Embroidered patches never really go out of style, and these days they’re more popular than ever, with fashion houses and style icons fixated on the classic embellishment. In recent months, pop star Rihanna has been spotted in a leather jacket covered in patches, Suicide Squad actress Margot Robbie stepped out in shredded jeans studded with emblems, and singer Demi Lovato topped off a red carpet look with a military jacket featuring patches on the chest and arm. Designers like Gucci and Libertine incorporated patches into 2016 fashion collections. And all over social media, bright, colorful, fun patches with quirky slogans and designs are scoring thousands of likes and shares. Clearly, the time to take advantage of this trend is now.
Not everyone can afford a Gucci skirt or Libertine denim jacket, but you can help your customers achieve a runway-inspired look at a low cost with custom patches, available from suppliers like Penn Emblem. “The ‘do it yourself’ or ‘DIY’ trend allows your customers to be the fashion designer and to make clothing truly their own,” Penn Emblem President Randi Blumenthal-Joseph says. Anything from a favorite pair of jeans to a shoulder bag can be enhanced with strategically placed patches. Here are a few tips to get you inspired:
Experiment with different apparel and accessories.
With adhesive backing, sew-on application or heat-seal application, patches can easily be applied to a variety of garments and accessories. Besides denim, try adding them to bomber jackets, purses, backpacks, skirts or even shoes.
Choose a nontraditional location.
Add a patch to a sleeve, hemline or collar for an unexpected pop of color.
Don’t be afraid to go overboard.
Pinterest is full of jeans covered from waist to ankle in vibrant, whimsical patches. The abundance of multicolor thread transforms the denim into something new. Scattering patches, or even overlapping them, gives a garment an effortless, casual feel.
Choose a focal point.
If a plethora of patches is too wild for your client, try choosing one or two distinctive patches to finish off a look. A large appliqué patch on the back of a denim jacket, for instance, creates a bold focal point.
Pair your patch style to the proper garment.
Different textures give different effects. Distressed patches make any garment seem vintage. Chenille and tackle twill are great for letterman jackets or collegiate-themed apparel. Patches with glitter, shimmer or reflective properties make apparel stand out.
Learn to turn one of your embroidery designs into a patch with this video tutorial from Apex Embroidery.