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Understanding legal label requirements

We supply mainly New Zealand and Australian customers with labels. For other countries, please refer to your local government websites for any regulations.

There are several things you need to have on your labels:

  • Brand
  • Size
  • Fibre content
  • Care information
  • Country of origin

Specific details about what is required can be found in the list of links below. Due to copyright of the standards, we cannot go into any more specifics of what is required.

The Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2392:1999 specifies the content and placement of labels on clothing, household textiles and furnishings manufactured in these countries.

The Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1957:1998 outlines care information, care phrases and their meanings and lists what items the regulations do and do not apply to.

The Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NSZ 2450:1994 specifies the generic names of man-made and natural fibres. The fibre content of your items needs to be listed using the generic fibre names only and not brand names such as Lycra and Bemberg - which are trademark names.

The Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2622:1996 specifies how the fibre content information should be written, tolerable allowances for error and what items are exempt from permanent label requirements.

The Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2621:1998 specifies guidelines to assist manufacturers in the selection of appropriate care labelling instructions from AS/NZS 1957 and specifies basic performance requirements and test methods for colourfastness and dimensional stability which may be used to determine whether an article complies with those requirements when cleaned in accordance with the instructions on the label.

The Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1249:2014 specifies labelling requirements for children's nightwear garments, together with some daywear/underwear items that may be commonly used as nightwear.

The Australian Standard AS 1182:1997 specifies the size coding scheme for infants' and children's clothing. This is relevant to anyone who supplies clothing to the Australian market.

The New Zealand Commerce Commission also have some free PDF fact sheets you may like to look at available of the links below.

What types of fabric labels are available from Labels by Shelley Ltd?

white satin custom clothing labels

White satin with black printing

White satin with black printing is the most popular. This is a great choice for care labels or combined logo/care labels to sew into the back neck or back waist of garments. The black printing is printed only as full black 100% opacity - no shading, no grey. If you logo is not suitable to be made into a black image, then it may not be the right choice. A popular option if you want these but have a complex logo, is to have the logo text only, and get a coloured or woven label with the full logo to sew elsewhere. Black printing is done via thermal transfer of resin ink and is wash tested to last over 60 washes at 40ºC for full 100 minute washes. When used in instances of high abrasion (sewn to a dog collar or on a child's cuddly toy that gets very loved), the ink may wear off much faster. A woven label is the best option for items which will be treated roughly/washed more frequently.

custom printed full colour clothing labels

White satin can also be printed in full colour. A different and much more involved manual printing method is used and therefore the full colour labels cost more than the black on white. CMYK colours are used. Metallic colours are not possible. These labels have permanent printing which does not fade over time. 

black satin custom printed clothing labels

Black satin with matte silver print or gold foil print are great options for anyone after something different than white. The ink can be printed at 100% opacity only (no gradient). The matte silver ink is very close to white and we have chosen to supply this as it has better washfastness to the white inks we have tested. The matte silver is wash tested to last over 40 washes. The gold foil ink is wash tested to last over 70 washes.

custom printed polyester tape care labels

White polyester tape (or polytape) is a non fraying fabric which has a more papery feel to it. Images don't print very detailed on this one, all printing comes up slightly more pixelated. These are best used for care labels or information labels. The polytape with black printing is wash tested to last over 60 washes. Do not iron polytape labels with a hot iron or steam, they will melt. You can easily iron around these labels or iron on a low heat just quickly as you iron the garment around them.


Iron-on polyester tape comes in a 15mm wide tape only. This is used for naming clothing and can be printed in black only with text and small black on white images. Iron-on name labels can be bought in online, but if you require an iron on polyester tape label for another purpose, please get in touch for a special order.

transparent swimwear labels

Transparent PU label tape is primarily used for swimwear. It doesn't absorb water so it is therefore great for applications where it is exposed to water.


Yes, cotton tape labels are now available printed with our new state of the art digital label printer. Very fine printing is possible. The flexible inks are durable and crisp, however the printing is not heat resistant to high temperatures so these are only for garments/items not intended for ironing and tumble drying


We work with an offshore supplier to supply woven labels. Like cotton labels, it is our understanding that no businesses in New Zealand make this type of label in New Zealand. You will find other suppliers like us also import these labels. There are some suppliers who make embroidered patches locally, these are a different product and we do not supply embroidered labels.

Our supplier produces high quality damask or satin woven labels. Damask is the popular low sheen choice. We liase with them from start to finish to ensure you get your labels without any language barrier issues or quality problems that you may expect when dealing with an overseas manufacturer yourself.

Please email any enquiries for a quote to or fill in a woven label quotation request here.

More info about ordering woven labels:

When you place an order for custom woven labels we send you artwork for approval which shows your logo, the dimensions, the colour and the layout of the label. It is important you approve this and are 100% happy as the design is then set up in the machines for weaving. Your order must then be paid for before proceeding.

If you opt to pay with Afterpay, let us know and we can send you a link to purchase your order online.

