There’s a lot of terminology to learn in the wide world of patches. Do you need a sublimated patch or an embroidered one? Or maybe you’d be better off with a woven patch? Do you want a merrowed edge or a hot-cut one? Will your backing be heat-seal, velcro, plain? It’s a tough decision to make unless you have the right information, especially if you’re new to the patch game – but don’t worry, it’s not as complex as it seems!
Patch styles: the good, the bad, and the… well, you’ll see
Embroidered patches are classy and recognizable, bringing dimension and character to your logo. Embroidered patches are ideal for simple and bold designs, and they work best with 1″ patches and larger. They’re also great for achieving a textured look.
No other style can match embroidery in flat-out coolness… at least not in our opinion!
Examining a woven patch feels like sharpening the focus on a camera lens: the blurred edges fall away and become crisper, clearer. They capture minute details well and still retain a sense of dimension. They’re also a very popular option for apparel, bringing a refined look and modern flair to your logo – in that last few years, for example, demand for woven patches in the hat industry has skyrocketed.
If your design requires intensive detail, or if you’re creating something like a shirt label or uniform name tag, woven patches are a great choice! They’re flexible, attractive, and undeniably stylish.
While woven patches may be capable of capturing more detail than embroidered ones, sublimated patches take the prize when it comes to faithfully rendering every element of your design. Sublimated patches aren’t actually stitched onto a twill base like a woven or embroidered emblem – they’re printed, which means a sublimated patch can capture photo-quality detail. No matter how busy or difficult your design, it can be digitized and translated onto a sublimated patch.
If your logo looks like a work of art, with an array of colors and a wealth of detail, sublimation is a great option for showcasing the quality of your design. Background elements such as gradients translate perfectly into sublimation, representing complex imagery such as sunsets with a fantastic blend of color.
Plus – here’s an insider secret for you – you can always combine embroidery with sublimation to achieve that sought-after textured look!
PVC, leather, and other nonstandard patches
PVC patches are totally weatherproof and can stand up to whatever punishment you have in store. They’re a great choice for outdoorsy apparel or any equipment which might end up on the receiving end of constant abuse, such as a hiking backpack. The thickness and makeup of PVC patches give them an extra layer of armor, which means they can keep a licking and keep on ticking.
Need help choosing a patch style?
That’s totally understandable! It’s a lot to take in all at once. Fortunately, we have an expert team with dozens of years of experience. If you’re wrestling with which style of patch would look best with your design, we’d be happy to give you our two cents – totally free of charge!
Remember, creating a business strategy can sometimes be a (pardon the pun) patchwork enterprise. Not everything is always apparent at the outset. But with some friendly advice and a few handy blog posts, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to keep your patches – and your business – going strong!