Something I've been wanting for ages is create my own labels for all the soft handcrafted goods I make for my store Hello Magpie. Twill tape labels, to be exact. Simple, soft and natural, twill tape labels are the perfect kind of label, but I ran into a few issues when sourcing them from professional label companies: 1. minimums and 2. cost. Most of the companies I looked into require a minimum order of 1,000 labels, which is many more than I'm ready to use right now. The cost issue? Every dollar is precious and 200 of them is more than I'm willing to part with, just to have the perfect sew-in label right now.
After a fruitful Google search, I came across a couple tutorials on how to print my own twill labels that I wanted to give a try: SouleMama's direct-printed version and PatchworkPottery's iron-on style twill tape labels.
Because I liked the idea of not using an unnatural material (the iron-on paper), I first tried SouleMama's tutorial. Basically, the idea is to create your labels in a program (like Word, for example), print onto a sheet of paper, tape down the twill ribbon over the print out and run it through your printer again, printing directly onto the twill tape. For the life of me, I don't know how she managed to get hers to work, but I gave up my futile attempts. The ink didn't take like I had hoped and the image result was fuzzy.
I followed PatchworkPottery's tutorial completely, having created a full-page logo sheet, with mirrored type. *You want to either mirror the logo in your software or print mirrored, so when you transfer it onto the twill tape, it doesn't read backward. My twill tape was 1/2" width, so I cut each single line in 1/2" strips. I let the iron preheat (cotton setting, no steam) for 5-10 minutes, used a scrap of muslin over the ironing board and lined up my first transfer strip, face-down, onto the tape. To keep things even, I started at an end and slowly worked my way up the transfer paper, ironing in circles for 20-30 seconds (but follow the transfer paper instructions to make sure you get it right.) Also, as PatchworkPottery suggested, I left the backing paper on until I was finished. I tried it both ways, but it didn't look any different and keeping the paper on made doing it all at once much easier, so I went with it. (That way, the already-transferred image didn't accidentally get melted, either.)