Whether you’re looking to add style and appeal to branded items, patches provide a cost-effective and versatile solution. Each type of patch offers a distinct look and feel that can increase perceived value and elevate the finished product. We created a guide to help you understand the type of patches we offer and how you can best use them to create custom branded apparel.
Patch Lingo: Terms You Need to Know
Heat Seal – This is the most common way to attach a patch to apparel. A special glue on the back of the patch is then melted with a hot iron to create a strong bond. We use this method to apply patches at our in-house production facility in Pelham, AL.
Hot Cut Edge – This is a type of edge design on a patch. To prevent fraying, the edge is cut with a hot knife. This works best for custom shapes or intricate designs.
Merrowed Edge – This is another type of edge design for a patch. This type of border finish uses thread sewn around the edges to prevent fraying. A merrowed edge works best for simple shapes like circles, squares, and rectangles, and is really popular for embroidered patches.
5 Types of Custom Patches & When to Use Them:
We recommend embroidered patches when you have detailed artwork with a high stitch count. (Direct embroidery pricing is based on stitch count, while patches are priced per square inch, so anything over about 10,000 stitches is probably better as a patch.) For embroidered patches, you can design them with a hot-cut or a merrowed edge depending on your preference.
Leather patches give that high-end retail look, and we are currently seeing a major trend toward this type of branding on caps. Generally, leather patches cost more than embroidered patches or direct embroidery. We typically deboss or laser etch your logo on a leather patch for a beautiful, tone on tone design.
Faux leather patches are great for the high-end look at a lower price. They tend to be thinner than real leather patches, which makes them great for applying to clothing, hats, bags, and more. They tend to be available in more colors as well.
Woven patches are a great option for logos that have a ton of details. Thinner thread enables a tighter weave to reproduce fine detail and small lettering, closer in appearance to printing. You can choose between a merrowed and laser edge to create a custom look.
Dye sublimated patches include a full-color photo-quality print on smooth satin polyester material. This is a great option for images that cannot be reproduced with thread. Dye-sublimation on a patch works the same as it does on t-shirts, bags, and towels. A sublimated patch is best for designs with more than 7 colors, gradients, photos, or fine details.