Applying Embroidered Patches on Your Clothing

November 23, 2017

Patches have existed since time immemorial. The initial military patches were worn by soldiers on their sleeves during the war to indicate their ranking. Patches can be applied on to virtually any type of clothing from hats to jeans. With a patch you can create an instant new look. There are different innovative ways to apply patches garments. These include sewing, ironing or Velcro.

In the past patches were only sewn on but the industrial advent of plastics made it possible to include a plastic backing on embroidered patches in order for them to be ironed on to fabrics. Velcro has gained steady popularity for military patches as a simple way to remove and change patches. Patches that have hooks and loops are easily secured.

Sewing Method

Sewing is regarded as possibly the best and oldest method that is used to stick patches to garments. All you need is the patch, thread, garment and a sewing needle. The first step is to select a patch and observe the colors that are around the external area of the patch. Choose a thread color that blends in with the color. Determine the garment that you will place the patch on.

Some of the options for placing a patch are the shoulder or chest area of a jacket and a central position on a hat. The material of the garment or accessory should ideally be heavier or thicker than the patch in order for it to last longer. For example, the weight of a patch is likely to wear out the fabric of a light t-shirt over time.

Patch Edges

It is important to consider where you will be sewing the embroidered patches. The type of patch edging you choose should ensure that the thread is unnoticeable. Threading may loop around a patch from front to back. Run the thread line around the inside path of the edge with a similar color to make the thread invisible.

For flat edges you can use different thread colors that will blend with the colors on the patch or select the main color. Run the thread line from the external edge and avoid running it too close because this increase the possibility of the patch being torn off at such areas.


Make sure your patch is ideal for the ironing technique. It should ideally have a clear and shiny plastic cover at the back. Thick plastic is typically better to iron on.

  • To iron a patch on to your garment, you need the patch, garment, iron, ironing board or surface and a piece of material.
  • When the iron is hot enough, you can place the patch where you want it to be on the garment.
  • Place the piece of material over the patch and make sure it covers the entire patch. This fabric is essential for protecting your patch. Iron over the fabric in an up and down and back and forth motion.

The iron should be moving continually for a few seconds before checking to see whether the patch has adhered. If it has not adhered to the garment, continue ironing until it does.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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