How To Sew on a Patch

Looking to personalize your clothing, bag, or something similar by adorning it with a patch to show off your style? Whether you want to affix it to uniforms, coordinate team outfits, or show off your individuality, sewing is a great way to attach your patch to fabric.

There are many great purposes for using patches, and customized options especially allow you to create something truly unique.

Let’s delve into everything you need to know to properly sew your patch onto fabric.

Why Choose to Sew a Patch Over Other Application Methods?

Sewing on a patch isn’t always the ideal method to secure it, depending on the material you’re affixing it to, but it typically is — especially if you’re attaching it to a fabric surface.

Sewing is a good option because it stays in place better than glue or iron-on fusing methods, which keep the patch in place at first, particularly before washing. But after laundry day, it may easily peel off — leaving behind a glue residue.

Instead, bust out your needle and thread or use a sewing machine so the patch will be firmly affixed in place, and you won’t have to worry about it.

In some cases, sewing might not be your best option. If that seems likely, check out other ways to attach your embroidered patch!

Before You Begin

Begin by choosing the right sewing needle and thread color. You’ll want to use a thinner needle if the fabric is thinner. Thicker fabrics such as canvas or denim warrant a thicker needle.

Go for a thread color that either contrasts or matches the design — this is up to personal preference.

Next, ensure that the fabric you attach your patch to is clean. If you’re placing the patch over a tear or hole, ensure that you trim away loose threads or rough edges of the damaged area.

What Is the Best Way To Sew on a Patch?

You may use different techniques depending on whether you have a sewing machine or not, if you are trying to attach your patch to a pocket, and other factors.

Here, we’ll walk you through the basic process of hand-sewing your patch using a backstitch.

1. Decide Where Your Patch Is Going

Decide where your patch will go. If covering a tear, ensure the patch’s size is sufficient to cover the rip or hole. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll also want to clean up the tear by cutting off any fluff or threads in the damaged area.

2. Iron Down or Pin the Patch

Inspect the reverse end of your patch. Does it appear shiny or have a thin paper covering? If so, that’s an iron-on patch. You could always iron it on, but by sewing it, you’ll make sure the attachment is more secure. Still, the iron-on capability presents a useful opportunity to place it where you want it.

If you have an iron-on option, use the included directions to iron it in place before sewing.

If you don’t have an iron-on option, use pins to keep it in place. It may be tough as patches are thick, but pin it in place using the fewest number of pins possible.

3. Thread Your Needle

Double up your thread. Tie a knot at the end. It’s time to get sewing!


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4. Begin Your Backstitch

Start at the back of the fabric and push your needle through the fabric and patch to bring it through completely. Doing so should result in the knot being on the wrong side. You can get started sewing wherever you want on your patch.

If you run out of thread while sewing, you can always just knot it off and start fresh with new thread.

5. Carry On Stitching

Push the needle back through the patch and fabric around a quarter inch to the right from the spot where you brought your needle up before. Pull it through completely and bring it up again, yet another quarter inch along on your patch.

Now, you’ll bring the needle down again, but instead of going further along the patch, you’ll bring the needle down at the end of the stitch you just did, creating a continuous line.

Continue backstitching around the border until you return to your starting point. Remove pins as you encounter them. Especially if your patch is pinned in place rather than ironed on, ensure that things remain in place as you sew.

6. Finish Your Backstitch

Once you’ve gone around the entire border, it’s time to tie things off. On the reverse side of your fabric, tightly knot your thread. For additional security, you can do this multiple times.

If you’re still not satisfied, you can repeat the process and backstitch around it multiple times if you want.

7. Cut The Threads

After your knot is tied off, cut the threads and show off your style!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Better To Sew or Iron on a Patch?

Whether or not it’s better to sew or iron on a patch depends on your goals, but if you want a long-lasting, secure attachment, sewing is your best option in most cases. Iron-on patches will likely come off after a few wash cycles, while sewn-on options tend to be more secure.

Is Sewing on a Patch Easy?

If you have the right tools and some patience, it’s fairly simple to sew on a patch. Doing so also ensures that your material is more securely adhered to your fabric and less likely to come off in the wash than an ironed-on option.

Final Thoughts

You can attach a patch to something in many ways, but if you’re looking for the most secure way to attach one to fabric, sewing is typically your best bet. While it requires a little patience and the right tools, the end result is worth it.

Want to customize your clothing and make a statement? At The/Studio, you can create a patch for any and every occasion — customizing each aspect down to the last detail! Discover what you can create by checking out our custom patches at The/Studio today!


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