Basics of Adhesive Wire Labels

Basics of Adhesive Wire Labels

Adhesive labels are a great economical way to identify wires in an assembly. (For a look at the overall importance of identifying wires with labels see Wire Labels: Continuous Vs. Ladder Style Heat Shrink Sleeves on page X) As with any technology, the selection of the proper material is the key to success with adhesive labels. Label materials have varying degrees of memory. They come flat and have a tendency to want to remain flat. Absent proper material selection, a label can begin to unpeel or flag up.

Common materials are foil, polyester and vinyl. The most common material used is vinyl due to its durability and conformability.

There are three main types of adhesive labels, wrap around, self-laminating and cable flags.

Wrap-around labels (Figure 1) are available in different sizes and can be printed on a thermal transfer or laser printer with the legends needed to mark wires or cables. These labels can be ordered pre-printed.

Figure 1. Wrap-around Label

Self-laminating labels (Figure 2) are available in different sizes and can be printed on a thermal transfer or laser printer. They will have a white printable area and a clear laminating tail that will wrap around the wire and cover up the printable area for extra protection.

Figure 2. Self-laminating Label

Cable flag labels (Figure 3) can fit several lines of data and even barcodes. Cable flags are also adhesive labels, but rather than wrapping flat around the wire, they adhere to themselves and stand out like a flag. Due to the thinness at the neck of the material that wraps around the wire, these labels are generally less durable than other types. They make up for this lessened durability with increased labeling space, making it easy to fit multiple lines of data on a small wire or cable.

Figure 3. Cable Flag Label


About Dasco Label

Many Thanks to Ken Shultz of Dasco Labels for compiling this material. Dasco provides extensive labeling solutions for the wire processing industry. Dasco specializes in leading customers to a labeling system that’s right for the application. You can purchase labels and printers online at or contact them at 877-855-2235.