paisley from drone

Paisley has a rich and varied history. Many industries have thrived in and around the town including shipyards and textiles. This history includes the Coats family who produced Canton crepe and then became famous for threads and for building the Ferguslie Thread Works.

 Those industries have long gone but they have left their mark on the town and people still associate the area with the famous Paisley pattern. Nowadays, the town is going through something of a rejuvenation and was short-listed for UK City of Culture 2021, ultimately losing out to Coventry.

 Although there is no longer a textile industry in Paisley, retail is thriving and in nearby Glasgow, shoppers pour into Buchanan Street to enjoy the second largest retail area in the whole of the UK.

 One item that will be attached to anything made from textiles will be a hang tag. These small swing tags are used to help the textile, fabric, and fashion industry move their products. 

What are hanging or swing tags?

In the US, the term hang tags is mostly used, whereas in the UK they are often referred to as swing tags. They are normally made from light cardboard and cut in a rectangular shape.

 They will normally carry the manufacturer’s name and logo along with other information. While they might seem like a simple label they are actually very useful devices for conveying information about the material used in an item and its background.

 Swing tags or price tags have moved on since they were first introduced and nowadays they are custom designed and made to stand out in a retail environment. 

Where are hang tags displayed?

Textiles can be used in a wide variety of products. They will be used in clothing most frequently but they are also used in towels, table cloths, bags, and bedding.

 Back in Paisley’s heyday, labeling would have been a simpler affair and if you are interested in the town’s past then Sma Shot Cottages is a beautifully restored piece of weaving history. Nowadays, labeling has to contain certain details due to legislation and the law. Hang tags, however, are used in different ways. 

What is displayed on a hang tag?

A hang tag can be used for marketing purposes and although they are small, they can contain a lot of useful information that can even swing a sale. 

One smart use of hang tags is to print QR codes onto them. These days, so many people have smartphones that the internet is literally at most people’s fingertips. Instead of a garment manufacturer printing lots of information on their hang tag, they can just put a QR code on there for the customer to scan with their phone.

 This will instantly bring up all sorts of information for the shopper to read. Typical details might include materials used, any allergens contained in the materials, and how eco-friendly the production process was. 

Environmentally friendly textile production

One problem with textile and garment manufacturing across the world is that it is often a source of pollution. 

 Paisley pattern has its origins in both Persia and India, and indeed the textile industry is one of the biggest areas of manufacturing in India today. However, it is also a huge problem with chemicals, dyes, and waste, polluting the air and the waterways.

 As shoppers get much wiser to how brand names are affecting the environment they look more for businesses that care. Hang tags are ideal for displaying these credentials and therefore increasing sales.

 If the material is chemical and dye-free and made from natural materials it will appeal to someone concerned about manufacturing processes and perhaps allergens. 

What other reasons are these tags used for?

Apart from informing consumers of how good the garment is in terms of being carbon-neutral or fair-trade, it can also be used for other purposes.

 They can be used as vouchers for money off next purchases, discounts, or as a call-to-action and a way to encourage the shopper to sign up to a mailing list for instance.

 The companies that make these tags usually manufacture all types of other labels too. Sew-on or iron-on labels can be custom made and interestingly they can also produce a custom quilting label. A quilting label is a unique item that can be used to record and preserve the heritage and history of a quilt. Something that would appeal to anyone with a sense of history about textiles and manufacturing. 


Although the textile industry itself left Paisley a long time ago, the products made from the modern version of this industry continue to flood retail operations. Hang tags may not have existed back then but they are very much part of how manufacturers now sell their goods.

 A simple but effective way to inform customers, display information about the manufacturing process, and then help convert sales.