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Features of an Embroidered Patch

Embroidered patches are largely used in the apparel industry owing to their durability and detailing. When you approach a custom patch manufacturer with a design and choose an embroidered style for your patches you should know that there are certain do’ and dont’s when you are designing your custom embroidered patches that will impact the overall look of the product. A high quality embroidered patch should be sturdy, crisp and visually appealing. Embroidered patches are the most chosen style for a patch because of the color vibrancy, ease of application and their traditional artistic look.

However, like everything else, there are multiple important features of a quality embroidered patch that you should know beforehand. When you don’t consider the pros and cons of a design, it impacts the final results Therefore, we’ll shed some light on embroidered patches and the essential aspects to help you make an informed decision. Read on to find out more!

The Design

The first and foremost and the most important. What is the design like, is it text based ? is it a character ? does it have gradients or shading ? How many layers are there on the design, is there a common background color ? These are the things you must consider when choosing the style. Have a look at this article before you start designing your embroidered patches. However, we assume you want to make embroidered patches so lets move on.

Embroidery Percentage

Embroidery Percentage or embroidery thread coverage is also another very important aspect when making an embroidered patch. The right percentage of embroidery has to be used considering the design. Every patch does not need to be 100% embroidered, when the digitizers are digitizing the art work they should recommend or consider using the right percentage of embroidery coverage and consider the elements of each design to come up with a conclusion regarding coverage. A higher percentage of embroidery coverage increases the cost per patch, such decisions are best discussed before production as they can effect the pricing considerably when manufacturing the patches in bulk.

Thread and Twill

First and foremost, the base or twill of an embroidered patch should be reliable. If the twill is weak, the threads don’t stay-in-place, eventually messing up the design. Polyester twill is the best choice for embroidered patches because it’s stiff and sustainable. When your patch has several patterns, i.e., petals, letters, etc. this twill provides a firm base. The default firmness of cotton twill makes it a go-to material for your embroidered patches. Always go with manufacturers who are using rayon threads for stitching. Rayon thread is thinner with less pile up as polyester thread will have uneven loops and occasional pull-ups.

Polyester Twill


Embroidered or not, the border always impacts a patch’s overall look. Mostly there are two types of borders used on embroidered patches, merrowed and stitched; you should select one according to the design.

  • Merrowed Border (overlock)

The word merrowed originates from a machine brand that invented the overlock sewing machine. When you pick this style, a particular thread is sewn around the patch in the overlock stitch style to seal the borders of the patch. A patch with a merrowed border doesn’t have a thread fall-out and presents a sleek and round piped look. A merrowed border nicely conceals the edges of the patch to enhance the final look. Merrow borders are thicker than normal stitched borders and protect the twill from fraying and the threads from being pulled out of the edges..

Merrowed border or interlock stitch border
  • Stitched Border

A heat cut border should be preferred when the patch has sharp edges and less intricate details. This border isn’t visible, and the patch’s overall look is limited to the design you share with the manufacturer. If you want smaller patches that blend with the surface they’re pasted on; a heat cut border will do the job.

A good border will also be trimmed for any extra threads and all kinds of unevenness should be removed from the border.

  • Laser Cut

Complex shapes are cut using a precision laser after the borders have been stitched. This allows or any extra material on the borders to be precisely burned to give the patch a clean and smooth finish.

Laser cut or hot cut edge


This goes without saying, if your embroidered patch frays threads, or shows color bleeding, it’s not worth your money. Certified patch manufacturers use quality threads and fabric to produce high quality patches. If you need an embroidered patch for your uniform or any other long-term use, make sure its washable and doesn’t fray or fade with time. As I mentioned above, polyester twill and embroidery threads make a good combination to create long-lasting patches.


After the manufacturing material, a patch’s backing is the second-most important factor one must consider. The way your custom embroidered patch sticks to the fabric determines its usefulness and visibility. Here are a few notable backing types you should know about:

  • Sew-on

As the name depicts, embroidered patches adhere to the target surface, i.e., a jacket, bag, shirt, etc. via sewing. You place the patch on the desired spot, sew it manually, or get reliable finishing with a machine; the choice is yours.

  • Iron-on

This is a smart backing type; the patch comes with an adhesive that melts when heated. You place the patch and iron it until it adheres to the surface. You can also stitch iron-on patches for added durability.

  • Velcro

When you use the same patch for multiple items, i.e., bag, uniform, sports kit, etc. the Velcro backing comes in handy. Also, Velcro backing makes embroidered patches washable, ensuring their shine remains intact.

Final words

Custom embroidered patches are vibrant, appealing and durable. When you approach an experienced manufacturer, he’ll ensure your custom patches are 10 on 10 in terms of creativity and uniqueness and they’ll make sure they are using the right process to manufacture. Therefore, note the important features of embroidered patches listed above and make sure your final product ticks all the boxes. If you are still unsure on what kind of style to choose for your patches search our blog for comparisons between different patch styles. We have a comparison of woven vs embroidered patches and embroidered vs pvc patches for you to decide.

If you are looking to customize your embroidered patches just fill out the quote form and our sales representative will guide you all the way to create the perfect embroidered patches for you. At UltraPatches we strive for quality and customer service and you can be sure that you are getting a high quality product that is worth your money.