Do you want to proudly display the names of your favorite bands on your jacket sleeve or take the simplicity out of your backpack? Iron-on patches are a great way to express your individuality and also serve to hide torn parts on your clothes and accessories. Learn how to prepare the fabric for a patch, iron it on, and make sure it stays put even after washing.
First step :
Identify what type of patch you have. Some patches come with glue on the back and others are just cloth. Take a look at your patch and decide if you need additional materials.
- Embroidered decorative patches are usually thick, stiff, and have what looks like plastic glue on the back. These can be used to cover torn or faded fabric.
- Transfer paper patches are printed on one side of specialty paper, with one side being opaque. These cannot bond ripped fabric and usually the fabric will show through if not applied on white fabric.
- Patches with a simple fabric backing are attached using hot iron.
- Patches that are meant to cover holes or stains are designed to blend into fabric, often coming with a paper backing on the glue side, which is removed when the patch is applied.
- Consider designing your own patch if you can't find one you like.
Second step :
Examine the fabric of your garment or accessory. Jean and cotton fabrics provide the best base for hot iron patches.
Before you heat up the iron, lay out your jacket, band, or backpack and decide where exactly you want the patch.
- If this is the only patch you intend to iron onto the garment, place it in a prominent and tasteful location. Make the arrangement look intentional.
- If you are planning on putting on more patches, such as a Girl Scout sash or any other type of collection, plan ahead to make sure there will be room for the additional patches.
- If you're using a patterned patch, remember that letters and other asymmetrical things will appear backwards.
Third step :
Arrange the patch in the position you chose. The sticky side should be flat on the fabric. Make sure it's not crooked.
- On embroidered patches, the sticky side is on the bottom.
- On transfer paper patches, the adhesive is on the side where the image is printed. Lay the image down on the fabric. The paper covering peels off once the patch has been ironed on.
- If you are using a mesh that melts, the mesh will need to be against the fabric.
- If you are using a patch that is meant to blend into the fabric, you may need to apply it to the back of the garment. Follow the instructions on the patch packaging.
Fourth step :
- Heat the iron. Put it on the highest heat the fabric can handle. Make sure the "steam" option is turned off. and that your iron has no water.
- Put a thin towel over the patch. Be careful not to move the patch out of position. The towel will protect the patch and the fabric it is applied to.
- Position the hot iron over the patch and press down on it. Hold the iron there for about 15 seconds. Apply as much pressure as you can by pressing firmly.
- Remove the iron and allow the patch to cool. Pick up the towel to check if the patch has set by gently rubbing a finger along the edge, trying to lift it. If it rises a bit, put the towel back on and press down with the iron for another 10 seconds.
If you're working with a paper patch, wait until it cools completely (about 10 minutes) and then carefully peel off the paper.
Cheer up to give attitude to your clothes and accessories!