Patches are popularly used not just for hiding stains or holes in fabrics but more for creating a design, a personal style or a statement. Although patches can be store bought, they can also be home-made, and with the necessary materials, they can also be conveniently ironed on to stick to fabric without the need for sewing.
Choosing iron on patches
Pre-made iron on patches are available in many fabric stores, surplus stores and other specialty stores which sell iron on logos and iron on badges. One can also make his own personal design by making embroidered patches or just cutting out designs from another fabric to create letter patches or music patches.
Making embroidery patches
To make an embroidered patch, first sketch your design onto a patch blank. You can either embroider your design without a hoop, or use a hoop to make sure your finished patch is flat and not warped.
Clamp a sheet of tear-away backing into your hoop and then attach your patch blank to the backing with some spray adhesive.
Embroider your design using some thread, starting each length of floss from the back of the cloth so that the knot or extra length will not appear at the front of the design. After sewing your design, remove the backing and patch from the hoop, then gently tear the backing away.
Iron on the patch
To attach either a fabric patch or embroidered patch to a shirt or any other fabric such as a bag or curtain, one will need an iron, an ironing board, iron on adhesive tape and a clean paper towel or rag.
Prepare the adhesive
Make sure the cloth and patch surfaces are clean and dust-free. Next cut a piece of iron-on adhesive with the same size and shape as your patch.
Apply the adhesive
Placing the patch face down on the ironing board, apply the iron on adhesive sheet glue-side down on top of the patch.
Iron on the adhesive to the patch
Place the paper towel or clean rag on top of the patch and adhesive sheet to prevent any glue from sticking to the iron. Set the iron on low setting and iron the adhesive onto the patch. Discard the paper towel or rag once you have attached the adhesive to the patch.
Iron on the patch to the fabric
Peel the paper backing off from the adhesive and, place your patch where you want to attach it. Iron it into place, pressing down firmly to ensure that the adhesive makes a strong bond.
You may also iron the patch into place with the fabric turned inside out, thus ironing through the fabric instead of through the patch to activate the adhesive.