Friday, February 25, 2011

DIY Clothing Labels

I was all over the Internet looking for easy clothing labels without having to put out a large financial commitment. Especially since Federal Trade regulations require fiber content and washing instructions. Huge print runs for each fiber blend can become expensive.
So off to the fabric store, I went looking for alternatives.
Here's what I came up with and it works!

There are many different inkjet fabrics on the market but, there are only a few that fit my needs.
This one by Blumenthal Craft PhotoFabric 100% Cotton Poplin Roll is one of the best brands I've found for a couple of reasons.
First, it's fused "on grain". Not all brands are. This will present problems with fraying if you use a lesser brand.
Second, this is the only brand that I can find that is BOTH hand washable and dry cleanable, but only if you follow directions.
Let's begin.

I laid out my graphics so that after it's folded in half, the back side when flipped up will have all the washing and fiber information.
(You have to find your own daughter to help you with that step...sorry.)

Follow the package directions and don't skip any steps!

Run your fabric through your inkjet printer.
Let it dry completely. I actually let mine sit for about 3 hours. You want to be sure it's dry.

Peel the paper backing off and place in lukewarm water to soak and rinse.

After rinsing, I laid mine out onto a clean towel to absorb some of water before ironing.

Press hot.
I put it on the wool setting and pressed until dry with a piece of cotton as a pressing cloth always next to the inked side.
There was a very faint release of ink, but all the colors stayed vibrant, clear and clean.

Cut by using a straight edge and rotary cutter. This way you can get a VERY clean line.

Using these tools instead of scissors, will help cut "on grain" to eliminate fraying.

I finger pressed in half and folded in about a 1/4" on both top edges.

This will give you a clean area to hand or machine stitch your labels in.

They hold up well and do not seem to be fading.

Since I have just completed stitching these into about 300 alpaca hand knit items,
I am very happy with the outcome!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Hands For Hope, LLC.

It's official. I can finally talk about what has been going on these last six months. A year ago, I began working with an organization called, Project New Hope International.
One of the many areas they are working in is Trujillo, Peru. Peru is a beautiful country and the people of Peru are just as beautiful and inspiring. I was blessed to have been able to travel down there last April.
The women I have the privileged of working with, created a cooperative called Peruvian Mothers. These mothers have all been trained in textile arts. Some having felt the need to pass on what they had been taught, have gone out into barrios of Peru and trained up other mothers.

To date there are about 400 women all trained and capable of producing amazing textile work in knit, crochet, orquilla, crewel and embroidery.

My job has been to create a business here in the US to promote their work. I have been helping them design and chose colors for the US market. At our first sale we sold well over 3/4 of the beautiful alpaca hand knit luxury items and by word of mouth continued to sell through Christmas until nothing was left.

New stock is now here in the US and we are getting ready to have a
Spring Trunk show in March.
Our web site is almost done and I received my LLC papers from the state!

It's official
Our Hands For Hope, LLC
is up and running!