Monday, March 23, 2009

Praxis: A Patch Question

Guys and gals,

I just received this technical question:

Hey Mike,

I know that you're busy writing your book, but I have a question that you may be able to answer. I want to put the hook side of velcro on the back of the patches so they can be moved around. Do you know of a product that does not have to be sewn directly to the patch? Thanks in advance.




Will said...

Any one thinking of these as magnetized bumper stickers?

RWE-III said...

Go to a fabric store....there's hook & loop fabric of all types usually's ALL the rage!

If that doesn't work, get some fabric adhesive and DIY.

Anonymous said...

There is a cement available in the crafts department of places like Wal-mart, as well as regualr crafts stores, called ( I THINK) E-6000. Comes in a silver tube with black print on it, sells for about four dollars. It is made for use on fabric, including Velcro, and it will hold anything to anything ( fabric wise) just about forever.
BTW - if a patch has any of the 'iron on' glue stuff on the back, you need to flex the patch a few dozen times, or rough the back up with sandpaper, so that the cement can reach the cloth of the patch. Follow the directions, use a clothes pin or two if you need to clamp everything and you should be good to go.
All the best -
J3 / Para Pacem.

jon said...

absolutely. i use shoe goop for attaching velcro to the back of the patch.

the goop won't take too well to some iron-on patches, but you can remove the iron-on backing by ironing the patch to a piece of scrap fabric and then yanking it off before it cools.

pdxr13 said...

The "patch solution" can be any combination of peel-n-stick velcro, machine sewing, adhesive from a tube, or iron-on adhesive.

Drawbacks of the various methods:

Peel-n-stick velcro- doesn't hold up to laundering well (removing patches REQUIRED for washing). Edges curl, allowing dirt to adhere to adhesive, never sticking there again. Velcro on the uniform should be sewn in all cases.

Machine sewing: The best single solution. Have your local off-base sewing shop add velcro to your patch and uniform in the desired places. Pre-pin for best results and specify color of thread (black, green, etc.) Cost is very reasonable compared to poking a needle through a thumb.

Adhesive from a tube: some products work well, like instant hemming fluid. Some not so well, harden to rock-like slab on your uniform and self-peel as you move.

Iron-on adhesive: Same caution as peel-n-stick, as well as a note to test a thread of the patch for melting at the temp used. Shining over-ironed patches look BAD.

I'm paying for my local seamstress to sew patches on with high-strength fine nylon thread in a tight straight stitch, just inside the edge whipping on the patch and a zig-zag pattern on the loop-side uniform velcro to keep the edges from fraying and stick the middle securely to the material. For her, velcro is much easier than the perfection required of direct sewing to the uniform (rotation/alignment/flatness), thus $3 per patch when I supply velcro in pre-cut, pre-pinned format, more if I just turn over patches and uniforms with instructions.


DeadCenter said...

There is an "industrial strength" glue velcro duo available at WalMart in the craft section that has a VERY strong adhesive. I have used it on flexible stuff before with excellent results. I don't have the brand handy at the moment so will have to look it up when I get home.

Anonymous said...

Google "iron-on velcro"...
They also have a solvent(MEK)-activated adhesive-backed version

Can we agree on placement of patch for best recognition - perhaps left shoulder?


drjim said...

I've seen both sticky-back Velcro, and iron-on Velcro, but I can't vouch for how well they hold up.
Maybe try a place like JoAnne's fabrics?
Better yet, I'll ask my girlfriend!

Anonymous said...

Looks good to me. Where can I get one?

Anonymous said...

Where can I get one?

Anonymous said...

You can pick up packages of stick on velcro at places like Walmart in their sewing section. The stuff works fine except don't expect it to last as long as if it were sewn on permanently. But if you don't want to sew the velcro on you're going to have to sacrifice longevity. Best of luck.

Qi Ji Guang said...

I will get two of them when they are ready. One mounted above each of the exhaust pipes on my Honda motorcycle. I prefer these patches over any fancy paintwork and art that other riders like to have on their saddlebags and fuel tanks. Nice, small, simple, and gets the message across.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of the input, and thank you Mike for posting my question. I guess I need to find me a mistress, I mean seamstress.