How To Iron On Patches

A Complete Guide to Patches — Tips and Tricks for Iron-on patches

This article follows the history behind embroidered iron patches and why we felt the need to introduce them to the fashion industry. The reason behind this transformation, its evolution, and pretty much everything you might want to know about it. 

The following article would be suggesting you tips and tricks to iron your new patch. Although, you already know it since you started schooling. How many of you still remember the time when you used to make your parents iron your patches on scout and school uniforms? Probably everyone. This thing did not stop for many people as some of us joined the army and it became every day’s task to neatly stick hook and loop patches on our uniforms and jackets. 

The history behind embroidered iron patches

Today, you see a wide range of these patches which is a good thing but if we dive back to the 3rd-5th century BC’s China, we see the beginning of embroidery logo patch. Embroidery was famous even before the Victorian age when there was no concept of the sewing machine and people used to hand-stitched designs. Initially, the patches weren’t part of the fashion, instead, people used them to cover tears and holes in clothing. Who would have thought, the idea of embroidery on patches would evolve so much that after decades people will still be using different types of patches as a fashion statement? 

There is one more noticeable thing that unique embroidery was for sure a thing during the Victorian age but it was only accessible to the people from high gentries and not to the middle class or poor.

Development era 

As time passed, things started to develop as well as the common mentality that no one has the right to judge uniqueness by the amount of wealth and fame someone possesses. You might be thinking what made a simple idea to enter the market? 

Well, the thing is that it did not start immediately. The first place, these iron-on patches, and custom patches conquered was the Military. Yes, you read that right. Armed forces played a great role in the development of hook and loop, and other types of patches. The military has another history with it. For a long time military used these patches to differentiate between ranks and grades. And officers used to wear it on the chest or upper arm. You can still have bomber or military jackets with custom-made patches. These patches enhance your personality and define your taste in fashion. 

The 20th century 

Then in the 20th century, we witness another revolution in these patches, now it has become an eclectic style for free-spirited protestors. You see different images, symbols, signs, and even the heart embroidery on the patches. You can consider the mid to late 20th century as an uprising time for embroidery iron patches. 


Moving on to the era of 70-80, the development did not stop. However, the causes of using them started changing. It became a significant part of social causes and protests about feminism, transgender rights, and civil rights. If you go through the history of protests during that era, you’ll see people widely used custom patches to show their support towards social causes. For activists, it was not less than a treasure. 

By the time sewing machines hit the market, it became pretty easy for designers to work on different sorts of patches. With the invention of man-made things set off quite easily. Although some designers still prefer to create them with hands that’s why the embroidery looks so neat and clean as compared to the machine work. There is a fine difference between the work you do by hand and the one done by sewing machine. In modern days, we use digitized patterns or prints to create embroidered designs because it’s easy to work and you can produce a huge number of patches for the Military, Armed forces, Sports teams, and institutions. 

Material and fabric 

Some bespoke patches remain the same for years and the reason is their material. Today we have facilities to create art using long-lasting fabrics and materials. Today we make these patches using sturdier threads and plastic backings that are durable. Each heavy-duty patch with improved stiffness helps to prevent damage and disentangling. 

Future of patches in the fashion world 

If talk about the future of patches in the fashion world then it is pretty bright. Because if something did not stop till now, how can you expect it to stop in upcoming years? You can not only use them to show solidarity but they make a great present too. Apart from that, the biggest reason for its revolution is that the armed forces’ uniform looks incomplete without them so as long as we have armies, the iron patches are not going anywhere. 

The vintage patches 

If you want to check out vintage patches, you can search them on Google, and it might shock you but that is whole another world and it shows, the fashion statements we have today are completely different than the past. But surprisingly, it has a great impact on modern-day fashion no matter what it includes. Another cool thing about vintage fashion is that it’s reviving again. What can be more ravishing than knowing you can relive a century all over again? 

Types of patches

Before we move forward to talk about how to iron on your new patches, we’d also like to mention different types of patches. Following are the seven different types of patches that can buy them from anywhere:

Embroidered patches

A huge era of patchwork is solely based on labor work. But the situation is quite different today, we use digitize embroidery to compose every single design. If you are looking for durability then this can be a good choice for you. 