The factory then start the set up and run off some labels and I'll send you an email with photos for approval of the colour and quality. Samples take up to 5 working days. It's appreciated if you keep an eye on your emails and try not to take too long to approve. If we can keep making the labels as soon as possible, it helps not having to take the set up off the loom so other orders can go ahead.

If you do not like the colour or quality of the label or find there appears to be imperfections, we can then adjust the label set up and continue. Sometimes a second sample will be made, or if the changes are minor (e.g. change background from white to light grey), we then proceed to production.

Production takes around 2 weeks. The labels go through machines for pressing/folding and quality control, manual packing and sorting etc. The orders slot in with a busy factory, so please do not expect the labels to be completed just days after you approve your sample.

The labels are then shipped to us in our Auckland office. We do a quality control here and then pack and send out your order to you.

If you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Uploading files for printing

An editable PDF (saved from a vector file) is best. We work with Illustrator. Also, please convert all text to outlines/shapes so that we do not need to download any font files to open your logo file.

If you do not have vectors, then a .jpg/.jpeg or .png is also fine, you will be emailed a sample photo and if the quality is not great because of the file, this will be picked up before printing the lot.

If you are unsure, send what you have and we will let you know if it is not suitable.

Your logo may not be the optimal contrast or format for printing in a single colour. For best results, we can edit the logo and send it through to you if you require. The surcharge is just $8.

Other common questions

The following payment methods are available:


We usually print out a sample of your custom clothing labels for approval before printing the lot.

The following items are not sampled, a screenshot will be emailed for approval instead:

  • cotton labels
  • polyester tape labels
  • iron on labels (custom design)
  • circle stickers

Items printed without approval straight from the order:

  • name labels
  • iron-on name labels
  • size labels
  • standard format care labels (purchased with the default code)

Samples are usually done within 1 week of ordering. Orders are not always processed in the order they are received due to batch processing of orders on the same label tapes. If you order a label on black satin, sometimes this can take a little longer to process due to the white label being a more popular choice.

There is no need to worry about it if you would like the layout edited. Just reply to the email with your sample photo and let us know what you need changed.  Changes are free unless they involve a change in the length of material or a change in ink colour or printing process. Such changes can be invoiced out if you are interested to make these changes.

Please make sure you browse the site and view plenty of pictures of the products before you order.  If you are particular about layout, please don't hesitate to reply to your order confirmation with added diagrams or files explaining the look you require. If there is a particular label you like the layout of, send us a photo.

Due to the set-up time involved, if you simply change your mind after purchasing and sampling, we can only offer a 60% refund.

Black on white or white/gold on black labels:

  • We aim to work within a 10 day turnaround on locally printed products.
  • Delivery 1-3 days NZ | approximately 3 days DHL to Australia | rest of world 5-15 business days delivery

How quickly orders move through depends on how busy it is when you order. Please allow up to 10 days for order processing of printed labels and send us an email before you place an urgent order so we can advise if it is possible.

Orders are batch processed with other orders of the same material type. Sometimes your order may move quickly through if there are a lot of others of the same type being printed. Some label types are less common and therefore need to wait their turn (until all orders received beforehand have been processed).

Colour printed labels:

  • Up to 2 days to receive a digital proof
  • Up to 8 working days to print once digital proof is approved
  • Delivery 1-3 days NZ | approximately 3 days DHL to Australia | rest of world 5-15 business days delivery

Coloured labels are not sampled but a digital proof of the layout is sent instead. These are not able to be printed one at a time and therefore sampling is not possible. The manual labour involved in printing coloured labels is much more than black and white labels and therefore we allow extra time so that if it is a busy week the labels can be processed over a few days.


Woven labels:

  • Up to 1 week after the order is paid to receive a sample
  • Up to 3.5 weeks after the sample is approved to receive your order (+ 3 working days for Australia)

We cannot process urgent woven label orders. We work with a busy factory and the labels will slot into the production schedule. Sometimes labels are delivered within 3 weeks, but 4 weeks is average.


Sticker labels:

  • Up to 2 days to receive a digital proof
  • Up to 2 days to dispatch after sample is approved
  • Delivery 1-3 days NZ | approximately 3 days DHL to Australia | rest of world 5-15 business days delivery

A selection of fonts are available (see below).  If you do not specify any fonts we will use what fits best and is clearest to read.

Sometimes when you specify a font, the characters will not fit on the label well which is why you should only specify fonts when you absolutely need them to be different - for brand names especially.

Font should be no smaller than 2mm high and sometimes that may mean care instructions need to be capitalised so all characters are legible.

Some of our favourite fonts are:

Pathway Gothic One for care information and country of origin - this one prints so nice and clear and fits a lot on because it is a medium width font. Text in this font usually needs to be at least 7pt to be legible. This is a great font to use in upper case for the care information.

Glacial Indifference or Century Gothic for fibre content and when there is less care information to fit. This is a lovely clear easy to read sans-serif font.

You can send us a link to a free font online or email a font file. Please ensure the licence allows the font to be printed on labels (it may specify it can be used for t-shirt printing which means it's ok).


We have printed continuous ribbon for gift wrapping for some of our clients. Please get in touch for a quote.