There comes a time when your child will require their possessions named, and if someone other than you is looking after your child before they start school, for any length of time, this could soon creep up on you! Initially, I had purchased ye olde traditional sew-in name tapes. Simple, effective, TIME CONSUMING! Of course, it does only take a few minutes to find the needle, find the thread, thread the needle, sew one side, tie a knot, sew the other side, then tie a knot. For each item. Sort of mounts up when you have many items, as I know my son has. There’s a selection of short sleeved t-shirts, long sleeved t-shirts, fleeces, vests, trousers, shorts, a comforter, his bag, his shoes, hat, scarf, two mittens…need I go on? Plus new/replacement items to be labelled tend to come in dribs and drabs so you can’t really have one mammoth session of labelling to maximise efficiency. You might start out that way, but you will find yourself having to set up your needle and thread frequently in the early days as children go through sizes rapidly and seasons change. Yes, it is possible to sew them in, and yes, we do all have the ability to do it, and yes, our mothers/friends/aunts etc will all have done it in the past and lived to tell the tale. But if there was an alternative that achieves exactly the same in less time, I was more than willing to consider it.
Enter Petit-Fernand: a company which, among other things, manufactures labels that simply peel off the backing sheet and are stuck onto the garment’s care label and stay there, even after repeated wear, washing and tumble drying. Your garment is labelled in about 5 seconds flat. The stick-on clothing labels have the advantage of being easily personalised, so if your child is old enough to want an input, they can tailor it in terms of font, picture and background to reflect their personality (and the result is super cute), but also, tailored in terms of the information you wish to include, which can prove useful outside the childcare/education setting. For example, in addition to my son’s name, I added my mobile number, so that if he drops an item whilst we are out and about, it stands a chance of being returned to us if someone finds it (after all, if no-one knows who my son is, they can’t get it back to him!) But for me, the real selling point was simply TIME (see ‘What to do with the time’ for more on time).
If you like the principal, they do a range of other products aimed at labelling other items: I also opted to try their adhesive shoe labels. These work on the same principle as the clothing labels, but are manufactured slightly differently to be completely friction and perspiration resistant, so they still are very clear and new-looking despite wear, unlike the old ‘writing it on with a biro’ method, which in my experience rubs off with time.
The only alternative solution that I could think of which is virtually as quick and long lasting is writing with a permanent marker. However, although quick, and, well, permanent, that’s just it… if you hope to use the items again with another child, there may be some scribbling out and re-writing involved (if there’s space), and sometimes, more importantly, the ink can bleed into the label resulting in the name being very unclear, therefore defeating the object. And there’s no going back.
They arrive in a neat, chequebook-style format that keeps all of the labels (regardless of how many different types of labels or different children they are intended for) together in one place, along with detailed instructions on how to use them. As you can see from the pictures below, you can simply flip to the labels you need at that particular time (the labels visible in the second picture are the adhesive shoe labels, accompanied by the sheets of protective film that make them resistant to perspiration and friction).
In the case of the stick-on clothing labels, simply peel off from the sheet, and hold against your garment label firmly for a few seconds, as shown below (note the cute background and picture):
For the shoe labels, place the protective film provided over the name sticker and press firmly into the shoe, as shown below:
I will be ‘sticking’ with stick-on clothing labels in the future I think, as they simply do the job quickly and with none of the drawbacks of other methods. They are, I have to say, more pricey than some methods, but in my view, the time and hassle saving is worth it and for the quality of them I think the price represents good value for money. I realise not everyone will feel this way, but it’s working well for us 🙂
I have both received free products from Petit-Fernand and paid for some myself. The above represents my honest opinion and is intended to help other mums.