July 21, 2015
The origins of embroidery can be traced back to thousands of years ago by the ancient cultures of China, India, the Mediterranean, and South America. With such a rich history, it’s true that embroidered patches are an essential part of every patch collection! Today’s embroidered patches, stitched into the diagonal edges of twill, make for an indisputably classic patch style. There’s no doubt about that.
However, it’s still a pity that so few patch-lovers have heard of other types of patches, let alone decided to custom make their own non-embroidered patches. Through this article, I hope that some patch enthusiasts will be able to learn a little bit more about the different kinds of patches, and find the courage to customize one, too! There’s such a diverse range of materials and design capabilities in the world of custom patches, but with embroidery in the limelight, many unique patch types get left unnoticed. So, here goes the 15 minutes of fame for all non-embroidered patches!
As a spin-off of woven labels, woven patches are an amazing style of patch that’s worth your undivided attention! If you’re trying to wean yourself off of your embroidered-patch addiction, then woven patches are a great first step. They are definitely a different kind of patch — Made in similar shapes and with similar designs as embroidered patches, but woven using the same micro-polyester threads as clothing tags and labels. For designs with tiny features, details or lettering, woven patches can achieve great clarity and legibility, while still not straying away from the traditional threaded customs that patch-lovers appreciate so much – but this time in a new patch style!
Chenille Patches are one of those things that everyone has seen before, but nobody knows what they are called. The letterman jackets worn by high school and college athletes and academics are often adorned with chenille patches sewn-all over — Those soft, fuzzy yarn-like patches. They usually come in the shapes of letters or a representative emblem of the sport or activity the student partakes in, but you can actually make chenille patches in any shape you can imagine. This is the kind of patch that just gives me the soft and fuzzies!
The t-shirt is as American as apple pie, and there has been growing demand for custom printed t-shirts over recent years. But it’s a lesser known fact that you can also make printed patches using the same printing methods as your favorite t-shirt. Classic screen-printing is an excellent way to apply durable solid color designs onto a patch, and heat-transfer printing provides near-photo-quality representations of complex designs for a truly different kind of patch effect! If you want to make a printed patch of a persons face, you wouldn’t believe how realistic a heat transfer patch will look! Face it – Printed patches are awesome!
If there ever was a non-embroidered patch, this is it! PVC patches are so different from other patches, it makes many patch-lovers want to scream the first time they hear about it! (I did.) PVC patches are neither compromised of a base fabric, nor are they stitched with any kind of thread. They’re made completely of a 22nd century soft rubber PVC material and molded in your favorite colors using a 3D mold. Soft rubber PVC patches are some really hi-tech stuff. In fact, the same PVC material is used for all kinds of cutting-edge medical equipment. They’re so advanced that some die-hards believe they were brought to earth by sentient extraterrestrials.
Of course, no one here is saying that embroidered patches aren’t great. I’m only saying that there are so many patch-tastic possibilities to be had with non-embroidered patches that it would be a mistake to stick to one kind exclusively! There are special materials and unique attributes to each and every style, so why stay locked in the embroidered patch box? I encourage you to take a break from your embroidered tendencies and take any of the new patch styles out for a spin. You never know – Maybe you’ll fall in love all over again!