If this style of union label has no R, then the garment was made between June 28, 1963 and April 21, 1964. HISTORY: As the outsourcing of garment production abroad became more common, a campaign to encourage American clothing consumers “To Look for the Union Tag” was born in 1975.

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Vintage clothing pickers and sellers often use ILGWU union labels to help identify the general era a piece of clothing was made because the union tag’s design (which has changed 8 times since 1900) can help narrow the garment’s age within a window of approximately 10 to 20 years.

To conclude a garment’s exact era, it’s recommended that you use my Dating Vintage as Clothing and 5 Ways to Date the Age of Vintage Clothing for more help, and subscribe to my newsletter for dating vintage tips only available to subscribers.

HISTORY: The scalloped crest in front of a needle and thread was adopted in the ’50s.

If you see an ILGWU union label without one, you can conclude the garment was made pre-1950s.

This positive propaganda even released a jingle to support its cause, which you can listen to thanks to the Labor Arts site here.

ERA: 1995 to 2005 LOOK FOR: The scalloped circle over a needle and thread is gone, replaced with a more minimalist style approach. is most prominent and found below “Union of Needletrades Industrial & Textile Employees.” “Union Made in the USA” follows.

Visit my article for 13 tips on dating vintage clothing labels!

I decided to tackle this article to create a compilation of union labels in one place on the Internet.

The design with AFL-CIO was introduced to the label after the AFL (American Federation of Labor) and CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) unions merged on December 5th, 1955 under the ILGWU.

ERA: 1964 to 1973 LOOK FOR: Scalloped circle in front of a needle and thread, but placement of words has changed.

HISTORY: The quintessential design of a scalloped circle with needle and thread disappears because the ILGWU merges with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers of America (ACTWU, men’s clothing union) to form UNITE!