Artex Group Patch Blog
For those of you familiar with designing custom embroidered patches, you know about twill.
One of the most frequent questions we get from new customers is this: “So how does this work, anyway?”
Some folks want to hold a physical patch sample in their hands, put it up the light, and examine the thread before proceeding with production. Others are content with a digitized sample.
What’s important to remember is that everyone’s journey is different, just as each patch has a unique purpose.
Some people come to us with a logo fully developed by in-house graphic artists, thread colors picked, a style already in mind, and all of that information beautifully laid out in a spreadsheet; others come to us with a hastily-snapped photo of a pencil drawing in their notebook. There’s no right or wrong way to go about it, but understanding the process of developing a custom patch will help you be prepared to get the most out of your experience.
Without further ado, here’s a step-by-step guide to ordering your first custom patch!
Step 1: Prepare your design
Before you can create your patch, you have to know what your design will be! Now, some patch manufacturers will help you create the actual artwork for the patch and some won’t – here at Artex, we’re proud to provide a basic design service – but if you (like most of us) weren’t blessed with artistic vision, consider using a freelance graphic designer to bring your logo to life. Websites like Fiverr and Upwork are great for quickly locating available talent without straining your budget, plus you get to feel good about supporting the little guy!
Once your logo is primed and ready, it’s time for step two.
Step 2: Select your patch style
This is a whole blog post in and of itself… luckily, we already have one, which you can read by clicking here!
The short version is this: the style of patch you choose (embroidered, woven, sublimated, PVC, et cetera) will have a tremendous influence on the way your patch looks and feels. If you’re having trouble deciding, have a conversation with one of our salespeople! They have decades of experience in the patch industry and know which style will suit a particular logo simply by looking at it.
Remember, the style of patch you choose will ultimately affect the way the patch looks and feels. Once you’ve got your artwork ready and you’ve picked the patch style that best suits your logo, it’s time to get things moving!
Step 3: Approve your custom patch
Once the details are settled, the next step is to produce what’s called a “stitch-out” or “sew-out” for your approval. So what exactly is a stitch-out? It’s not complicated – a stitch-out is just a scanned sample that will be passed along to you in order for you to decide whether you’d like to make any changes to the design prior to proceeding with production.
It’s important to be detail-oriented at this stage, but also to remain realistic. Remember what attracted you to your logo and focus on what’s important. It’s important that you love your logo – it’s very important! – but no one will ever analyze it to the same extent that you will during the design phase. Knowing what matters most to you will help you keep that perfectionist tendency in check while also ensuring that your custom patches are exactly what you wanted.
Step 4: Production time!
As soon as your patch is approved, production begins. The lead time on manufacturing a batch of new patches is typically around three to four weeks but can vary depending on the size of the order and the complexity of the design. Some styles – such as metal pins – may also take a bit longer than a traditional embroidered patch.
If you’re under a time crunch or if something unexpected comes up, don’t be afraid to communicate your needs! There have been times when our team at Artex has had to wrangle large orders of custom patches in just two weeks, but the worst thing for both the manufacturer and the customer is a breakdown of communication.
Step 5: Shipping your custom patches
Once your patches have been manufactured, the last step is getting them to your doorstep! Artex Group offers shipping options ranging from standard to overnight, but communication is key! Make sure you leave room in your schedule for mishaps. If you need your patches three days, for example, it’s best not to select two-day shipping… we’ve seen packages left unscanned in carrier warehouses and all other forms of slip-ups in our time, and we can safely say that a little bit of cushion never hurts! It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
… and that’s it! You have your custom patches!
If you have any questions about the process of ordering custom patches or if you’d like a quote for your design, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you get your next order of patches going!
Embroidered patches are becoming more popular, and not only because they’re effective for marketing your business or association. With heat transfer, you can place patches on jean jackets, pants, bookbags, purses, and more, adding a fun and even vintage aesthetic to your look.
But how exactly do heat transfer patches work? Here, we’ll help you understand how to transfer your patches onto your clothing or accessories so you can look your best while feeling confident that your patches aren’t going anywhere.
How Do You Adhere Patches With an Iron?
