When designing an embroidered patch, customers often overlook one of the most important aspects of an embroidered patch which is the border. There are two types of embroidered patches. One embroidered patch has 100% embroidery coverage which means the entire area of the patch consists of embroidery, and the second type is less than 100% embroidery coverage, which means that the patch is sewn onto a material backing (usually cotton twill).
There are essentially two types of border choices for your patch, and the first consideration when choosing a border is whether your patch is 75% embroidered coverage or 100% embroidered coverage. One is a normal satin stitch border, and the other option is a merrowed border. A satin stitch border is just a normal satin stitch embroidered onto the patch. However, a merrowed border is a special thread applied to the edge of the border of the patch which is applied by a special merrowed border machine. It basically adds a cap over the patch.
If the patch has 100% embroidery then the choice of border is a lot less important. If the patch is 100% embroidery then a normal satin stitch border will work fine. You can add a merrowed border but this will increase your costs, and also sometimes because of the thickness of 100% embroidered patches, it will cause the merrowed border to not be applied on straight. So choosing a normal satin stitch border will be fine for a 100% embroidered patch.
For patches that are less than 100% embroidery coverage you should follow these simple rules. Notice the red Black Belt patch, Fired Department Patch, and Junior Sammy Group Patch. All three patches are less than 100% embroidered patches that are sewn onto a cotton twill and each of these patches is capped by a merrowed border. The problem with patches that are less than 100% embroidery is that when the patch is cut, the twill will be exposed because its impossible to stop the twill from fraying at least a little bit. We use a laser machine to cut our patches, but no matter what at least some of the twill will fray. By adding a merrowed border, the twill will not fray which will create a very clean border around the patch.
There are of course customers that don’t like the merrowed border look or they don’t want to incur the additional costs of a merrowed border. Furthermore, the merrowed border option adds another 1 to 2 days of production, and some of our customers need their patch in a rush and can’t wait for it to be applied. In this case it is important that the customer choose a border that matches the color of the twill. Notice in the patch “Service From The Heart” and “Team Show Apparel” that the twill and the border are a different color. Do you see how the material outside of the border frays? We use a laser cut machine which is the most precise machine for cutting a patch, however, nevertheless you will still see at least some material on the edges (you won’t see this on a 100% embroidered patch). For some customers this is not a big deal, and some of our customers even prefer this, because they feel it gives their patch a more vintage or rugged feel to it. However, if you are looking for a clean patch and you don’t want the merrowed border option, then you should tell your creative specialists from Patches by The/Studio that you want the border and the twill to be the same color. Look at the patch “Without A Doubt” and you can compare it to the patches that have a different color twill and border.
Our Creative Specialists are well trained in understanding what are the best options for your patch, so if in doubt feel free to ask them.