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Iron-On Vs. Sew-On Patch

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When shopping for custom patches, you’ll find several kinds. From embroidered and chenille, to PVC and leather, there are choices galore—each with its distinct benefits in terms of color and ease of use.

Speaking of using patches, one factor that concerns people when placing their orders is how they’ll be attaching these once received. When you place an order for custom patches online, you get to choose the “backing”.

The backing of your patch is the bottom layer. It matters because how you apply your patch affects how well it looks and how long it lasts. Plus, when it comes to branding patches, the right backing is crucial to maintain your patches budget and make the most of it on clothing or accessories. So, whether you are debating which patches make the best jacket patches or designing patches for caps and hats, there’s eh backing to consider too, not just the patch itself.

That said, we’ll be navigating the comparison of iron-on and sew-on patches. Read on to make a clear choice and use your patches well!

Iron-On Patches – Convenience Unmatched

Before we get on to the differences between iron-on vs sew-on patch, understand how these patches work.

Think of iron-on patches as decorative appliques that can latch to clothes and certain accessories using heat and pressure. A typical iron-on backing is crafted from fabric or synthetic materials such as mesh. The highlight is a special adhesive layer that gets activated when heated.

You apply an iron on top of the patch (usually with a protective fabric layer to avoid damaging the patch). The iron-on backing “melts” and becomes sticky, sticking to the fabric. The better the quality of the adhesive layer, the more firmly it sticks (read Learn How To Do Ironing On Patches Correctly).

You can add iron-on patches to a wide range of materials like cotton, canvas, denim, and polyester. Iron-on patches are very popular amongst brands creating clothing and accessories, or simply getting patches as they are for marketing giveaways at public events and in corporate gifts.

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Sew-On Patches – Durable Additions

Sew-on backing is specifically designed for the purpose of attaching patches to all kinds of apparel in all kinds of materials. The process of sewing on a patch is pretty straightforward, but also one that requires patience for attaining precision.

By opting for sew-on backing patches, also known as backless patches, you choose to sew a custom patch onto items in such a way that it latches securely in place. If wondering how to select perfect types of custom patches for you where the stress of peeling goes out the window, this may be a fine option

You can go for either manual stitching (by hand) or by using a sewing machine. To save some time and effort, get these professionally stitched. Apart from professionals in seams, various clothing shops offer patch-sewing services at fair rates for convenience.

Looking To Buy Sew-On Patches Online?

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Iron On Vs Sew On Patch – Comparing Main Features

So, which is a better choice: iron-on or sew-on? Take a look at this brief guide for iron on vs sew on patch differentiating how each patch works in terms of the following traits.

Iron-On Vs Sew-On Patch: Ease Of Application

Iron-on patches are made for easy application! You don't need any special skills or training to apply them. Anyone, even a child (old enough to handle an iron, of course!) can do it without help. The process is several times faster than applying a sew-on patch, and you get the same accuracy of application as when using a sew-on patch.

As for a sew-on patch, the process may be time-consuming to do by hand. Unless you are super proficient with a thread and needle or own a sewing machine, you will have to turn to professional tailors to get the job done. If ordering embroidered patches or ordering chenille patches on a budget, this may not be the best option.

Verdict: For those who can’t sew by hand or machine, don't have access to a sewing machine, or have a demanding schedule, iron-on patches can be quite convenient.

Iron-On Vs Sew-On Patch: Taking Em’ Off

If you decide that you don't like the patch, or you need to upgrade the design of the logo that is on the patch, or—in rare cases—the patch is quick to fray and fade compared to the piece of clothing or accessory it is on, then what do you do?

With sew-on patches, the process is doable but a tad tricky. You need to carefully undo the stitches by hand without damaging the fabric beneath. Also, the new patch should be bigger than the last one, since the stitching holes may show.

Iron-on patches are trickier to undo, especially if yours has a strong adhesive layer. That adhesive layer can’t be reversed (using an iron again), and employing any chemicals may damage the fabric it is on.

Verdict: While neither backing comes off gracefully, sew-on patches are the less tricky option when it comes to removable and replaceable backing.

Iron-On Vs Sew-On Patch: Sticking Durability

In sew-on patches, the method of attachment means that sew-on backings are less likely to come off or get damaged over time. As far as the integrity of sew-on patches goes, these are quite sturdy and can withstand multiple washes without losing their quality. Sew-on patches are a popular choice for buyers who intend to attach these to regular-use clothing and accessories.

On the other hand, iron-on backing sticks well to clothes—if you get a strong adhesive layer. Otherwise, you'll be dealing with a peeling backing after wear and tear, and wash cycles. This is concerning when it comes to adding patches to everyday clothes such as children's uniforms, which face a rough treatment.

Verdict: Undoubtedly, sew-on patches win the prize for durability. You won't be disappointed with the sticking power for a long time!

Iron-On Vs Sew-On Patch: Variety Of Use

Custom sew-on backing is impressively versatile and you can use this for all sorts of clothing and accessorizing items. Custom patches for shirts & hats, t-shirts and jeans, or keychains (twill) and bags—this backing is perfect for anything. But the best part is that you don’t need to worry about the type of material—of the patch itself or the surface you intend to apply the patch on. You can easily sew on leather and PVC patches with this kind of backing!

As for iron-on patches, the backing option may not be suitable for certain materials, such as leather, waterproof, sport elastic, and nylon. Also, iron-on backing is not a viable option for leather and PVC patches.

Verdict: When we differentiate iron-on and sew-on patches, iron-on backings have a limited ground of use, whereas sew-on backing cover all kinds of materials.

Get Your Iron-On and Sew-On Patches from Elegant Patches

Informed of the relationship between iron-on and sew-on patch? Regardless of which backing you prefer, we can comply with your request. At Elegant Patches, we promise sturdy sew-on backing, compatible with both hand and machine sewing. Also, we guarantee iron-backings with ultra-strong adhesive layers for longevity.

Reach out to us today to place your order of customized patches with preferred backing!