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Blog Home Tagless Printing What is a Tag Free Neck Label?
Tagless PrintingJune 23, 2022

What is a Tag Free Neck Label?

Tagless Printing
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Almost every single item we purchase or own has some sort of label adhered to it. Even produce, such as apples and oranges have a label, avocados have a sticker saying, “soft when ripe”. Apparel is no different. In fact, our clothing labels contain vital information. A tag free neck label, or tagless neck label is Inkcups Tagless’ favorite topic of discussion. Tag free neck labels include all that pertinent information, less the physical addition of a tag.

Let’s be honest, how many itchy tags have you removed over the course of your life? They stand no chance at survival against a seam ripper. How many tags on formal wear have you removed in fear of them showing during an event? Only to later realize you have no idea whether if is a dry clean only item? Even better, who is at fault of writing with a child’s name in black permanent marker on a tag hoping this winter jacket would make its way to and from school? But then when it comes time to wash it you’re at a loss whether it should be a cold or warm wash.

These problems and more are all reasons to bypass a traditional apparel tag and opt for a tag free neck label for your business. Pad printing tag free neck labels directly onto the garment opens numerous doors for marketing opportunities and personalization.

Federal Trade Commission Requirements

The tagless neck label process starts by removing the tearaway tag from the shirt. It is important to note that all manufacturers will include some type of tag on garments because it is required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The following three pieces of information must be stated: fabric content, country of origin, and manufacturer.

Additionally, the Care Labeling Rule, set by the FTC requires that “manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel and goods; provides regular instructions to purchases through care labels or other methods…” (

To ensure you are complying with the FTC’s regulations make sure you are well versed on the Registered Identification Number (RN) they issue. You are not required to use an RN and can use your company business name instead of the RN, but the more information you gather along the way, the better off you will be. Find the FTC’s Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Registered Identification Number for additional information.

In July of 2021 the FTC voted to retain their Care Labeling Rule after it was proposed to be repealed in the summer of 2020 which followed with an outpouring of consumers reaching out to the FTC opposing the repeal of the rule. The FTC noted that the rule is necessary to ensure consumers get accurate information regarding care and extended life of their garments. The Care Labeling Rule has been in place since 1971. More information on the matter can be found here.

While it is easy to look at all these requirements as a nuisance, look at the bright side of the opportunity presented. By printing your own tag free neck label you are able to add another level of personalization to your apparel.  Ask yourself, “Could my apparel business be elevated with tag free neck labels featuring my own branding?” If the answer is yes, read on to find out more.

Potential Snags with Tearaway Tags

As previously mentioned, all garments come with a tag containing the required information. That being said, you can purchase apparel with tearaway tags to brand for yourself, however not all tearaway tags remove cleanly. Sometimes a bit of tag is left behind in order to not rip a hole in the collar of the shirt. How does one remedy this issue? Do your research and purchase shirts that have tearaway tags that have lightweight, paper-like garment tags, meant for rebranding. This will ensure easy removal and a blank canvas to print your own custom tag free neck label. It is also possible to find shirts without a tag at the collar attached. However, these will have tags sewn in seam of the side of the shirt containing required information instead.

How to Get Started?

Inkcups has all the resources available for manufacturers to ease your transition to tag free neck labels directly on our website. Whether your operation is global, contract, or small scaled we have the information ready. Visit our page, How to Switch to Tagless Labels to check it out.

Tag free neck labels are printed with a pad printer. Pad printing has been around for a couple hundred years at this point, the process is straight forward. The process goes as follows: a logo etched into a plate, (otherwise known as a cliché) is transferred by a pad to the piece of apparel. Simultaneously an ink cup travels back and forth along the cliché filling the etched logo with ink and while removing all the excess. The operator holds the piece of apparel in place, often assisted by a tagless tooling fixture. The pad is pressed into the apparel and the operator grabs the next piece of apparel for the process to repeat itself.

Pad printers are available in numerous sizes, accommodating artwork up to 7.5”, and up to six colors. Traditionally, tag free neck labels are only one or two colors. Compared to silk screening, pad printing has no dry time. A pad printing operator can print tagless label after tagless label without having to worry about dry time, or stacking. Sewn-in tags and heat transfers become obsolete practices when compared to pad printing for tagless labels.

Our most popular pad printers for tag free neck labels include:B100 TAGLESS PAD PRINTER



Pair any one of those pad printing machines with: SB Eco Series for Apparel Tag, SB Inks, or SB Brite Opaque Garment Printer Inks. These inks are all specially formulated for fabrics. All three lines of ink can be immediately stacked without smudging or bleeding and can be washed after 24 hours. Both SB Eco and SB Ink can withstand up to 50 industrial washes!

For more information, reach out to one of our knowledgeable Tagless team members! They are more than happy to answer any individual questions you may have and get you started.


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