While you might associate iron-on patches with punks, hippies, or even boy scout uniforms, they’ve become a popular and stylish way for anyone to update their wardrobe and express their personality. Whether you want to decorate a classic denim jacket or update an old pair of jeans, iron-on patches come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to suit any garment. And with so many talented artists turning their illustrations into embroidered appliqués, there’s plenty of extraordinary embellishments to choose from.
In this list, we’ve included something for everyone. For example art enthusiasts will find Van Gogh-inspired patches, a Frida Kahlo appliqué, and a textile homage to Yayoi Kusama. Animal lovers will enjoy an adorable French bulldog, a floral cat design, and even a lobster. And for those who dream of the mysteries of outer space, check out the cosmic snake patch, the glittering shooting star, and the rainbow UFO.
How to iron on patches
Embroidered iron-on patches are best suited to most fabrics, including polyester and cotton. However, it’s not possible to apply heat to waterproof or elastic material, as its likely to melt. Once applied, the patch is permanently attached to the garment and can even be machine-washed without damaging the design—provided you make sure to turn it inside out.
Step 1: Set your hand iron to the hottest temperature setting. Note: Do not use steam during application.
Step 2: Place your embroidered patch on the desired position and place a rag cloth (such as a handkerchief, sheet or pillowcase fabric) on top.
Step 3: Press the iron straight down on the rag cloth for 35-45 seconds with as much constant pressure as possible. Avoid moving the iron back and forth.
Step 4: Turn the garment inside-out and repeat step 3.
Step 5: Allow the embroidered patch to cool down, et voila!
Want to customize your old clothes? Check out these creative iron-on patches.
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