PVC patches

If you need an alternative to embroidered patches then a PVC patch is a good option you should go for. They have a huge variety of colors you can choose from. These rubberized emblems patches are going to last longer than other types because people make them using soft plastic. 

Chenille patches

Moving on to chenille patches, made using wooly and soft fabric so you might get an old-school vibe. Apart from that, you should never directly iron it. Instead, preheat the area where you want it to be, place your patch there, and cover it with a towel of something, now you can iron it. But don’t do it for more than 90 seconds. 

Woven patches

Then we have woven patches. The main difference between a woven and an embroidered patch is that a woven patch is thicker, detailed, flat, and it has no raised thread. It can be iron-on, peel & stick, and hook and loop. You can also call it a higher resolution patch. 

Leather patches

This is one of the most elegant types of patches. Patches are the product of faux leather as the name shows. You can attach them to daily routine items like bags, hats, jackets, blankets, beanies, and much more. Of course, leather would damage if you directly place a heated iron on it, hence, you might want to try to stick it like a chenille patch.  

Name patches

People normally use these for business and volunteering purposes. You can also call it a customized patch because it is no different than an embroidered one. You just need to give some basic instructions to the patch maker about how you want them to write your name on the patch. 

Printed patches

Also known as dye sublimation patches, these are time-saving and budget-friendly patches. It uses the technique of printing on a shirt. You can copy anything you want and print it on your shirt using dye sublimation. The great thing about these patches is that you can use a higher level of detailing here.

Bullion patches

This can cost a lot because people use custom bullion patches for purposes like charity balls, club memberships, VIPs, and brand programs. These patches are the composition of gold and silver bullion wire. Designers completely hand-stitch them on a pitch-black fabric substrate. 

We guess that is quite a brief about all sorts of patches and we should move forward to the method of attaching these patches to your desired clothes. Since custom iron-on patches need a special guide so that they can stay on for a long period, hence we need to keep our focus on that. And now that we know the complete history of patches, we assume, it won’t be hard anymore for anyone to learn the basics. There is continuous development in the fashion industry and it is pretty evident too. This development increases the demand for iron-on patches. 

How to stick iron-on patches step by step?

Follow these tips and tricks to iron on your new patch without any trouble!  

Know the fabric

Normally for an iron patch fabric does not matter because you don’t directly iron your patch to the shirt, you place an iron cloth in between. But if the patch you have is not iron on then the very first thing you gotta do is to check out the fabric of your jacket, hoodie, hat, or anything you want your patch on, because it helps to know if the patch can stick to it or do we need a sewing kit, or adhesive. Some fabrics are not very friendly when it comes to iron-on patches, therefore, you might have to sew them. You need to make sure of your clothing material because you will be setting the iron accordingly or else it might burn or damage your clothes. 

Plugin the iron 

The next step is to prepare your iron and set it to the highest level because this is the fastest way to stick your iron-on patch. Make sure you have decided which side of the jacket you want your patch and iron that specific area first. Iron it for a minute and place your patch. 

Pressing cloth 

Now you need to place a towel or pressing cloth over your patch and then press it again in a circular motion. Pressing cloth work as a barrier between patch and iron so that heat won’t damage its color or threads. You can use any piece of cloth, you just need to cover the patch and that’s it.

Weight and wait 

The pressure and heat coming from the iron will make your patch stick strongly and it will last for more than 28 washes. But if you want it permanently then you might want to sew the edges to secure it. But if you are a rookie, better ask a professional to do it for you. Anyways, flip the jacket and press it again for better results.  

How to make it long-lasting?

There is another way of increasing the durability of your patch. You can use all methods at once. Wonder how? If you are having a hard time sticking the personalized iron on patches to your shirt then glue it down and then use iron to apply pressure and when it all comes together, sew the edges of your patch. But make sure that the thread you are using is matching to the thread and keep the stitches small. Because you wouldn’t want to mess it up. Keep in mind that synthetic material, fiber, or nylon does not support iron-on patches. 


Patches have a past that makes them quite a statement for anyone who wants to wear them. It is just like collecting different currencies or posting stamps from all around the world. If you want to keep the memory of each place your favorite places, at least get one for yourself. It will keep your memory fresh about the trip. And we also hope that you will not only find this blog interesting but helpful as well.