Many children want their backpacks full of their favorite patches, but sometimes, it is quite difficult to add more. In the case of Junior Rangers, they receive a pin when they are sworn in, and there are some other children at various national parks with dozens of them on vests and jackets. Moreover, patches can be found in many souvenir shops.
So, for them to preserve and display them is rewarding. However, it might be complicated to arrange all of them in a backpack following some design and leaving some more space for new patches.
Here, you will find some useful tips in case you are not certain about how to put the patches on the backpack, or you think they will not stay put.
Firstly, you will have to check what kind of patches you have. Many of them are adhesive, but you can have some which need to be sewed. You will notice that if a patch has heat-activated adhesive on the back by examining the opposite side of the embroidery. Several patches have a coating over their stitches; only heat-set patches will have a thick, slightly translucent backing. They might even have a peel-away paper to protect the glue, which you have to remove to apply them.
However, if you only see embroidery thread and no coating, this means that your patch is sew-on. If this is the case, then you skip the ironing step and instead use a sewable glue stick to anchor the patch in place before stitching it by using a sewing machine.
When a patch is adhesive, you can stick it semi-permanently to the fabric with heat. You can do it by ironing with a very hot iron by pressing the cloth. Then put the patch on the surface where you want it and make sure it is placed the way you like.
This technique can be a temporary measure designed to hold each patch in place until you can stitch them down. Sometimes, you might find that it is difficult to sew a patch where you want because seams can interfere or the fabric can be very thick.
You should know that on most patches the adhesive is strong, so if you fuse it correctly, it will hold to the cloth for a long time.
Sticking the Patch
To hold the patch to the backpack appropriately, you need to cover it with the press cloth, paying attention not to jostle it out of position. Then, lower the iron over the press cloth, but do not push, remember that you are not ironing just placing the patch in place.
Finally, hold it in place for a solid, slow count of 10, then lift and lower again in a new position, slightly overlapping the spot where you previously fused. Keep on doing this procedure until every edge has been heated. The edges are really important in steps because, if they peel up, it is where it will happen, so take your time to do it correctly to make sure the patches will stay put.
Now, you have to determine whether to stitch them or not in addition to fusing them. You can try testing the quality of your fuse to make the decision based on your previous work. To do so, you should wait at least ten minutes, then gently tug at the edge of your patch. There should be no movement or tearing of the patch coming away from the fabric. If you notice that the patch is peeling away, you will have to fuse again or sew it.
To get the best results and to make your sewing easier, you might use lower feed dogs on your machine and the free motion presser foot. In this way, you won´t need to rotate the bag or drag large amounts of fabric under its arm while you are stitching.
Thus, if you do not have a free motion foot, you could try your regular foot with a little Scotch tape on the bottom to help it glide. Also, if you cannot lower your feed dogs, try setting it to a straight stitch at length ZERO. Match your thread to the outermost ring on the embroidery before you start sewing to blend and disappear neatly.
While sewing, you should stay in the rolled outer edge to hide stitches in the “lip” of the embroidery better. You should also keep the stitches short and even, and slowly rotate the patch until you are able to stitch the entire circumference.
When working with square or triangular patches, you should pivot at each angled edge to change directions. Thus, by using your machine’s free arm, this steps will be easier with bags and similar things because it gives more freedom of movement.
In general, the patches stitched in this way last many years. On the other hand, this same technique can be used to add patches to jeans, jackets, and tees. You should let your imagination work, and you will get as many combinations as you like. This is a beautiful and fun way to embellish yours or somebody else clothing. Give it a try!