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Articles on designing your own custom merch, growing your brand, and managing manufacturing as a small business.

How to Make Patches for Clothes

Stylish, inventive custom patches can spice up just about any outfit! Here’s how to make custom patches for your clothes.

white sweatshirt with custom patch

The lowly patch, once seen as simply a cost-effective way to repair pants, shirts, or jackets that were falling apart, is now an iconic cultural symbol. With the right custom patch for clothes, a simple pair of denim jeans can become a high-end fashion statement. Let’s learn more!

The History of Patches and Clothes 

Originally, a “patch” was simply a way to mend clothing that was falling apart. Think about the classic knee and elbow patches you’d see on poor characters in 19th-century works like A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, or Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In a sense, patches were seen as the “poor man’s clothes.” They featured in the novels of authors from Dickens to Fitzgerald to Hemingway as metaphorical accessories for despair and anguish. 

 

By the 1960s, however, patches went from symbols of hopelessness to symbols of both rebellion (punks) and peace (hippies). In the years since, patches have simply become a way to accessorize, no matter your belief. Everyone from military veterans to biker gangs to hip hop groups and Boy Scout troops use patches to display their identity and beliefs.

Putting Patches Onto Your Clothes 

In short, patches are a way to instantly give your apparel pizazz. Patches are cheap, small, and easy to make, and a single piece of apparel can accommodate a single patch or dozens of patches, depending on the size of the patches and the size of the apparel. 

Jeans, jean jackets, leather jackets (leather anything, really), white t-shirts, utility jackets, and backpacks are just a few of the apparel items that pair well with patches!

If you’re ready to start making custom patches, we’ve written a whole blog about the step-by-step process! Check that out for more info, but the main thing to remember is to leave the patch-making to an expert. DIYing your patches will be more time-consuming and result in lower-quality patches that won’t last long. 

We cover this more in the blog linked above, but when looking for a patch company to make custom patches for clothes, don’t jump the gun! Do your research. Look for qualities like:

  • Good communication 
  • High quality
  • Knowledgeable staff 
  • In-house design team 
  • Variety of custom special options
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Low minimum order quantity 

Competitive pricing is another appealing feature, but be wary of a company with dramatically lower pricing than other companies (this is a sign that it’s probably too good to be true). Patches are generally affordable, even at the higher end, so we also recommend focusing on quality over low prices. If you order in bulk, your prices will likely be fairly affordable!

We Know Just the Place!

The funny thing is… All of the above characteristics sound familiar 🙂 The/Studio absolutely checks all of the above requirements. Don’t just take our word for it though, start going through the Create process and see for yourself! If you don’t have a design in mind to make patches for your clothes, you can always contact one of our Creative Specialists and they’ll craft a design for you for FREE, based on your ideas!  

7 Different Types of Patches for Clothes 

We offer 7 different types of custom-made patches for clothes.  

Embroidered Patches

Made with fabric backing and textured threading, an embroidered patch is what you think of when you think of a “classic” patch. Commonly known as a “cloth badge,” these patches are our best-sellers. They’re thick, durable, and can support designs with up to nine different colors! Embroidered patches are popular with military and law enforcement organizations, motorcycle clubs, Scout troops, fashion brands, and fire departments.

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Chenille Patches

Fluffy, cozy Chenille patches are crafted with vaulted yarn weave, allowing a design to stand out with color and texture. These patches are often found on classic “Letterman” jackets, and work best with designs that include only one to three minimal details. Chenille patches are popular with sports teams, fashion brands that want that all-American look, and any designs with minimal, simplistic detail and coloring.

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Bullion Patches

Bullion patches are the only patch type in our catalog that is made entirely by hand, requiring painstaking work on the part of our dedicated craftspeople. Each patch is formed using hand-stitched gold or silver wire to give off an iconic, luxury look. Bullion patches are our most expensive offering, recommended for luxury fashion brands, ceremonial military uniforms, and other high-end designs and applications.

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PVC Patches

Made from high-quality, rubber-like plastic, PVC patches are our thickest and most durable patch option. These patches are both waterproof and flexible, so although they work well for any patch type requiring detailed designs, such as corporate merchandise, they’re optimal for high-intensity activities, such as aquatic brands, airsoft and paintball teams, military organizations, and outdoor groups.

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Leather Patches

Made with 100% vegan leather, our leather patches offer a rustic, rugged look without the cost or ethical concerns that come with animal leather. Leather patches are available in a variety of colors (not just black and brown) and work great for everyone from luxurious fashion brands to motorcycle clubs.

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Woven Patches

Made with fabric backing and flat threading, woven patches are ideal for highly detailed designs. They’re much thinner than an embroidered patch, so they’re recommended for sewing directly onto clothing rather than for individual sale. Woven patches are popular for airsoft and paintball teams, military organizations, outdoor and athleisure brands, and corporate merch.

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Printed Patches

Made with fabric threading and digital or screen-printed with colored ink, printed patches are also thinner than embroidered patches, and feature UNLIMITED color options! The printing process makes them great for gradients and other detailed, vibrant designs. Printed patches offer the most accurate color matching of any patch type, so they’re great for capturing photorealistic designs, and for patches sewn onto clothing, bags, hats, or uniforms.

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Recommendations for Custom Clothing Patches

We’ve made thousands of custom patches for clothes, so we have a few ideas on the best design choices. For starters, we always recommend a sew-on backing if you are going to use patches on your clothes. And if you don’t know how to sew, don’t worry! Most tailors or seamstresses will sew your patch on for you for a minimal fee. Also, if you are using a patch on the back of a jacket or vest, we recommend an 11-12 inch patch. If the patches will be on the front of the apparel, 3 to 4 inches is a good starting point. 

Don’t forget to take advantage of all the special options we offer to really make your patch stand out. That’s one of the best parts about ordering custom patches from The/Studio. 

So, what are you waiting for? It’s high time we got started making your custom patches 🙂 

Make Patches for Your Clothes Now

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