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Patch 101

Are you interested in making an embroidered patch, but don’t know where to start? Well, look no further! Just follow these 7 simple steps and you’re on your way to making your very own embroidered patch!

  1. Patch Design
  2. Shape
  3. Size / Text Size
  4. Embroidery % / Fabric
  5. Border
  6. Backing
  7. Colors


1. Patch Design

Please provide us with your artwork design in a high-resolution digital format (ai, eps, pdf, jpg, gif, bmp, png, etc.)


2. Shape

An embroidered patch needs to be enclosed within a shape layout. We can use regular shapes such as square, circle, rectangle, or oval. We can also make the patches in its contour irregular shape if needed to. For irregular shapes, please ask for consultation.

w/ rounded corners
w/ sharp corners

Examples of Irregular shapes:


3. Size/Text Size

Embroidered patch sizes are determined by adding the width and the height then divide that by 2. For example, an embroidered patch that measures 4" wide by 3" high will have an overall patch size of 3 1/2". For round patches, the diameter is the size.

Width = 4"
Height =3"
4" + 3" = 7"
7" ÷ 2 = 3 1/2"

Width = 3 7/8"
Height = 4"
3 7/8" + 4" = 7 7/8"
7 7/8" ÷ 2 = 3.9375 = 4"

The following are the typical sizes for patches used on some more popular garments:

Baseball cap – no taller than 2 3/8"
Bucket hat – no taller than 2"
Shoulder of a jacket – 3 1/2"~ 5"
Front left chest – 1" ~ 3"
Back of the jacket – 8" and up

The text font & size will determine how legible the text will be embroidered. 1/4" is the recommended minimum height for text on stitched background, and 3/16" is the recommended minimum height for text on twill background.


4. Embroidery % / Fabric

You can choose to leave the background of your design as the fabric (non-fully-embroidered) which will give your embroidered patch a special layered look, or you can choose to have the background embroidered with threads as well (100% fully embroidered) which will give your patch a much fuller look.

The amount of embroidery coverage is entirely based on your own personal preference. Please click here to view some non-fully embroidered patches and 100% fully embroidered patches.

If your embroidered patch is not fully embroidered, we normally use twill fabric, but you can choose to use a different type of fabric other than the standard twill. Please contact us for more information on the other available fabrics.


5. Border

A traditional embroidered patch most often uses the merrow border. Merrow border is the type of border where threads over-lock the edge of the patch giving the patch its authentic embroidered patch look. The border is always 1/8" in thickness and is best used for designs with regular shapes like squares, circles, rectangles, or ovals.

The other more commonly used border is the stitched border. Stitched border is part of the embroidery, sitting on the edge of the patch, giving it a clean, trimmed edge look. The thickness of a stitched border is a bit more flexible in that the standard thickness is 1/16" (1.59mm), but can be adjusted up to 3/16" (4.76mm) if need be. Patches with stitched border can be done in regular or irregular design shapes.


6. Backing

The type of backing chosen for your patch is usually associated with how you will be applying the patches onto your garment. Here are the 6 basic types of backings ranking from no added cost to highest added cost:

1) Plain (No Backing) – Embroidered patches with no backing are more flexible (bendable). Plain backing is often chosen for sew-on application.
2) Pellon – An opaque layer of non-woven material that normally functions as a stabilizer for the embroidered patch, and can be used to cover up the messy bobbin threads on the back of the patch as well. It comes in two colors, white or black.
3) Plastic – Adding a layer of plastic backing will stiffen up the patch and hold the shape of the patch better. This type of backing is often chosen for sew-on application.
4) Heat Seal - This is known as the iron-on backing. This type of backing also adds a stiffened layer to the patch but could also be adhered to the garment through heat pressing or ironing. Please note that the strength of the heat seal adhesion may vary depending on the types of fabric for the garment. Satin, nylon, or waterproof fabric, are the three types of fabrics we know may not be suitable for heat pressing.
5) Pressure Sensitive (Self-Adhesive) – This is the Peel-N-Stick type of backing which is ideal to apply to garments for special events. The adhesion may not be strong enough to go through a typical wash, so remember to remove the patch from the garment before washing.
*PSB-TEMP – This is a type of pressure sensitive backing for “positioning” purposes only. This is best utilized for a “sew-on” patch when you don’t want the patch to shift when you’re trying to sew the patch onto the garment.
6) Velcro – You can choose to have hook-side only velcro or both hook & loop sides velcro. Patches with these type of backing can be easily attached and detached to garments with loop side velcro or similar material such as felt.

Other more uncommon backing types, such as magnet or cork, are available, but may not work with all embroidered patches, please contact us for more information.


7. Colors

Picking the right colors is essential in making your embroidered patch rich and vibrant. You may choose up to 7 regular thread colors and 1 twill fabric color at no additional charges.
*No need to pick a twill color if your patch is 100% fully embroidered.
Thread Color Chart
Twill Color Chart


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Trademarks/Copyrights: All samples shown on this website are examples of work done by the factory. They are not for sale. Peiyork International assumes that all clients are authorized to use logos and trademarks submitted for reproduction.