Whether your aesthetics lean toward military chic, crossover vintage, or just about anything in between, patch-decorated clothing is definitely having a moment. This retro trend has been spotted on It girls like Yara Shahidi and in some of the best runway looks from Marc Jacobs, Gucci, and more. Of course, knowing how to iron on patches yourself can save you from the price tag of high-end designs while offering the satisfaction of creating something truly unique. To get started, grab your favorite jacket, jeans, or handbag and follow these four simple tips on how to iron on patches at home.
To properly affix a patch, be sure to turn up your iron to the highest heat setting. Before you get started, make sure your fabric is a match. Iron-on patches work best with materials like cotton and polyester but can seriously damage fabrics like nylon, rayon, or rain jacket material.
It’s important to choose the perfect position for your patch. Skipping this step can result in your hard work going to waste. If you’re centering the patch, use a measuring tape to ensure it’s in the right spot. For sleeves and lapels, consider pinning the patch in place and checking yourself in the mirror to make sure the patch is upright and in a position you like.
To protect both the fabric’s surface and the patch, place a pressing cloth (you can also use a cotton pillowcase or handkerchief) between the patch and the iron. Press the iron downward and hold it in place for 30 to 45 seconds. Be careful not to move the iron around since this can inadvertently shift the position of the patch.
Once the patch is affixed to the fabric, turn the item of clothing inside out and lay it flat on your ironing board. Position the pressing cloth over the reverse side of the patch and repeat step three. Once the patch is securely attached to the garment, allow it to cool completely before wearing.
Now that you know how to iron on patches, see 16 cool patch ideas to customize everything you own.