All of our embroidered patches have clear plastic-like glue on the back so you can iron them onto your item. Basically the heat from the iron melts the glue into the fabric, adhering it to the patch. The best fabrics to iron on a patch is cotton, denim and most textile fabrics. That covers most tee shirts, shirts, textile jackets, denim biker shirts and vest, backpacks, jeans, canvas tote bags and handbags.
You should NOT iron on a patch onto anything made of these fabrics:
Trying to iron a patch onto leather may cause the leather to discolor or burn. It also will not stick well. Plastic-like items, silk and other delicate items will burn, melt and leave a mess. For those items please sew the patch on.
A heat press is the best machine to use to glue on a patch. However, most people don’t own one. So an iron is the next best thing to use. Two key steps to make sure your patch gets securely glued onto the fabric is high heat and firm pressure. With that in mind here are the steps to successfully iron on your patch.
1. Set the temperature setting on your iron to cotton, which is normally the highest setting. You want good high heat. Do NOT have steam function on and make sure no water is in the iron. Use a flat surface for your base like an iron board or put a towel down on a table.
2. Lay your item out flat and remove any lint on the surface. Iron the spot the patch will go to get out wrinkles and warm up the area. Of course you should already know where you want the patch to be and the position you want it.
3. Lay your embroidered patch onto the item exactly where you want it. To help keep it in place you can put a drop of fabric glue onto the back in several areas and let dry, or sew a few corners of the patch in place.
4. Cover the patch with a thin heat resistant fabric like a cotton pillow case, sheet or washcloth to protect the patch. Press the iron down onto the patch FIRMLY for 20 seconds for small patches. Apply good pressure and make sure the edges get good pressure.
Large patches can be a bit tricky. Press down firmly with the iron and slowly move it around the whole patch, making sure you overlap the edges and really put pressure on those outside edges of the patch. Large patches may take 1 minute or more of firm pressure with the iron, slowly moving it over the whole patch.
5. Let the patch cool for 30 seconds, then carefully and gently test the edges with your fingernail. If you find an edge is still loose repeat step 4, using a little less time.
6. This next step is the secret to making sure your patch is glued securely! After letting your patch cool for a minute, flip your item over so the patch is now under the fabric and the item is inside out. Make sure the fabric and patch is flat, put your protective fabric you used to cover the patch in step 4 over the area and press your iron firmly over the patch for another 15 seconds for small patches.
For large patches firmly move your iron over the area for about 30 seconds, again making sure you overlap the edges and apply pressure to all edges. Heat and pressure is everything! Let cool for a minute, then turn the item right side out again. Your patch should now be securely ironed on.
You may want to now sew the edges of the patch for a double secure patch, but that is up to you. Try to not wash your item any more than necessary as it can soften up the bond. You can use a machine washer but hand washing is recommended, especially for large patches.
Hang drying is also recommended, as the high heat from the dryer can melt the glue bond. If you need to use a dryer use medium or low heat. I hope this helps you to know how to iron on embroidered patches!