron directly on the label as it'll melt to your iron. 

In theory that should be it. Sometimes I iron it a few times to make sure. 

There's is also a clue to a good stick depending on the fabric. A cotton weave will leave visible weave pattern on the vinyl when its stuck down properly.  Like the label has become part of the fabric. This jumper I've used is quite a fluffy flock style inside so I can't see any weave pattern. I've used my nail and finger tips to feel it, and stretched it in a few directions too. If it feels a bit too, erm, clicky on the nails then give it another go. (Does that make any sense?). Use the tip or edge of the iron on any bits that feel they need pressing more. 

Also a vinyl needs to cure for maybe 48 hours after ironing. So don't wash it until after that time. 

As for washing, it should wash as per your normal clothes label's care info. All the vinyl I use can be washed up to 60 degrees along with being tumble dried and dry cleaned. Just follow the usual instructions for washing. You can iron your clothes, just iron on the reverse like you would with any t shirt with a design attached or you can use brown paper and iron right on the front. If after washing you notice peeling, then it wasn't ironed for long enough or had enough pressure. You can do the process again to get your label attached. If it doesn't attached it will have been over ironed, and can be discarded. 

This is the jumper after 1 wash. The material isn't flat as it's fluffy however it is still attached well. Also here is before and after on a red school Matalan polo shirt. In the second photo (after its been washed), I've also managed to capture the detail of the weave on the label. This is the sign of a good press. 

I also ironed a name on the care label too to try out. The care label is too shiny. This was much easier, but didn't stand the wash test. It literally slid off in the washer. Only ideal if you want to use the care label as a test run.

I'm off to iron on some more school uniform now and of course get orders done. I hope this helps.


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