Making custom patches can be a great way to earn extra income, and in the right market can become a full-time business.
Think of all the opportunities for uniform patches in your area – schools, police officers, fire department, various military branches, scout troops, motorcycle clubs, and more. Now think about the different uses for these patches – logos, rankings, department/troop numbers, achievements…
With this many different opportunities for custom patches, it’s easy to see the money to be made here.
And embroidery consumables like thread and patch twill are super affordable, so the profit opportunity is huge.
Let’s talk about how to embroider patches, how to sell them, and where to get started.
Step One - What you Need to Make Patches
First you will want to buy a patch material like PatchMat or PatchTwill from colmanandcompany.com. Patch material has an embroidered look that allows you embroider patches without an expensive merrowing machine and drastically reduces the number of stitches needed in a patch, which saves you time and money.
For example, to make the patch in the video above we used a red patch twill that mimicked red embroidery on our patch design.
Step Two - Using Heat Seal for Heat Applied Patches
After the patch sews out, you will apply Heat Seal. Cut a piece Heal Seal out from the roll that is the same size as your patch. Then, use a heat press to adhere the glue from the Heat Seal to the back of your patch.
Heat seal is great for a few reasons:
Pull the corner of the Heat Seal backing up to make sure it has adhered well to the patch, then let it settle and cool back down.
Step Three - Using the Hot Knife
Once the heat seal is applied to the back of your patch, you are ready to cut out your patch with your hot knife. You will want to do this on a surface that cannot be damaged. For example, we cut out patches on a piece of tempered glass.
Follow these Hot Knife tips for the best results:
After the patch is cut out you can pop it out of the heal seal backing.
Now, you can sell this patch a few different ways:
1. Sell it to customers as is with iron-on instructions.
2. Heat Press the Patch onto a garment and sell the whole garment to customers.
3. Sew the patch onto a garment for extra security and sell the garment with the sewn-on patch to customers.
How To Sell Embroidered Patches
Etsy is a popular online market for selling custom fashion patches. This could be a great way to start making patches and get into the patch market
But to start making big money with embroidered patches you will have to get you work out in your area. Try sending some patch examples to local scout troops or businesses that wear patches.
Word of mouth is a great marketing tool. One of the scout’s parents could be a local fire department chief looking for new uniform patches for their crew! And that local business you sent samples to may need to update their warehouse employees’ uniforms.
How To Get Started
If you have an embroidery machine and are ready to start making patches, you can find the products you need on colmanandcompany.com.
Our PatchKit has everything you need to start sewing custom patches. If you need some extra help figuring out how to get started, live chat with one of our pros.