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Keep Your Patch Attached! Selecting The Right Patch Attachment Method

Feb 28, 2022

Keep Your Patch Attached! Selecting The Right Patch Attachment Method

Choosing the right attachment method for your custom patch can make all the difference in its functionality and longevity. Whether you're designing your first patch or revising an old design, understanding the pros and cons of each backing type can help you make an informed decision.

Jesse Daugherty

Author: Jesse Daugherty

Designing a custom patch isn't difficult. However, one of the most significant aspects to consider is how you plan to attach your patches to your garments. Selecting the right attachment method shouldn't be complicated, whether it's a uniform, jacket, or favorite bag.

The function of the patch is key to the artwork, but it will also play a role in the attachment method that will work the best. Your custom patch provider can assist you in choosing the right attachment method for your needs.

Sew-On Patches

Sew-on patches are the most popular and basic way to attach patches to garments. They are also the most permanent. These patches come with no other provisions and must be sewn into place by hand or machine. Traditional sew-on patches are sure to stay applied for the garment's life.


  • The most popular and basic method
  • Permanent attachment


  • Requires sewing skills or access to a sewing machine

Iron-On Patches

Iron-on patches are designed to make attachment fast and easy, thanks to the heat-sensitive adhesive on the back. All you need is an iron and less than five minutes. However, iron-on patches cannot be added to every fabric.


  • Fast and easy to attach
  • Requires only an iron


Not suitable for all fabric types

Velcro® Hook-and-Loop Backing

The classic Velcro® hook-and-loop backing is perfect for patches that need to be removed, reapplied, or applied to multiple garments. These patches are typically seen on military and police uniforms for situations where patches may need to be interchanged frequently.


  • Allows for removal and reapplication
  • Ideal for multiple garment use


  • Requires sewing for the other side of the Velcro®

Tape Backing

Tape backing is a great way to temporarily add a patch to a garment. Tape backings are perfect for a costume or outfit.


  • Easy removal and versatile use
  • Ideal for short-term use


  • Not suitable for long-term use

Plastic Backing

If you want extra support for your patches, add a plastic backing. This attaches to the twill and gives your patch extra support, meaning it will maintain its shape after constant use. This is great for uniform patches and can be used with an iron-on backing if needed.


  • Provides extra support
  • Helps maintain shape after constant use


  • It may require an additional attachment method (like iron-on)

Button Loops

Button loops let you hang your patch for a lapel pin or garment button. No sewing, gluing, ironing, or anything. Just a sleek look without all of the work.


  • Easy to attach and remove
  • No sewing, gluing, or ironing required


  • Limited to garments with buttons or lapel pins

Regardless of your attachment method, a good patch provider can help you make the most of your custom patch design.