An Illustrated Guide to Ironing on a Patch 11 Steps

Iron-on patches are a fun and easy way to show off your interests and passions, whether you want to flaunt the names of your favorite bands on your coat sleeve or the new skills you learned at summer camp on your backpack.

  1. 1

    Determine the kind of patch you have. Patches can either have glue or a cloth backing; sometimes both. Think about whether or not you'll need any supplementary supplies after examining your patch.

    • Embroidered patches used for decoration are typically thick and stiff, with what appears to be plastic glue on one side. These are great for hiding holes and stains in your clothing.
    • Prints on one side of non-glossy specialty paper are what make up transfer paper patches. Unfortunately, these aren't strong enough to repair rips, and if you don't use them on something white, the underlying fabric will likely show through.
    • Fusible web can be used to attach patches with a flat fabric back.
    • To conceal blemishes or holes, fabric patches typically have a paper backing that must be removed prior to application.
    • If you are having trouble finding a suitable patch, you might want to consider having one made to order.
  2. 2

    Check the content of the garment or accessory you intend to wear. Iron-on patches look and perform best on denim and cotton. As a rule of thumb, the weight of the fabric you select should be comparable to that of the patch.

    • Check the care label to see if the fabric can be ironed (a crossed-out iron icon indicates that it cannot be ironed). If there is no tag, you'll have to use your best judgment to determine the material.
    • You must exercise extreme caution when ironing on patches to polyester fabrics because the high heat required can burn or discolor the fabric. [1]
    • It is not recommended to patch silk or other delicate fabrics. [2]
    • Chenille yarn is easily damaged by an iron, so use caution when applying patches. [3]

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  3. 3

    Make sure you give some thought to the layout and the design Lay out your jacket, sash, or backpack and decide where you want the patch to go before you heat up the iron.

    • Put it where everyone can see it if it's the only patch you're ironing on this item. Accurately portray the placement as deliberate
    • Make sure there is enough room for additional patches if you intend to iron them on, such as for a Girl Scout sash or other collection.
    • Remember that letters and other asymmetrical elements will appear backwards on a printable paper patch.

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  1. 1

    Set the bottom part down on a flat, heat-proof surface. A flat surface is ideal for ironing, but a doubled-up bath towel on a sturdy table will do in a pinch. [4]

    • Ironing the item beforehand ensures that it will serve as a suitable surface for the patch. If you're ironing a patch onto something like a backpack or a bag that doesn't lay flat, try to position the item so that the patch area is flat against a hard surface.
  2. 2

    In the location of your choosing, apply the patch. It's important to make sure the adhesive side is flush with the backing fabric. Check to see that the patch isn't skewed.

    • The reverse of iron-on patches with embroidery is the adhesive side.
    • The image is printed on the adhesive side of transfer paper patches. Arrange the picture with its front facing the fabric. Once the patch has been ironed on, the paper backing can be removed.
    • The adhesive side of fusible webbing must be facing the fabric when used.
    • It's possible that the back of an item of clothing will be the best place to sew on a patch that's designed to disappear into the fabric. You should use it in accordance with the directions on the box.
  3. 3

    Get an iron hot Set it to the highest temperature your material can handle. Neither the steam setting nor any water in the iron should be on at any time. [5]

  4. 4

    Cover the patch with a thin towel. Avoid moving the patch from where it currently sits. Using the towel as a shield, the patch and its surroundings will be safe.

  5. 5

    Place the patch over the hot iron and press down. Keep the iron in place for about a minute and a half. Try to exert as much force as possible by pressing down firmly.

  6. 6

    Take the patch out of the iron and let it cool. Check the patch's stability by lifting the towel and gently rubbing at the edge with a finger. Do a quick test by removing the towel and pressing it with the iron for 10 seconds; if it comes loose again, reapply the towel.

    • Wait until the paper transfer patch is completely cool (at least 10 minutes) before attempting to remove the paper.

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  1. 1

    Think about finishing the edges with stitches Sewing the patch to the fabric with a machine or a needle and thread will ensure its permanence. The likelihood of the patch coming off is drastically reduced in this way. [6]

    • Select a needle and thread color that coordinate with the patch.
    • Don't try to sew on printable paper patches if you can help it.
    • Patches can be sewn into the lining of a garment to cover holes that have been repaired.
  2. 2

    You shouldn't wash it more than once. Although iron-on patches are designed to last forever, they can loosen up after repeated washings. Avoid getting the item too soiled, as doing so may cause the patch to start peeling off during the washing process.

    • It is recommended to wash the item by hand in cold water if it needs to be washed. Set it out to dry in the air.

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Inquiry New
  • Question

    Do patches wash well enough to be ironed on?

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    Assistant Editors of wikiHow
    Staff Response
    Our expert researchers have reviewed this response and vetted it for both accuracy and completeness.

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    Items with securely attached iron-on patches can be washed, but extra care must be taken. If possible, wash the item by hand in cold or lukewarm water. If doing laundry in a machine, use the delicate cycle only. Whenever you wash a garment that has an iron-on patch, remember to flip it inside out. If the patch's edges fray excessively, you may need to trim them or even stitch them back down after washing in order to preserve it. Additionally, it is recommended that you consult the iron-on patch manufacturer's washing instructions, as these can vary depending on the brand.

  • Question

    Is it possible to sew a patch onto a suitcase?

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    Technical Writers at wikiHow
    The Staff's Reply
    One of our expert researchers drafted this response, and we've had it checked for both accuracy and completeness.

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    Luggage cases can have patches sewn on, but the material they are made of determines whether or not the patch can be ironed on. Patches can be ironed on to a fabric suitcase without any problems. However, the patches will need to be sewn or glued onto leather suitcases because leather should not be heated. With regards to situations involving synthetic materials (like rayon, nylon, etc. Due to the material's susceptibility to melting under heat, it is not recommended that patches be ironed onto such bags. Before making any decisions, you should always see if the material on the case can withstand an iron.

  • Question

    Can a patch be ironed on with a hair straightener?

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    Working Editors of wikiHow
    Staff Response
    In-house experts checked the accuracy and completeness of this response to ensure it meets our standards.

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    As an alternative to using a regular iron, a hair straightener can be used to permanently attach an iron-on patch. To iron on a patch, you should first heat the hair straightener, place the patch where you want it, and then clamp the straightener over the patch and the fabric. You should freeze for 30–60 seconds. You will likely need to move the hair straightener around the patch a few times until it is completely sealed onto the fabric, each time leaving it in place for 30 to 60 seconds. To prevent the patch glue from sticking to the hair straightener, wrap it in foil before heating it and discard it once it has cooled.

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Updated: On this day in 2022, November 20

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