Why Switch to Tagless Shirt Labels?

Save time. Save money. Go Tagless.

Tagless shirt labels are the newest evolution in garment labeling technology. Tagless pad printing is the most cost-effective and flexible alternative to heat transfer or sewn-in labels. Print tags directly onto any type of garment from underwear to outerwear with tagless label printing. Learn more about the benefits of a tag printing machines for clothes.

The Benefits of Going Tagless

Lower Costs

  • Average cost of supplies per print: $0.003
  • Utility consumption: 0.0096 KW per printing machine
  • 40% fewer printing machines and operators needed than with older technology

Save Time

  • Print 800 parts per hour on a single machine (60% faster than heat transfer)
  • Brand-new graphics (or adjusted graphics/colors) are ready for print in less than 30 minutes
  • No drying process or additional equipment necessary

Improve Quality

  • Withstand 50 industrial washes
  • Soft to the touch tags, even after washing
  • Tags stretch with the substrate, won’t crack, distort, or break
  • Print fine-line text as small as 6pt type

Pad Printing Garment Tags Process

A pad printing machine utilizes a silicone print pad to pick up printing ink from an etched plate (cliché) and transfer it to the part. Unlike screen printing or heat transfer for garment labels, pad printing lays down a thin layer of ink, effectively embedding the print into the garment fibers leaving the print soft to the touch.

The etched plate is mounted onto the pad printing machine. The ink cup (filled with ink) slides over the plate, leaving ink only in the etched area and removes (“doctors”) the ink from the rest of the plate. Next, the print pad is pressed onto the etch, picking up the ink. The pad then moves over the part and is pressed onto the garment.

Learn more about specialized pad printing ink for tagless applications.

Check out The Ultimate Guide to Pad Printing to Learn more!

Laser Plate-Making for Tagless Shirt Labels

Convert a digital image into an etched plate (cliché) within minutes. Laser plate-making gives the user flexibility to create and adjust your garment or footwear tags on-demand. No more waiting for heat transfer labels to arrive or photopolymer plates to cure! Etch a plate – and start printing the new graphics right away.




Check out our full line of laser plate makers

Why Heat Transfer Clothing Labels Just Don't Cut It

Heat transfer clothing labels may have been a decent idea to go “tagless”, however, the results are not worth the effort. A heat transfer label requires the use of at least two pieces of equipment including a printer and a heat press, both of which increase energy consumption and create a lot of waste. Once the label is applied to the right location, the backing is thrown away creating more waste, not a sustainable solution.

The heat transfer clothing label sits on top of the fabric. These labels are not durable and will crack and distort if bent, stretched, or washed a few times.

Again, heat transfer clothing labels cost more, require a long process to apply, and the results are just not durable enough.

Read our Pad Printing VS Heat Transfer Comparison


Tagless shirt labels suit most garment and footwear applications. Pad printed labels will withstand 50 industrial washes on such fabrics as cotton and cotton blends, spandex/elastane/Lycra, polyester, nylon, leather, and denim.


Tagless t-shirt label printing is perhaps the most common application. T-shirts are easy to pad print because of the uniform design. Easily print a stack of t-shirts in under a minute. Not only does the garment label look great, but the print also withstands 50 industrial washes on such fabrics as:

  • Cotton and cotton blends
  • Spandex/Lycra/Elastane
  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Leather
  • Denim


Printing garment tags on underwear is an excellent use for a tagless application. A pad printed tag is easy to print versus a sewn-in label. The tagless label has no feel to it, significantly reducing irritation from heat transfer labels or sewn-in tags. Print on a wide variety of underwear, including:

  • Boxers
  • Panties
  • Sleepwear


Printing a garment tag on sportswear is a more durable solution than other labeling methods. Sportswear requires a print that is durable, resistant to abrasion, and resist exposure to chemicals. Tagless pad printing is the ultimate durable solution. Print on these items and more:

  • Performance shirts
  • Sports bras
  • Yoga pants
  • Socks


Printed tags are non-irritant to the skin and unnoticeable to the touch – perfect for the most delicate of items! A pad printed garment tag is a delicate process that lays the minimum amount of ink down on the garment, resulting in a clear garment label on the inside and no see-through on the outside. Don’t let those annoying sewn-in labels get in the way.


A garment tag should be just as delicate as the children who wear it. Ensuring there are no harmful chemicals in the garment label as well as offer something comfortable is of the utmost importance. Printed tags have been thoroughly tested and are certified skin non-irritant. Safe for infant and children’s clothing.


About 40% of the work-force are required to wear uniforms. Uniforms account for a large portion of the garment market. Why not pad print garment labels and save on cost while increasing comfort and efficiency?

  • Scrubs
  • Chef’s jackets
  • Other uniforms


Tagless printing on footwear is a relatively new process, yet it works so well! The footwear industry can’t get enough of these label styles because they are cost-effective and durable.

Tagless Pad Printing works on:

  • Dress Shoes
  • Sneakers and other sports shoes

We’ve had success with the following shoe parts:

  • Heels
  • Insoles
  • Midsoles
  • Shoe tongues
  • Sock liners


We have over 30 offices globally that can assist in switching to tagless garment tags.

Contact us to speak to an apparel printing professional.