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Embroidered Patches vs PVC Patches

Patches can be attached to uniforms, shirts, sweaters, jackets, hats, beanies, bags, jeans and even used as key chains or as a collectible item. They bring life and a personality to our clothes and accessories. The best part about these patches is that they can be customized into any design and color you want, to perfectly resonate with your personality and tell your story. There are many types of patches that are suitable for all sorts of use, the most in vogue patch styles are embroidered patches and PVC patches.

Both of these patch styles bring their own flair to whatever clothing or material they are attached to. Each style has its own pros and cons, depending on whether you want a vintage look or a durable one.

Below we will discuss as how they differ from each other, so you are able to make the right choice based on your purpose.

Are you looking for custom patches but no sure which style to choose? Read through our Embroidered Patches vs PVC Patches comparison below to make up your mind!

Embroidered Patches

As you know, embroidered patches are those good old traditional patches that you usually see on apparel or uniforms. These are usually used by military, police, colleges, sports teams and other institutions for their uniforms and clothing. Embroidered patches make your uniform stand out so that you can easily be identified and distinguished. They often go with your outfits, giving off a soft and warm feel.

Embroidered patches can be customized to suit your requirement. You can make your preferences based on the following features:


The threads in embroidered patches matter the most. They give it a shiny and fabric-like look no matter what color or style you choose. Threads are the main distinguishing feature in an embroidered patch because they dominate most of the area on the patch.

A standard patch has 12 colors but at Ultra Patches, you can choose more than that. We also design tufted patches to give a 3D look. We offer a wide variety of threads for you to choose such as reflective threads, bright/neon threads, photo luminescent (glow in the dark) silk threads, the classic Gold and Silver threads and the sparkly sequins threads.

Embroidery Coverage

Embroidery thread coverage is also a very important factor, which can affect the look and pricing of your embroidered patches. Before placing an order you need to calculate how much embroidery thread coverage you want on your patches.


You will have several options when looking for customized borders. If you know the shape you want your patch to be, deciding about the border does not have to be complicated. Embroidered patches can be customized in the following border styles:

  • Merrowed: Traditional look for no-fuzz and simple shapes such as circles, ovals, squares etc. Merrowed borders are thick, made with interlock stitch technique.
  • Plain Embroidered: A simple border embroidered with usually the same kind of thread as the patch.
  • Frayed: Frayed borders have raw threads left untouched on the borders. You will often find these frayed borders on caps and hats etc.
  • Hot Cut: Cut by a hot knife for simple shapes.
  • Laser Cut: A laser machine cuts borders of complicated shapes with high precision.
  • No Borders: Don’t think any border style would go with your brand? Go for an embroidered patch with no borders!


You can add special effects and features to your embroidered patches and make them stand out among the dull and boring ones. Ultra Patches offers the following add-on options for you to customize your embroidered patches.

  • Camouflage Twill
  • Frayed Edges
  • Gingham Lines
  • Glow in the dark thread
  • Neon Threads
  • 50% Embroidery
  • 75% Embroidery
  • 100% embroidery
  • Magnetic Backing
  • Magnetic Patch
  • Merrowed Border
  • Metallic Thread
  • Puff Patches
  • Reflective
  • Crystals
  • Vintage Worn Style

These add-ons are subjected to additional costs.


Backings on embroidered patches usually depend upon where it goes, so that it perfectly attaches to the clothing or material. We offer a large variety of options to meet your needs:

  • Velcro
  • Peel and Stick
  • Iron On (most popular)
  • Pin Backing (easily attachable and detachable multiple times)
  • Wearable Magnet (for garments)
  • Magnet (for metal surfaces)
  • Button Loop
  • Plastic Backing


You can check the pricing for embroidered patches here. Our prices depend on a number of factors such as the quantity, size, backing and add-ons.


Our embroidered patches are durable and long-lasting, but yes; embroidered patches can fray and the borders can start to peel off with more use over longer periods of time, they are washable but if something spills over embroidered patches it can be very difficult to remove the stain.

Turnaround Time

For embroidered patches, the turnaround time is 10 days after the mock-up approval.

custom pvc patch
Custom 2D PVC patch

PVC Patches

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) patches are a modern take on custom patches. These are way different than your traditional embroidered patches because PVC patches are made on a soft, rubber-like plastic which is very flexible. They are easy to be molded in any shape, and can be created in any and all colors. Available in both 2D and 3D, PVC patches have a sharper, refined appearance. As you can guess, they are not made using threads but are made using liquid PVC material. If you want to learn more check out our detailed article on how pvc patches are made.

PVC patches are used by sports teams, outdoor sports clubs, military, paramedics, police and other institutions to represent their identity. Since they are very durable and long-lasting, PVC patches are the most popular and widely used patches. 

At Ultra Patches, you can customize and create your PVC patches based on the following features:


  • 2D

2D PVC patches are made by focusing on the layers and edges. Although the process is step-by-step, 2D patches have flat layers and edges.

  • 3D

3D PVC patches are also made in steps layer by layer. But the layers can be sculpted to give off a 3D or lifelike look.

Here’s a detailed article on the difference between 2D and 3D PVC patches.


Ultra Patches offers a number of attractive add-ons for you to design unique and stylish PVC patches that truly resonate with your brand. Add these extras to your PVC patches and shine bright among the rest, quite literally with our glow in the dark patches.

  • Glow in the Dark: A special environment-friendly  glow-in-the-dark powder is mixed in the coloring that makes the PVC patches glow like neon when exposed to light.
  • Sew Channel: These PVC patches come with a sew channel running along the borders so that they can be easily sewn on clothing or other materials.
  • Full Color Printing: These PVC patches are colored CMYK printing to create any shade or type of color.
  • Partial Screen Printing: Some parts of the PVC patches are screen printed while the others are layered with PVC.
  • Thickness: The standard PVC patches are 2.55 mm thick. But at Ultra Patches, you can choose a thickness of up to 5 mm.

These add-ons are subjected to additional costs.


Backings on PVC patches depend on the application of the patches, so that it perfectly attaches to the clothing or any other surface. We offer a large variety of options to meet your needs:

  • Velcro (most popular)
  • Peel and Stick
  • Iron On
  • Wearable Magnet (for garments)
  • Magnet (for metal surfaces)


You can check the pricing for PVC patches here. Our prices depend on a number of factors such as the quantity, size, backings and add-ons.


Our waterproof and flexible PVC patches have an extraordinarily long life. They are washable and they can withstand most harsh environmental conditions and stay intact. PVC patches don’t fray and last way longer than embroidered patches.

Turnaround Time

 For PVC patches, the turnaround time is 15-18 days after the mock-up approval.

If you need help to decide which style of patches you should go for? Get in touch with our sales representative on or give us a call at 541-248-8831 and let’s discuss. Relax and let the team at UltraPatches take care of you patches.