Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tag, You're it!

Note from Mel:  This week I'll be running some of my favorite posts from the past two years.  Consider it a "retrospective".  Maybe you'll discover some posts you never got to see the first time around!  :D

Here's an ephemeral item from the "Who knew?" file:  clothes tags!

And by "Who knew?", I mean, who knew these were available in bulk? 

Before this wave of collaging with ephemera became popular, I would imagine that these little gems sat, patiently waiting, in junque shops and antique stores all over the US and Europe.  Because really, unless your initials match up with those on the tag, why would you want it?

I'm so glad that these were able to be salvaged (or should I say, "selvedged"?  Get it?  Sorry, bad sewing joke.).  I love the antique linen tags in all of their grunginess.  The store and company tags are fantastic too!  And now, for a confession:  see this Starcy one here?  Um, well, I ripped it off of a tie before giving that tie to Goodwill.  Does that make me a bad person?  :D  I do love the fact that it says "Cravats of Distinction" and proudly displays the Union Jack, but right below it clearly says "Made in the USA". Hysterical!  :D

I wonder, too, how these Schuetze's tags survived.  The quick search that I did on the internet came up with an obituary of the mother of these two men that owned/operated the store; the mother, Sophie Schuetze, died in 1979 at the age of 105.  So if she was born in 1874, her sons were probably born around the turn of the 20th century, which probably would place these tags in maybe the 30s or 40s.  Can you imagine any store taking the time to make their own tags today?  And my guess is that if they placed the tags in the clothes, they probably made or tailored the clothes.  Fascinating.  And now I have a little of that history.  :D

Those tags where I own multiples of course get used in my artwork!  Here are a couple of pieces where those tags totally made the work:


  1. I saw a quilt once made ENTIRELY of clothing tags! Very cool.

  2. Oh Ronna - now THAT I have to see! I'm off to Google that right now. :D

  3. This stuff is really cool! And thanks for running old posts...I hadn't seen this one!

    1. Thanks Kristi! I actually ran these last week because I was super busy with our garage sale and Tour the Town, but I'm so glad you're discovering the old posts! This is definitely one of my favorites - there's something so awesome about these old tags, isn't there? :D