Sew in name labels vs iron on name tapes - which labels are best?

My Nametags iron on labels with a sewing needles and thread, on a yellow background

Are you looking for a cost-effective and reliable way to label clothing? Whether it’s for an elderly relative in a care home, a child at school or yourself, a sew-in name label is a great solution to the problem of lost and mistakenly swapped garments.

But not all sew in name labels are of a high quality. And there are some alternatives out there. To ensure you make the correct choice, we’ve put together a short sew-in name labels buyer’s guide. Whether you’re used to name tapes or woven sew labels, the answers you’re looking for are right here.

Why People Use a woven or printed sew in Name Label in clothes

With so many easier and cheaper alternatives on the market today, you might be forgiven for wondering why anyone would choose sew-in name labels over iron-on labels or stickers. But the answer is quite simple: people tend to stick with what they know.

For years, sew-on labels were the most common way to identify school clothing. Permanent, attractive and almost infallible, woven sew-on labels (or event printed sew on labels) were considered to be the traditional way to label school uniforms and other garments.

Even today — when there are some very good stickers and iron-on name labels on the market — sew-in name labels are still the preferred method of a lot of parents.

The Advantages of a Sew-in Name Label

Sew-in labels, for many parents and grandparents, are the traditional option. There’s a sense of pride involved in skilfully fixing labels into place with just some string and a needle. Despite the fact that name stickers and iron-on labels are more effective than ever, this will never change.

Another advantage of sew-in name labels involves longevity. Once the label has been sewn firmly onto the garment, it’s very unlikely to come off. However, with My Nametags' 10 year guarantee on iron on name tags, this is no longer a unique selling point for sew on labels.

The Disadvantages of a Sew-in Name Label

The most obvious disadvantage of a sew-in name label is the time it takes to fix them to garments. Even if you have needle skills, attaching a name label this way can take several minutes. Parents in particular are busier than ever these days, so they don’t always have time for stitchcraft.

The other main disadvantage is the permanency of a sew-in label. Once it’s in place, removing it is impractical — and risks damage to the garment. If you’re looking for a semi-permanent alternative, name stickers you attached to care and brand labels are probably a better choice.

Very few people these days have the needle skills to attach clothing tags this way. Woven sew-in name labels look fantastic, but only if they’re stitched into place with precision and skill. That’s why more and more people are turning to stickers and iron-on name labels.

Order iron-on labels instead

Woven sew in Name Labels v Iron on Labels

Iron-on name labels deliver the same results as sew in name tapes — but without the hassle, time and skill required. Manufactured with waterproof, durable materials and adhesives designed to melt into fabrics when heat is applied, iron-on name labels are easier and faster to use. Not only that, but they’re also customizable and cost-effective.

There will always be people who prefer a sew in school label. But for the simplest alternative, switching to iron-on quality school labels from My Nametags is the best possible option.

If you want to read more about our iron on name labels or shop for our personalised iron-on labels, click on the buttons below.

How to Personalise Sew In Name Labels

The manufacturing process and the cost involved makes finding and ordering personalised woven, sew-in labels more difficult than ever. And the customization options —when they’re available — are often limited.

You can create a range of personalised iron-on name labels and stickers with My Nametags, however. While the results are equally as reliable and robust, they’re often a lot more distinctive.

Choose a brand that allows you to create your own name labels using an online design tool. You’ll be able to add the text you want, along with a selection of colour options, illustrations, fonts and design decals.

From a single design, you can get dozens of identical iron-on name labels and stickers — keeping the cost of identifying your garments to a minimum. Personalising sew-in labels is an altogether more costly endeavour.

How to order sew in name labels alternatives

If you want to read more about our iron on name labels or shop for our personalised iron-on labels, click on the buttons below.

Design your name tags

Learn about iron on name labels

the best iron on name tags for clothes


Queen’s Award Winner

We were presented with the a Queen's Award by HRH King Charles III (then The Prince of Wales) in recognition of bringing quality and innovative products to international markets.


Happy Customers

Because of our commitment to first rate service and quality products, we have a near 100% customer satisfaction rating in multiple countries which is unmatched in the nametag market.


For kids and Adults

Thanks to our design tool, adults and kids alike can create perfect labels. This is because you can make a total of 19,474,560 combinations using our range of designs, backgrounds and fonts!


Promoting Sustainability

A total of 1.4 million lost school uniforms (354 tonnes of plastic) ends up in landfill each year in the UK (My Nametags, 2020). Help our planet now by labelling to prevent loss.

FAQs in bold in blue, organge, green, and red text
How do you sew on name labels?

Most labels are sewn into fabrics using a standard sewing needle and thread. It’s usually easier to do this by hand, but you can use a sewing machine if you have the necessary skills.

At My Nametags, we recommend using iron-on name labels instead of the sew-in variety. They’re usually cheaper, fully customisable and exceptionally easy to apply.

Are sew on or iron on labels better?

Sew-on name labels take longer to apply, and the risk of making a mistake is quite high. Iron-on name labels deliver the same results with minimal effort — and in just a few seconds.

While some people will always prefer the traditional method of labelling garments, the My Nametags team believes that iron-on name labels are, overall, the best option.

How do you make fabric labels for handmade items?

The easiest way to make fabric name labels for handmade items is to cut and shape offcuts of the original material. Alternatively, an iron-on label is quicker and easier.

How do you sew names on clothes?

The simplest way to sew names onto clothes involves sewing a custom-woven name label into the garment by hand. You can also use a sewing machine if you have the necessary skills.

Do iron-on name labels work?

Yes, iron-in name labels are a fast, simple and efficient alternative to sew-on name labels. In fact, the latest adhesives mean iron-on labels last longer than the garments they identify.

How do you put labels on clothes?

There are three effective ways to put labels on clothes: iron-on labels, name stickers and sew-in labels. Iron-on labels are permanent alternatives to the traditional method.

If you don’t have the time or skills for stitching woven badges and name labels onto clothes, it’s easier to use either name stickers or iron-on clothing tags. Stickers must be applied to a care label, however. If you want a permanent solution that you can apply directly to fabrics, look for personalised iron-on name labels. There is a wide selection of designs and sizes to choose from at My Nametags.