Embroidered patches are a great way to spice up your outfit and express your unique style. They also can be a promoting tool for an important organization, business, or cause.
You can find patches on jackets, uniforms, backpacks, bags, and more. They help showcase your interests, personality, and accomplishments.
This guide will cover nine ways to attach embroidered patches to clothes so that you can put your patches to good use!
What to Consider Before Attaching a Patch
Not all patches are created equal. Some are oversized and take a bit more adhesive. Others feature a material you can only hand-sew, while others come with iron-on options for ease of application.
If you want your embroidery projects to come out flawlessly, there are several factors to consider before attaching a patch:
- What material is the patch? The most common fabrics for embroidery patches are nylon, polyester, cotton, and denim. Knowing the material will help you decide the type of clothing to attach it to and the best method for attaching it.
- Where to place the patch? You can place the patch anywhere on your jacket, dress, jeans, hat, etc. The areas that draw the most attention are the chest, shoulder, back, midway down on the front for a jacket, or the back pocket for jeans.
- What’s the design? The best patches are usually small to medium-sized patches that are attention-grabbing. Make sure the color stands out, and the patch design matches the message or style you want to display.
- When to opt for a custom patch? If the embroidered patches aren’t conveying the message you’re trying to send, you may consider choosing a custom-made patch.
How Do You Put Embroidery Patches on Clothes?
Depending on your available resources and the fabric material, specific methods work better for attaching patches than others. Let’s cover each one in detail, so you can decide which is best for your situation.
Ironing is the fastest and easiest way to attach embroidery patches. This method requires an iron-on patch with a sticky back that activates when applied with heat. Some will come with a backing sheet that needs removal before attaching.
An iron-on patch is perfect if you plan on sticking them on denim or cotton. Needles are difficult to push through thick and firm material, such as embroidered patches, so it’s best to iron or glue them.
Also, you’ll need to ensure that you’re using a material that can withstand the heat of the iron and is free of wrinkles. Avoid silk, polyester, and other delicate fabrics since an iron’s heat can discolor or burn them.
Start by placing the piece of clothing on an ironing board. Next, place the adhesive side of the patch in the position you want. Make sure to mark the exact spot you’d like to patch to be since you won’t be able to modify the location later.
Turn the iron on to 350 degrees. You’ll want to preheat the iron without steam and find a hard, flat surface. Place a towel over the patch and the surrounding fabric to protect your cloth from the high heat.
Preheat the spot where you plan on placing your new patch by pressing it. Hold it down for 20 seconds to warm up the area, so it’s conducive to melting your embroidery patch onto the fabric.
Press the heated iron over the towel and make slow circular motions on your embroidered patch. Do this for about a minute, and then check to see if the patch remains in its place. The patch should stick to the fabric without having any loose ends. If not, place the towel back and repeat the process for another minute.
Once it’s stuck on your clothing, let it cool. When your fabric is at room temperature, look to see how well it holds.
2. Glue or Fusile Web
Gluing is a viable option for attaching embroidery patches, but it depends on the kind of glue. With embroidered patches, it should only be your last resort. Fabric glue or fusible web isn’t reliable when it comes to sticking for a long time.
Carefully place the fabric glue on the back of your patch and press it firmly onto your clothing. Let the glue sit for an hour so that it can set. Afterward, test the edges by lifting them. If the glue comes off, you didn’t put enough, and you’ll need to re-apply the glue and wait another hour. After 24 hours, you’ll be able to wear, wash, and dry the fabric since the glue has dried and created a strong bond.
Ensure that you buy quality glue from the craft store since some brands may deteriorate over time. If you have to add glue every few weeks to keep it from falling, you’ll want to try a different application method.
Velcro is another practical way to attach your embroidery patches. The advantage of using velcro is that you can easily switch the patches whenever you feel like it.
Velcro patches must be glued or sewn onto the back of your patch or clothing. Make sure you tightly secure the velcro patch on all sides.
Once you’ve attached the patch, you can attach and remove your patch as many times as you’d like without sewing.
