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Sewing machine for patches

Which is the best choice? Iron- or Sew-On Patches

There is a bevy of options when creating custom patches. However, one of the most important options is the attachment method. When selecting an attachment method for your custom patches, you have a handful of options, but two of the most common options are sew-on and iron-on applications. These patch backing options have pros and cons, depending on their use. Today we take a closer look at both methods and the functionality of each. 

Embroidered patches can be sewn into place or ironed on, depending on your choice. But keep in mind that not all patches are the same. PVC, woven, chenille, and printed patches can be sewn on, but they cannot be ironed on. Let’s examine both options and see what might work best for you. 

We are often asked whether it is better to sew on a patch or iron a patch. Well, it really comes down to how you intend on using your patches. Iron-on patches are a convenient and time-saving way to attach your patches, though sew-on patches are great too. But, sew-on patches require a bit more work and some sewing skills. They take more time to apply, but they add more flexibility to the garment on which the patch is attached. 

If you don’t want your patch to be still, you can have the iron-on backing eliminated, and once it’s sewn on, the patch is able to bend and fold a bit with the fabric. Iron-on patches are relatively durable too. Generally speaking, an iron-on patch will stay in place for about 25 washes, which is more than enough for many jackets, jeans, and bags. You need to sew your patches in place for a more permanent application. However, you can also opt to have your garments dry cleaned. This will leave your patch looking fabulous and lasting longer than expected. 

Another common question is what temperature should patches be ironed on. Well, that’s easy; 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Simply preheat your iron to 350 degrees Fahrenheit cotton setting for about five minutes or until hot. Position your patch where you want it on the material and place a pressing parchment square or thin cloth over the patches. On a side note, use a damp cloth when ironing wool or other delicate fabrics. This will protect the patch and garment in the process. 

The difference between iron-on and sew-on patches is that the iron-on patch has a layer of glue on the backside. Sew-on patches usually feature a simple design made of fabric and thread with no glue or plastic along the back. An iron-on patch will have a cloudy look and shiny look on its back, whereas sew-on patches will simply look like fabric. 

If you want something other than an iron-on or sew-on patch, you are in luck. Even if the patch isn’t specifically iron-on, you may still be able to attach it without sewing. You can use fabric glue to secure your patches to any garment. Most fabric glue requires simple application, making it much easier to apply. Just add some fabric glue to the back of your patch and then stick it on the garment in the location of your choosing. 

Keep in mind when washing your garments with patches that warm or hot water will loosen the adhesive of your patch. Iron-on patches will not come off in the first wash, but remember to wash them in cold water to ensure it stays put. Warm or hot water will eventually wear down the adhesive and detach the patch for the garment. 

Iron-on patches are easy to apply, but many people ask how long the process takes. When ironing on a patch, it’s crucial to protect both the fabric and the patch. A pressing cloth located between the iron and the patch will help. You can also use a cotton pillowcase or handkerchief. Press the iron downward and hold it in place for 30 to 45 seconds. This should be plenty of time to melt the plastic backing and apply the patch in the location of your choice. 

Another question we get asked a lot is can you make your own custom iron-on patches. Well, yes, and at Patches4Less.com, we make the entire process easy and effortless. Just send over your design, ideas, and other information, and we can bring it to life. We enjoy transforming your concepts into unique patches, and we guarantee that you will wear them with pride. 

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