How To Make Embroidery Patches Quickly & Easily

What is Embroidery & Do You Need an Embroidery Machine?

Embroidery is artwork using needle and thread. Embroidery design can include beads and sequins. Companies use embroidery for various products like hats and designs and are a secure design that won’t fade overtime. There are many stitches used in embroidery design like the satin stitch, running stitch, whip stitch, and cross stitch. satin stitch is very popular and is a technique that uses flat row stitches to cover a design area. Usually a pattern is outlined and then the satin stitch covers embroidered patches when hand-embroidered, and with an embroidery machine, satin stitch is used for outline and assists applique fusion to fabric.

Hand Embroidery Techniques vs. Embroidery Machine

Of the two methods of embroidering available, the more traditional option is hand embroidery. There are four ways to create hand embroidery patches including iron-on, removable pin, self- adhesive, and sew-on embroidered patches. The necessary materials for all embroidered patches are thread and fabric, and for the adhesive and pin versions, you will need either a self adhesive fusion material or a pin.

Though optional, an embroidery hoop is another great tool to use. Embroidery hoops add tension to fabric to stitch the design and makes fabric more secure than holding between your fingers.

For each method, the design image must be transferred to the surface prior stitching. When applying the design, leave a border of at least 1/8th of an inch so the ends can be secured with stitching. With simpler patch designs like the felt design, it’s as simple as tracing, stitching, and securing your design ends. A great tool to use to apply your design is a water-soluble stabilizer. When rinsing your design to remove your water-soluble stabilizer, use cool or room temperature water to avoid shrinking the design.

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Iron On Patches

With iron on patches, be sure to cut two pieces; one for stitching and one for the adhesive. Iron one of the adhesive pieces to the back of the stitched design and one to the plain piece of fabric. The plain side will be attached to the surface once ironed. After the adhesive is secured onto the plain fabric, be sure to secure the ends of the fabric with a whip or running stitch. Using an iron on high heat, hold the patch in the desired place and iron from the back of the item you’re attaching. Felt patches are similar to the iron patches without the need of a fusible web. After making a felt patch, if you decide to make it a pin, simply apply a bar style pin-back. Stitching around the border resembling a satin stitch always looks beautiful. Be sure to stitch very close together and secure with a knot.

Self Adhesive

Self adhesive patches are similar to a felt patch. After tracing and stitching your design simply cut the necessary amount of permanent adhesive peel and apply it to the back of pattern. Remember to cut the necessary amount of stitching around the border and once finished, attach to the desired area whether a notebook or a backpack. Keep in mind the adhesive is permanent, so put a lot of consideration into the patch placement because it is hard to remove once applied.

Using an Embroidery Machine

Another embroidery method that works a bit quicker uses an embroidery machine. Embroidery machines are great for making multiple patches, hats or a bulk order of t-shirts, especially when needed in a short time. One downside is that an embroidery machine can be expensive. If you're starting a business it is a great investment and will pay for itself after a few clients. The necessary materials include thread needles, a bobbin, fabric, embroidery computer software, a stabilizer, and of course the embroidery machine. Depending on where your embroidery machine is purchased, many of the materials will be included.

Experience is the best way to get efficient at using the embroidery machine. Use needles that fit the thread weight since using the wrong size can cause breakage. When in doubt, follow the standardized number system. When starting the machine, connect to a power supply, either in a socket or with a USB in a computer. Most embroidery machines will come with pre-installed software. Once running, select your design. These are either pre-installed or can be imported by the embroiderer. Depending on the machine, modifications or edits can be made to the design. Again, the more you use the machine, the more efficient you will become.

Despite the embroidery design method, be sure to make sure you secure the design before and after stitching. If by hand, using an embroidery hoop is highly recommended. Satin stitch is great for making rows and filling in designs. Review the safety instructions prior to using your embroidery machine. Remember to practice as much as possible and you will eventually master every method.

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