The History of Funny Patches

The History of Funny Patches

It all began with the hippies. Well, sort of. The use of funny patches on clothing actually dates back thousands of years. In ancient times, the poor used simple patches to repair heavily worn garments. Later, patches came into military use as a means of improving morale and unity. In the Middle Ages, embroidered patches adorned the attire of high society and royalty. But who first made patches fun? The award goes to the flower children of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Counterculture Roots

The Hippie culture of the late 1960s encouraged young people to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” The flower children rebelled against conformity, and one of the easiest ways to do that was with fashion. They opted to wear shabby, ragged jeans and colorful, billowing shirts. Corduroy vests and long flowing cotton dresses became “hip.” Long hair was in. Colorful beads, jewelry and scarves gave kids a way to say, “I’m not like you.”

But colorful, ramshackle clothing was just a small part of the culture of love the hippies wanted to convey. They participated in peaceful anti-war protests. They flocked to festivals and concerts to preach the mantra of peace and “live and let live.” They had a message for the world. And that’s when they started to adorn themselves in patches.

There were “flower power” patches, “love” patches, peace symbol patches, and smiley face patches. “Make love, not war” patches were all the rage. For the first time in history, patches were being used to say something. They appeared on jeans, jackets, vests, dresses, hats, and everywhere in between.

That '70s Patch

As the trials and tribulations of the turbulent Vietnam era settled down in the second half of the 1970s, the hippies started to settle down and transitioned into family life. With all that love going on in the 1960s, there were now a lot of children to raise. But one thing that didn’t change was the popularity of the patch.

The tense sixties eased into the laid-back seventies, and embroidered patches started to be downright funny. Funny patches like “keep on truckin’”, “foxy lady” and “disco sucks” started appearing everywhere. The sexual revolution was about to explode, and patches like “kiss my patch” and “try it, you’ll like it” became “groovy.”

Punk Rock and Beyond

The late seventies and early eighties solidified the iconic place of the patch in pop culture, as the punk rock movement was born. Funny and sometimes wild patches celebrating a favorite punk band became very popular. Funny and often vulgar patches combined skulls, crossbones, and a few choice words for the establishment. But in mainstream society, funny patches were popular, too, and you no longer had to be a “kid” to put a funny patch on a shirt, vest, or bag.

Why So Serious?

Following fifty years of popularity, funny patches are as in demand as ever. Thanks to modern technology, any design, idea, or funny message can be custom embroidered to anyone’s exact specifications. Custom funny patches make a fantastic, morale-boosting “signature” touch for any group or organization in search of the perfect statement.

Does your office team rock? You could provide them with custom-designed patches featuring a cartoon rock guitar player and the words, “This team ROCKS!” Do you want to rev up your sales reps? Get them patches with your logo, a funny cartoon dollar, and the message “Holla for the Dolla!” Want fans of your sports team to love and support your team? Have the team wear patches featuring a bright red set of lips and the words “wanna score with me?”

We Can Make It!

The possibilities for using custom funny patches to promote your message, group, or team are only limited by your imagination! Our designs are created by professional artists with a keen desire to provide the exact, one-of-a-kind embroidered patch you’ve dreamed up. Contact us today to get started!