4. Fabric Adhesive
Fabric adhesive is a convenient way to secure lightweight patches onto delicate materials. It’s convenient for working with synthetics that aren’t conducive to heat application. Unlike glue, it’s permanent and is perfect if you don’t have a heat or iron press.
Before applying, test the glue on a small piece of fabric. You want to ensure that the glue doesn’t cause the material to fade in color, wrinkle, or dissolve.
Start with a clean, dry garment and follow the adhesive directions. Once it’s on, allow the adhesive to dry for one night before wearing it.
5. Glue Gun
Glue guns are a more effective alternative to standard glue. However, you’ll need to know how to choose the right one. There are three types of glue guns: standard, low and adjustable temperature.
Low-temperature guns run about 260 degrees Fahrenheit, while standard-temperature ones run about 380 degrees Fahrenheit.
We recommend using a low or adjustable-temperature glue gun since high temperatures can burn through sensitive fabrics. It’s always best to test glue guns before using them to prevent potential hazards.
Start by applying the glue onto the patch and press the patch down for 20 seconds. Wait a few minutes and check to see that the patch has adhered to your clothing.
6. Double-Sided Tape
Double-sided tape is a sheet with adhesive on both sides. It’s convenient since you can cut it to any size or shape according to your patch.
Simply stick the patch onto one side of the tape and attach the garment to the other. Double-sided tape is suitable for most fabrics, machine washable, safe to use, and non-toxic. The only issue is that it’s not as long-lasting as iron-ons, glue, or sewing.
7. Hair Straightener
If you have a hair straightener, you can use it just as you would with a heat press or iron. It perfectly sticks the patch onto your fabric with little chance of it coming off.
First, gather your patch, garment, and hair straightener. Lay the patch on a smooth surface, and make sure the adhesive side is facing up.
Start by placing a towel over the piece of clothing. Turn the hair straightener on and ensure that it reaches 100 degrees. Gently press down the hair straightener on top of the patch for about 10 seconds. Wait about two minutes before removing the towel and lifting the hair straightener off.
Finally, let the patch cool off before testing it out by wearing your garment. Wait a day, and you’ll be able to wash it with cold water and detergent.
Sewing is the most permanent and preserving solution to put embroidered patches onto your clothing. Hand-sewing patches can be easy as long as you know how to use a needle, thread, scissors, and a straight pin.
Using needles and pins is a great option if you don’t have an iron-on patch but want a durable option to attach to your clothing. It’s also ideal for traveling since these items are small and portable.
Pin the patch onto the cloth in the exact position where you want it. Choose a thin waxed thread and go through your jacket or shirt with the needle. Always choose an appropriate thread color, so it doesn’t interfere with the design of your patch.
Start threading from the inside of the shirt so that your threads aren’t showing on the outside.
Thread the needle through the patch and back again for a secure hold. Work your way around the patch until you reach the starting point.
Once you’ve reached that point, tie the thread into a knot to prevent the patch from falling off. Finally, cut the excess thread off, and you’re finished.
9. Machine Sew
If you have a sewing machine, it can be much more efficient, especially if you know how to use it and are sewing many patches.
Use a pin and position the patch to where you want it on your shirt or jacket. Typically, this is on either sleeve, just a few inches below the shoulder.
The thicker the patch, the thicker your needle and thread should be. Again, make sure to match the color of the thread to the edges of your patch.
Lay your patch (attached to the clothing) flat on the sewing machine and line everything up to the exact place you want it.
Set the sewing machine to the zigzag setting, specifically designed for sewing patches. Use the narrowest zigzag possible since patches are small, which ensures the stitches won’t be too obvious.
Begin sewing around the edges of the patch. You’ll need to re-maneuver your garment to sew the patch easily.
Once you’ve reached the starting point, your job is complete. Go around the edge to check if any loose ends haven’t escaped.
Want Custom Patches for Your Clothes? Shop The/Studio!
Embroidered patches are making a huge comeback, and fashion-forward individuals are coming up with creative ways to wear theirs.
Whether you want to personalize a jacket or shift, show off a club logo, or identify a brand, The/Studio is ready to help you design custom patches.
Simply send us a design, and we’ll work with you to bring your design to life!