Machine Embroidered Patches: Tips + Tricks

Whether the need is for an insignia or just for fun, patches are a quick and easy way to attach embroidery to any surface.

190222 CME FREE 500 Machine Embroidered Patches: Tips + TricksThe best and most common base fabric for patches is felt or twill, but any sturdy fabric with work when paired with a quality fusible thermal stabilizer. Commercial patches are made on specialty machines. To make patches similarly at home, a satin stitch edge finish design is needed.

Satin stitch edge finish frames, borders and appliqué designs make the best patches, but look for other satin stitch edge finish designs for creative options. Look for designs with an outline built in and a satin stitch edge finish with a sufficient width to cover the raw edges. For a cut edge non-raveling finish, use a design with any width satin stitch edge finish.

Perfect Patch

Bear patch 230x300 Machine Embroidered Patches: Tips + TricksFrames and border designs are perfect for patches as long as they have a separate stop for a running stitch outline, such as an appliqué or those found built into some sewing machines or software.

  • Make a template by printing from software onto vellum or hooping a half sheet of vellum horizontally in the hoop and embroidering the appliqué or border outline. Unhoop and cut out directly on the stitching line.
  • Cut a piece of wool felt and fusible fleece larger than the hoop.
  • Fuse the layers together following the manufacturer’s instructions; allow to cool.
  • Hoop the layers together and embroider the design.
  • Use the vellum template to draw the shape around the design.
  • Unhoop the fabric and cut out the shape using sharp scissors directly on the line.
  • Cut a piece of heavyweight water-soluble stabilizer larger than the hoop. Hoop the stabilizer. Embroider the frame or appliqué outline.
  • Spray the back of the embroidered shape with temporary adhesive and secure it to the embroidered shape in the hoop.
  • Embroider the remainder of the design.
  • When the embroidery is complete, remove the hoop from the machine, trim the jump stitches and gently remove the stabilizer.

Quick Patch

  • Moon patch 232x300 Machine Embroidered Patches: Tips + TricksCut a piece of wool felt and fusible fleece larger than the hoop.
  • Fuse the layers together following the manufacturer’s instructions; allow to cool.
  • Hoop the layers together and embroider the design.
  • Un-hoop and trim any jump stitches or tie-off threads.
  • Using sharp scissors, trim within 1/8” to 1/4” from the satin stitch edge finish. Or use a scallop or pinking shears to trim away the excess fabric.

Stiff Support

  • Full patch 300x258 Machine Embroidered Patches: Tips + TricksTo create a patch with no visible fabric, hoop two layers of nylon organza perpendicular to each other and embroider the design in its entirety.
  • Unhoop and trim close to the stitching.
  • Use a hot iron or a hot knife to melt the fabric raw edges close to the embroidery stitching, being careful not to burn the thread edges. Use sharp scissors to trim as close as possible to the embroidery.


There are three ways to attach patches to fabric.

  1. Hand or machine sew patches to the base fabric using a straight, zigzag, buttonhole or decorative stitch.
  2. Use a permanent fusible adhesive made specifically for securing embroidered patches to fabric. Cut the adhesive the size of the patch, fuse to the wrong side, peel the paper away and fuse the patch to the base fabric.
  3. While there are many types of glue available for fabric, some are specifically made for attaching patches. Lightly spread the glue onto the back of the patch with a wooden craft stick, allow the glue to dry and fuse it permanently to the base fabric.
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