Embroidered patches have been around for ages, and they’re far from going out of fashion. From scouts and service personnel to rock stars and fashionistas, patches have adorned the outfits of many, demonstrating affiliations, accomplishments, or simple personal style. In recent years, there’s been a resurgence in the popularity of these patches, and it’s easy to see why. They are a versatile, easy, and affordable way to customize clothing, backpacks, hats, and more. If you’re a beginner looking to venture into the vibrant world of patches, this article is your definitive guide.
Patch type: Embroidered vs. Woven
Understanding the difference between the basic types of patches is important. Embroidered ones are what most folks think of when they imagine patches: thick, textured pieces where the design is sewed using different threads on a backing material. In contrast, woven patches are made using thinner threads woven together in a tight pattern to create a design.
While woven patches can have more detailed designs due to thinner threads, they lack the tactile feel and classic look associated with embroidered patches. For beginners, embroidered patches are a good starting point due to their wide availability and usability.
Choosing Your Patch
There are thousands of embroidered patches available on the market, enough to match every personality, hobby, or passion you can think of. Most are very affordable, so don’t worry about breaking the bank. Start by selecting patches that represent your interest or speak to your personal style.
Alternatively, consider creating a custom patch with your unique design. There are several online services available that will do this for you at a reasonable cost. Keeping in mind the final product will depend on the complexity of your design and the skill of the artisan, so it’s important to employ a reputable service provider.
Attaching Your Patch
There are three main methods of attaching patches to fabric: iron-on, sew-on, and Velcro.
1. Iron-on Patches: These are the easiest and fastest to attach. They come with a special adhesive on the back that melts under heat and sticks to the fabric. All you’ll need is a hot iron and a flat surface. This method is fast but might not be the best for heavy-duty items like backpacks (that need washing) as the patch may eventually peel off.
2. Sew-on Patches: These require a needle, thread, and a little patience. Sew-on patches don’t come with adhesive, so you’ll need to use stitching to attach them. The advantage of this method is that it creates a very secure connection that won’t peel off.
3. Velcro Patches: Some patches come with a Velcro backing that allows you to remove or switch them out conveniently. They’re ideal for variety lovers, those in the forces, or those who often need to update the patches on their outfits.
Caring for Your Patches
Once your patch is securely attached, it’s important to care for it properly to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Always turn clothing items with patches inside-out before washing to prevent the patches from rubbing against other items. For iron-on patches, consider hand-washing your items or using a washing machine on a gentle cycle. And remember – patches don’t like hot dryers, so air drying is best!
Whether you’re hoping to show off your personality, support a cause, or just love the aesthetic of embroidered patches, the good news is that anyone can become a pro at collecting and utilizing these little pieces of art. With a bit of practice, the right materials, and a dash of creativity, your clothing and accessories can become a unique canvas for your style and spirit.