There are various reasons as to why we may apply patches on our clothes or uniforms. These reasons range from fashion to repair, and to duty as in military case where patches are applied in form of badges after promotions.
Sometimes we may just apply patches on clothes to prevent holes or make it look stylish, as it can be seen in many youngsters walking around in patched jeans, shirts and even jackets.
How to Obtain the Patches
Patches can be obtained either by purchasing at a store or handmade by cutting form pieces of garments that are no longer in use. Depending on the type of cloth you intend to patch, the pieces that you use will differ in terms of shape, color or the display as in the case of badges.
How To Apply Patches On Clothes – The Methods
There are mainly three methods, iron on, embroidery machine or hand sewn. The two methods, (embroidery and hand sewn) are a bit more complicated as they are attached through sewing. This means after these processes, any attempt to remove the patches may alter the fabric.
The other method, Iron-on patch, is much simpler and easy to apply. Let’s say you want to attend a game or a concert and wish to have a patch that portrays or say something about the event you are attending, maybe you are a fan, definitely go for this method. It is easy and completely reversible.
For any reason, there is, here are some easy ways to help you apply patches on your clothes.
Note: Recently polaroidfotobar made a research and they find gluing on fabric is the very easy method for attaching custom patches in cloth.
Iron-on Patch Method
These patches come with a sticky back which is activated when the heat is applied. Here are some simple steps to apply them on your cloth;
- Take the patch and check its back for the sticky part. Some have a backing which you need to remove in order to expose the sticky surface.
- Plug the Iron on your wall socket, turn it on and let it heat for a few seconds.
- Place the patch on the surface you want it to stick, spray a little water on top of it. This will lower the heat so as to not damage your patch.
- Place the slightly heated Iron box on top of your patch and move it evenly so that the heat is distributed in all areas.
- In less than a min, remove the Iron from the patch and turn your cloth inside-out to check if the patch is well aligned.
Hand Sewn Patch Method
- Wash your cloth. Before anything, wash the cloth you want to sew your patch on. This is necessary because some materials shrink after wash, and if the patch is applied before and then washed, the material under the patch may shrink and this will cause a bunch on your patch.
- Iron the washed cloth to get rid of all wrinkles; this will help in aligning the patch.
- Place the patch on the position you would like to sew it on. Make sure that the material is placed on a flat surface to make it easier to adjust the patch to its targeted position.
- Chose a thread that has the same color as the patch so that the thread and the patch blend perfectly.
- On the place, you wish to sew your patch, attach it first using safety pins or iron-on glue and hold the cloth upright. You can as well wear it just to confirm that the patch is exactly where it is supposed to be.
- Take the needle and thread, locate the hole at the blunt end of your needle and pass the thread through. This might be hard especially with small needles; you may want to apply saliva on the thread to smoothen it.
- Make the thread a little longer to avoid reattaching when sewing. After this, tie a knot at the end of the thread, you are now ready to sew.
- With one hand on the inside of the material, start threading the needle. Begin from the inside so that the knot does not appear on the surface.
- Poke the needle coming out through the patch, pull, then poke back through the cloth.
- Repeat this process while watching the line between the patch and your material. Once the stitch reaches where you started, you are done.
- Loop the thread through to tie a knot under the patch; this will prevent the ending thread form being visible over the patch.
- Pull the needle all the way to tighten the thread. Then cut the thread at the end of the knot.
Machine Sewn Patch Method
- The first and most important step, wash your material before anything. After that, iron your cloth to spread all the wrinkles.
- Place the patch where you want it, double-check that it is in the exact spot and upright position you want it to be. This is necessary because after you have sewn your patch, you will not able to adjust it without damaging your cloth.
- Apply iron-on patch, this is a fabric glue that temporarily attaches your patch to the piece of fabric.
- Iron it to make it stick properly. This will prevent your patch from moving or twisting from its designated position.
- Now place your material on the sewing machine. Adjust the needle on your machine so that the needle length is shorter for the patch.
- Locate the bobbin and place the thread on it. In case you have trouble locating the bobbin, refer to your sewing machine manual.
- Set the machine to a straight stitch and place your presser foot in position.
- Put your machine on a slow speed. This slow speed will help you have good control when sewing your patch.
- With all these in check, slowly press down on your foot pedal to engage your needle and slowly move your material.
- To rotate the garment and patch, make sure that the presser foot is up and the needle in its place so that it retains a consistent pattern.
- Once you have made it all the way around your patch, seal the stitch and take your scissors and cut away any loose threads.
Depending on the patch and how you are going to use your cloth, all these methods work perfectly. Patches can be applied to uniforms, bags, military outfits and even on tore clothes to make them look stylish.