How Custom Embroidered Patches are Made
How Custom Embroidered Patches are Made

How Custom Embroidered Patches are Made

Custom embroidered patches are popular with various sporting, scouting, and other interest groups. Unique designs can be created for special events or for achieving specific levels of accomplishment. Many custom patches are worn by civil service organizations such as policemen, firemen and the military. The process for making custom embroidered patches is not complicated but does require specific embroidery machinery. Heres a brief description of the process:

Choosing and Creating Your Design

Most often, the client will have only a rough outline of what they want the patch to look like. A hand-drawn sketch can be easily converted to a digital format, using a number of software design programs. When creating the designs, its important to have the pantone shades of the colors. Computer screens often display colors differently from what they are supposed to be because of their screen resolution. Once you have decided on the layout, size and format of the design, you can then move on to the next step.

Selecting the Type of Patches

Most commercial patches are created using blanks, although if you plan to make a patch at home, you can use your own fabric and simply edge it with a cross stitch. Remember to leave some space around the edge that you can trim. The problem with home-made edging is that once trimmed, you often have small lose threads which look a little untidy. You can overcome this by placing some adhesive around the edges before trimming it to keep the threads in place. Often, its cheaper and much less effort to simply purchase commercial blanks. These blanks are cut according to specific shapes and sizes and have a merrowed edge which is a professional finish. The blanks usually come in a variety of different colors and your selection will depend on your design. You may choose one with a black background and blue edging or a khaki background with dark green edging, for example.

Deciding on how Much to Embroider

Not all patches are created with 100 percent embroidery. In fact, the large majority use only 75 percent embroidery and allow the background fabric to show through. Depending on the complexity of your design and the size of your lettering, you can choose to have 25, 50, 75 or 100 percent embroidery. Typically, those with 25 percent embroidery will have an embroidered merrowed edge, the outline of your main design and lettering. A 50-percent embroidery design will have more detail but still have a large portion of the background open. A design with 75 percent embroidery will be for a more detailed design, leaving only a small portion of the background showing. A 100 percent embroidered design will be completely filled in with stitching and has a heavier and more elaborate feel to it.

How is the Embroidery Placed on the Patch?

The easiest way to make a custom embroidered patch is to use a professional embroidery machine. These range in type from basic home machines to very advanced mass producing machines. Typically, once the design has been digitized, it will be programmed into the embroidery machine. The machine then simply follows the design pattern, sewing one color at a time until the patch is completed.

Finishing off the Patch

Most commercial patches are simply ironed onto uniforms. To get this effect, a heat sealing adhesive is attached to the back of the patch after it is finished. The heat sealing sheets can be purchased from commercial suppliers. Heat sealed patches are generally preferred because of their easy application method. Alternatively, patches can be sewn onto a garment. If the same color thread is used, the stitching is rarely noticed. Sewing on patches generally ensures that they are more secure, although with the type of adhesive used, once ironed on, self-adhesive patches seldom come lose.

Advantages of Custom Embroidered Patches

The simple design and manufacturing procedures mean that you can have unique patches for your club or school at an affordable cost and within a quick turnaround time. While you may initially pay for the artwork and set-up, you can use the same design to order a re-run in the future and then only have to pay for the cost of blanks and embroidery. If you have patches that you would like to use year after year for a special event, you can set up the design so that all you have to change each year is the date. There is also a relatively quick turnaround time for manufacturing the patches which means you can order a last-minute run and get your patches within a few days.Visit the Patch Superstore and browse through the gallery of custom patches to obtain an idea for your custom patches. Everything from Boy and Girls Scout patches, to police patches and Fire department patches, and more. Visit online today.