How to Apply Patches to Clothing - Iron on vs. Sew on

  • Almost all the patches we sell at can be sewn on or ironed on.
  • An iron on patch has a layer of plastic backing with a thin layer of heat activated glue rubbed on it.
  • Do not remove the plastic backing from the patches even if you are sewing them on. They help keep the embroidery together.
  • Embroidered patches can be applied to clothing either by sewing it around the edges or by heat pressing it on with a commercial heat press.
  • Household irons tend to do the trick in most cases with small patches
  • Some fabrics such as leather (including suede) will scorch from the applied heat of the iron.
  • You must sew patches on to leather, do not iron on patches to leather.
  • Almost all our patches have die cut borders and can easily be sewn on.

Ironing on a patch with a house hold iron

  • Please read all steps below and then attempt to iron on your patch
  • Heat the iron to its maximum setting (set it lower if you are working with delicate fabrics)
  • Get a pillow case and cover over the area where the patch will be ironed on.
  • You'll notice the patch has a plastic backing. The heat activated glue is already applied to this plastic backing. You won't feel it but it's there. Please do not try to peel the plastic backing off. Leave it on. When you iron the patch the invisible glue on the plastic will begin to activate to adhere to your clothing.
  • Iron over the pillow case to warm up the area where the patch will be applied.
  • Remove the pillow case. Place the patch over the area to be applied. Cover it with the pillow case and iron the patch on applying pressure.
  • Go over the entire area of the patch at least 5 times.
  • Remove the iron and the pillow case. Visually inspect to make sure you haven't missed a spot.
  • Don't play around with the patch. Let it cool down all the way before touching it.

Ironing on a patch with a commercial heat press

  • Turn on the heat press and set it to 260-280 degrees Fahrenheit (lower if working with delicate fabrics)
  • After the heat press has heated place the shirt on the heat press and run a 10 second press without the patch.
  • This will ensure the area where the patch will be going on is nice and hot.
  • Place the patch where you want it and engage the heat press again for 15 more seconds.
  • Let the shirt cool down all the way and the patch will be adhered on permanently.

We have also found the following video on youtube on how to iron on patches, presented to you by HowCast.




Sewing on Patches

  • We recommend sewing on patches rather than using a household iron. Please keep in mind both heat and pressure is needed to properly adhere an iron on patch.
  • Here is a video about how to sew on patches to leather by hand.
  • A commercial heat press will permanently iron on a patch while using a household iron will not produce professional results.
  • Use a thick enough needle and nylon thread to sew on a patch
  • If you are using a sewing machine, make sure the arm has enough of an opening to pass your garment through as you will be rotating your garment all the way around on the sewing table.
  • In order to avoid the patch from moving about while sewing it on you can use double sided tape or 3M spray on glue.
  • Gently spray some glue on the back of the patch, place it over how you want it. Apply a little pressure and let stand for a minute to adhere before attempting to sew it on.
  • Sew around the circumference of the entire patch (quarter inch wide stitches). Be sure to sew past and beyond the point you started before cutting off the remainder thread.

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