Question: What are some alternative labeling techniques to use in needle arts with vision loss?

Labeling with organization is key to preventing much frustration in the process of making projects. There are many forms of labeling depending on one’s vision, tactile discrimination or personal preferences. Choices for alternative labeling come in low tech to high tech formats such as: Large print, tactile or braille, audible or barcode readers.

I use the “Spotters” or “Loc-dots” or small transparent “Bump-ons” or 3-D paint for marking stitch length and stitch width dials on the sewing machines; also, for marking surfaces on other equipment. The “Match Makers” are great for marking quilt pieces. I like a tin with safety pins or paper clips glued on the lid to identify the container. A couple of my favorites for braille labels, though now hard to find, are clear “Dymo” half-inch adhesive tape (other brands have very poor adhesive) and Heavy Teflon tape. If the teflon is not 1/16-inch thick, the braille dots will melt with the heat of the laundry/iron.

The bar code readers, such as the “i.d.mate” or “Summit”, are great. They are useful if very detailed information, such as descriptions of fabric content, print and color are desired to be recorded in the labeling. Color identifiers come in several languages, yet seem to be only 80% accurate with fabrics. They are different from the bar code readers.

Here is a list of labeling options to assist you to keep on enjoying needle arts without sight.

Large Print Options

A “20/20 pen” or “Sharpie pen” may be used on a plastic or paper index card attached with tape or elastic cording or a safety pin.

Tactile Options

3-D paint, such as “Scribbles” to make dots, lines or raised letters.

“Bump-on dots” or “Can-Do dots” are thick, heavy transparent dots in 3 sizes.

Buttons of different shapes and sizes.

Letters in large plastic or foam shapes threaded with elastic cording.

“Match Makers” are 238 safety pins in the set marked with 17 different dot configurations.

Miniature replica shapes or samples of items glued on the lid of a container or attached with a rubber band.

Rhinestones or crystals or lightweight aluminum decorative iron-on shapes or decals.

Rubber bands of different widths and numbers on a container.

“Spotters” or “Loc-dots” are very small raised, transparent dots.

Stainless steel safety pins of different sizes placed in different numbers or configurations.

Braille Options

“Braillable” labels are plastic adhesive labels of rectangular sizes in 1-inch, 2-inch or 4-inch x 4-inch that can be brailled in a brailler or slate.

“Color Clothes Braille Markers” are pre-brailled tags.

Paper or plastic index cards can be brailled and attached with tape or elastic cording.

Audible Options

“i.d.mate Omni” or “Summit” have Bar codes on adhesive or iron-on or elastic tags to make own bar coding and a note-taker.

“Pen Friend” is a voice labeling system and note-taker.

“Sherlock Talking Label Identifier” is a digital voice recorder with adhesive and plastic tags.

Color Identifier Options

Color Test II

Colorino Talking Identifier

Speechmaster Talking Color Identifier by Cobolt

Brytech Color Teller

Resources for these label suggestions are found on the Resource page of this site.