If you’re using an iron to adhere your heat transfer patches, you’re going to start by pre-heating your iron on the “cotton” setting. Be sure that your steam setting is turned off. Set your custom patch on the garment in the place where you’d like to adhere it. Place a heat-safe piece of cloth such as a cotton pillowcase over the patch and garment. Be careful that you don’t move the patch. This fabric serves as a protective barrier between the patch and the iron.
When the iron is ready and the steam is turned off, press the iron onto the patch. Keep the iron on the patch for approximately 25 seconds and don’t move the iron. Use firm, consistent pressure. Moving the iron back and forth can prevent the patch from adhering properly to your garment. After ironing on the patch, let your garment cool down for about five hours prior to wearing it. This gives your patch enough time to properly adhere to the fabric.
How Do You Adhere Patches With a Heat Seal Machine?
If you’re using heat press patches and a heat seal machine, you’ll start by setting your machine to 365 degrees. Unlike when you’re using an iron, you’ll need to pre-heat the spot where you plan to adhere your heat press patches. Pre-heat the spot on the garment for approximately 15 seconds and then place your patch in the pre-heated area. Using about 50 to 70 pounds of pressure, apply heat to your patch for approximately 18 to 20 seconds. Once the patch is adhered, let the garment cool down for about five hours prior to wearing it.
Are you looking for custom iron on patches to add to your clothes or accessories? We’ve got you covered. Artex Group provides custom patches for individuals, sports teams, business organizations, and more. Reach out to us today to learn more about our heat press patches and how they work.
There’s a lot of terminology to learn in the wide world of patches. Do you need a sublimated patch or an embroidered one? Or maybe you’d be better off with a woven patch? Do you want a merrowed edge or a hot-cut one? Will your backing be heat-seal, velcro, plain? It’s a tough decision to make unless you have the right information, especially if you’re new to the patch game – but don’t worry, it’s not as complex as it seems!
Patch styles: the good, the bad, and the… well, you’ll see
Embroidered patches are classy and recognizable, bringing dimension and character to your logo. Embroidered patches are ideal for simple and bold designs, and they work best with 1″ patches and larger. They’re also great for achieving a textured look.
No other style can match embroidery in flat-out coolness… at least not in our opinion!
Examining a woven patch feels like sharpening the focus on a camera lens: the blurred edges fall away and become crisper, clearer. They capture minute details well and still retain a sense of dimension. They’re also a very popular option for apparel, bringing a refined look and modern flair to your logo – in that last few years, for example, demand for woven patches in the hat industry has skyrocketed.
If your design requires intensive detail, or if you’re creating something like a shirt label or uniform name tag, woven patches are a great choice! They’re flexible, attractive, and undeniably stylish.
While woven patches may be capable of capturing more detail than embroidered ones, sublimated patches take the prize when it comes to faithfully rendering every element of your design. Sublimated patches aren’t actually stitched onto a twill base like a woven or embroidered emblem – they’re printed, which means a sublimated patch can capture photo-quality detail. No matter how busy or difficult your design, it can be digitized and translated onto a sublimated patch.
If your logo looks like a work of art, with an array of colors and a wealth of detail, sublimation is a great option for showcasing the quality of your design. Background elements such as gradients translate perfectly into sublimation, representing complex imagery such as sunsets with a fantastic blend of color.
Plus – here’s an insider secret for you – you can always combine embroidery with sublimation to achieve that sought-after textured look!
PVC, leather, and other nonstandard patches
PVC patches are totally weatherproof and can stand up to whatever punishment you have in store. They’re a great choice for outdoorsy apparel or any equipment which might end up on the receiving end of constant abuse, such as a hiking backpack. The thickness and makeup of PVC patches give them an extra layer of armor, which means they can keep a licking and keep on ticking.
Need help choosing a patch style?
That’s totally understandable! It’s a lot to take in all at once. Fortunately, we have an expert team with dozens of years of experience. If you’re wrestling with which style of patch would look best with your design, we’d be happy to give you our two cents – totally free of charge!
Remember, creating a business strategy can sometimes be a (pardon the pun) patchwork enterprise. Not everything is always apparent at the outset. But with some friendly advice and a few handy blog posts, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to keep your patches – and your business – going strong!