You have plenty of options when buying custom patches. First, you have to decide if you want an embroidered or a printed patch. Second, you have to pick the design that you are to apply on your patch. Third, you have to choose the colors of the threads or ink.
Lastly, you have to choose what type of backing you are going to incorporate on your patch. The following are your choices.
This backing adds support and stiffness to your patch. It makes the patch flat and thin to be easily attached to the clothing. Plastic backing can be used with any kind and any shape of patches. It is really flexible.The finish of the patches with plastic backing will appear thin and matte.
These backings make your patches work like a sticker. With adhesive backing, the back part of your custom patches is pressed with glue. It is overlaid with a paper that you will have to peel off to attach the patch on your clothes or fabric.
This kind of backing is also referred as Peel and Stick Backing. It is however non-permanent option. If the fabric has been washed, the glue will be washed away as well. Consequently, the patch will no longer stick on the fabric.
It is best used for special occasions only. If you needed permanent attachment, you can choose the plastic backing; in this option, the patches are to be sewn on the fabric.
This backing employs pins or brooches to attach custom patches on clothes. The pins are inserted inside the layers of the backing, twill or the base fabric of the patch, and the threads.
To secure the patch once it is pinned through the fabric, butterfly clutches are used. This type of backing is commonly seen on the patches of hand bags and jackets, especially on the leather ones.
Obviously, this type of backing uses magnets to stick the patches on the fabric. Patch makers insert a half-inch magnetic disk on the patch to turn it into a magnetic patch. These magnets are strong; they will durably secure your patches.
The amount of magnets to be inserted depends on the size of the custom patches. Two magnets are used for a three-inch patch.
Button Loop Backing
This type of backing also employ adhesive but it has an additional feature. It contains a loop of thread that is to be inserted through a button. Button loop backing holds up better than a simple adhesive backing.
Commonly, scouts organization uses this backing. They insert the loop on the button of their scout uniforms to attach their patches.
Hook-sided Velcro Backing
This is the type used in military where patches are frequently removed and reattached. Hook-sided Velcro Backing has hooks and loop fasteners on one or two of its sides. This backing comes in multiple colors such as black, green, brown, and gray.
Two-sided Velcro Backing
To use this kind of backing, you have to sew the loop fastener to your uniform or any fabric. Some Velcro backings are glued to the patches, while others are sewn. Sewn backings are more durable than those which used adhesives.
Heat Seal Backing
This is also known as Iron-on backings. To apply custom patches with heat seal backings, you have to use a home iron. This type is similar with plastic backings; both allow flat and stiff finish.
Makers use adhesives to create heal seal backings. Some only lasts for 20 washes, others stick until the 80th washing cycle; it depends on the type of adhesive used.
There are also embroidered patches which have no backing. You can see the twill and the threads on the back of the patches when they have no backing. These patches are not as stiff and thick as with those patches with backings.